Latest National Institute of Standards and Technology Stories

Stripping Gold From AFM Probes Allows Better Measurement Of Picoscale Forces
2012-06-28 12:02:30

Gold is not necessarily precious–at least not as a coating on atomic force microscope (AFM) probes. JILA researchers found that removing an AFM probe's gold coating–until now considered helpful–greatly improved force measurements performed in a liquid, the medium favored for biophysical studies such as stretching DNA or unfolding proteins. As described in Nano Letters,* stripping the gold from the diving-board-shaped probe, or cantilever, with a brief chemical bath...

NIST Measures Up For The Olympics
2012-06-28 11:56:56

In yet another Olympian feat of measurement, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently calibrated a tape that will be used to measure out the distance of this summer's Olympic marathon–a distance of 26 miles 385 yards–to 1 part in 1,000. Measurement is a vital aspect of the Olympic Games. Officials measure the height of jumps, the speed of races, and the mass of weights to determine who wins a medal and who goes home. The marathon is no...

First Heralded Single Photon Source Made From Silicon Demonstrated
2012-06-28 10:53:14

In an important step towards more practical quantum information processing, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of California, San Diego; and the Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, have demonstrated the first heralded single photon source made from silicon. This source complements two other recently developed silicon-based technologies–interferometers for manipulating the entanglement of photons and single photon...

Clay-based Coating May Show The Way To New Generation Of Green Flame Retardants
2012-06-28 10:46:09

In searching for better flame retardants for home furnishings–a large source of fuel in house fires–National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers defied the conventional wisdom and literally hit a wall, one made of clay. It wasn't a dead end, but rather a surprising result that may lead to a new generation of nonhalogenated, sustainable flame retardant technology for polyurethane foam. The thick, fast-forming coating that the NIST team created has a...

2012-06-14 15:20:54

NASA and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) are sponsoring the second in a series of regional public workshops to gather ideas and suggestions on the design of the proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The workshop will be held July 9 at the Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. "Designing for Impact II: Workshop on Building the NNMI" is a partnership between the interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office in Gaithersburg,...

Laser Frequency Comb Helps Evaluate Novel Biomedical Decontamination Method
2012-06-14 12:20:07

Like many new measurement tools, the laser frequency comb seemed at first a curiosity but has found more practical uses than originally imagined. The technique for making extraordinarily precise measurements of frequency has now moved beyond physics and optics to advance biomedicine by helping researchers evaluate a novel instrument that kills harmful bacteria without the use of liquid chemicals or high temperatures. Generated by ultrafast lasers, frequency combs precisely measure...

2012-05-31 01:22:21

Humans spend greater than 90 percent of their time indoors, but we're never alone there. Bacteria and viruses, scientists estimate, make up half of the world's biomass–some 10 nonillion (1 followed by 31 zeros) microorganisms–and we most often meet them within enclosed spaces. So, that's where the modern microbe hunter often looks first. A new report issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers guidance to make the hunting more effective. A...

2012-05-30 11:19:41

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a new standard reference material (SRM) to aid in the detection of two explosive compounds that are known to be used by terrorists. Researchers designed the new test samples to simulate the size and behavior of residues that remain after handling the explosives PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) and TATP (triacetone triperoxide). Instrument developers, academic researchers and government labs can use the SRM to test,...

Word of the Day
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.