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Latest National Institute of Standards and Technology Stories

2011-08-31 14:51:01

With a nod to biology, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen in future fuel-cell-powered cars. Their idea: molecular scale "veins" of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries. The iron veins may transform magnesium from a promising candidate for hydrogen storage into a real-world winner. Hydrogen has been touted as a clean and efficient alternative to gasoline, but it...

2011-08-31 14:45:37

Much like a meteor impacting a planet, highly charged ions hit really hard and can do a lot of damage, albeit on a much smaller scale. And much like geologists determine the size and speed of the meteor by looking at the hole it left, physicists can learn a lot about a highly charged ion's energy by looking at the divots it makes in thin films. Building upon their work for which they were recently awarded a patent, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and...

2011-08-31 14:44:27

It's not often that someone can claim that going from a positive to a negative is a step forward, but that's the case for a team of scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and private industry. In a recent paper, the group significantly extended the reach of their novel microfluidic system for analyzing the chemical components of complex samples. The new work shows how the system, meant to analyze real-world, crude mixtures such as dirt or whole blood, can...

2011-08-31 14:42:52

Thanks to advances in experimental design, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit)–the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers. A quantum computer could potentially solve certain problems that are intractable using today's technology, even supercomputers. The NIST...

2011-08-17 22:13:57

The continuing increase in the level of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" in the Earth's atmosphere has been identified as a cause for serious concern because it may radically accelerate changes in the Earth's climate. Developing an effective strategy for managing the planet's greenhouse gases is complicated by the many and varied sources of such gases, some natural, some man-made, as well as the mechanisms that capture and "sequester" the gases. A new report sponsored by the...

2011-08-17 22:13:13

Carbon nanotubes offer big promise in a small package. For instance, these tiny cylinders of carbon molecules theoretically can carry 1,000 times more electric current than a metal conductor of the same size. It's easy to imagine carbon nanotubes replacing copper wiring in future nanoscale electronics. But"”not so fast. Recent tests at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) suggest device reliability is a major issue. Copper wires transport power and other signals...

2011-08-17 15:11:36

A research team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has come up with a potential solution to a two-pronged problem in medical research: How to capture cells on a particular spot on a surface using electric fields and keep them alive long enough to run experiments on them. Their method, which involves innovations upon conventional cell-capture techniques, has already proved effective in creating arrays of human liver cells and mouse pluripotent cells"”which,...

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2011-08-17 13:44:40

Wireless emergency safety equipment could save lives"”if signals are transmitted reliably. But few performance standards exist. Now, tests at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are helping to ensure that alarm beacons for firefighters and other emergency responders will operate reliably in the presence of other wireless devices. NIST is providing technical support for industry consensus standards by developing test methods to evaluate how well these devices work...

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2011-08-11 05:45:00

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have discovered that the quantum properties of ions can be manipulated using microwaves, instead of lasers. Using microwaves enables the experiments to be made with a system that is one-tenth the size of conventional laser based systems. Compared to the laser sources, microwave components could be expanded to build practical quantum computing systems using thousands of ions for quantum computing and simulations....

2011-08-03 19:34:30

DNA, a molecule famous for storing the genetic blueprints for all living things, can do other things as well. In a new paper,* researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) describe how tailored single strands of DNA can be used to purify the highly desired "armchair" form of carbon nanotubes. Armchair-form single wall carbon nanotubes are needed to make "quantum wires" for low-loss, long distance electricity transmission and wiring. Single-wall carbon nanotubes are...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.