Latest Phonon Stories

2011-06-06 20:13:20

Neutron analysis of the atomic dynamics behind thermal conductivity is helping scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory gain a deeper understanding of how thermoelectric materials work. The analysis could spur the development of a broader range of products with the capability to transform heat to electricity. Researchers performed experiments at both of ORNL's neutron facilities -- the Spallation Neutron Source and the High Flux Isotope Reactor -- to learn why...

2010-11-30 22:05:01

Applied physics professor Chris Marianetti figures out how to shatter the world's strongest material In 2008, experiments at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University established pure graphene, a single layer of graphite only one atom thick, as the strongest material known to mankind. This raised a question for Chris Marianetti, Assistant Professor in Columbia Engineering's Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics: how and why does...

2010-09-24 10:40:20

Silicon-based film may lead to efficient thermoelectric devices Computers, light bulbs, and even people generate heat"”energy that ends up being wasted. With a thermoelectric device, which converts heat to electricity and vice versa, you can harness that otherwise wasted energy. Thermoelectric devices are touted for use in new and efficient refrigerators, and other cooling or heating machines. But present-day designs are not efficient enough for widespread commercial use or are made...

2010-02-22 09:22:24

Physicists take a big step toward practical sound-based laser analogues Physicists have taken major step forward in the development of practical phonon lasers, which emit sound in much the same way that optical lasers emit light. The development should lead to new, high-resolution imaging devices and medical applications. Just as optical lasers have been incorporated into countless, ubiquitous devices, a phonon laser is likely to be critical to a host of as yet unimaginable applications. Two...

2009-06-17 15:47:16

University of Oregon physicists have successfully landed a one-two punch on a tiny glass sphere, refrigerating it in liquid helium and then dosing its perimeter with a laser beam, to bring its naturally occurring mechanical vibrations to a near standstill.The findings, published in Nature Physics, could boost advances in information processing that exploits special quantum properties and in precision-measurements for nanotechnology. The ability to freeze mechanical fluctuations, or...

Word of the Day
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'