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Latest Physical Review Letters Stories

2013-07-29 16:23:33

Physicists use dysprosium to put bounds on maximum speed of electrons Albert Einstein's assertion that there's an ultimate speed limit – the speed of light – has withstood countless tests over the past 100 years, but that didn't stop University of California, Berkeley, postdoc Michael Hohensee and graduate student Nathan Leefer from checking whether some particles break this law. The team's first attempt to test this fundamental tenet of the special...

2013-07-08 14:20:42

Boron arsenide may be of potential interest for cooling applications An unlikely material, cubic boron arsenide, could deliver an extraordinarily high thermal conductivity – on par with the industry standard set by costly diamond – researchers report in the current issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. The discovery that the chemical compound of boron and arsenic could rival diamond, the best-known thermal conductor, surprised the team of...

2013-05-16 14:56:16

'Of great technical interest for future hard disk drives' Physicists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have found out how tiny islands of magnetic material align themselves when sorted on a regular lattice - by measurements at BESSY II. Contrary to expectations, the north and south poles of the magnetic islands did not arrange themselves in a zigzag pattern, but in chains. "The understanding of the driving interactions is of great technological interest for future hard...

2013-05-04 11:57:08

Mathematicians from Queen Mary, University of London will bring researchers one-step closer to understanding how the structure of the brain relates to its function in two recently published studies. Publishing in Physical Review Letters the researchers from the Complex Networks group at Queen Mary´s School of Mathematical Sciences describe how different areas in the brain can have an association despite a lack of direct interaction. The team, in collaboration with researchers in...

2013-04-15 13:19:17

High sugar levels in the body come at a cost to health. New research suggests that more sugar in the body could damage the elastic proteins that help us breathe and pump blood. The findings could have health implications for diabetics, who have high blood-glucose levels. Researchers at the University of Washington and Boston University have discovered that a certain type of protein found in organs that repeatedly stretch and retract — such as the heart and lungs — is the source...

2013-03-14 17:52:46

RUB researchers give floppy molecule a structure through solvent effects How you get the chameleon of the molecules to settle on a particular "look" has been discovered by RUB chemists led by Professor Dominik Marx. The molecule CH5+ is normally not to be described by a single rigid structure, but is dynamically flexible. By means of computer simulations, the team from the Centre for Theoretical Chemistry showed that CH5+ takes on a particular structure once you attach hydrogen molecules....

2013-02-19 12:04:26

The results are significant because they can help to improve our understanding of medical conditions, such as thrombosis, aneurysms and arteriosclerosis. The research team is publishing its results in Physical Review Letters and the American Physical Society has highlighted the work on its Physics website, placing it on the Focus List of important physics news. Blood flows differently than water. Anyone who has ever cut themselves knows that blood flows viscously and rather erratically....

2012-08-13 11:09:17

Investigators are well aware of how difficult it is to trace an unlawful act to its source. The job was arguably easier with old, Mafia-style criminal organizations, as their hierarchical structures more or less resembled predictable family trees. In the Internet age, however, the networks used by organized criminals have changed. Innumerable nodes and connections escalate the complexity of these networks, making it ever more difficult to root out the guilty party. EPFL researcher Pedro...

2012-08-01 22:56:37

With headlines proclaiming the discovery of the Higgs boson–the so-called God particle–particle physics has captured the imagination of the world, particularly among those who dwell on the nature of the cosmos. But this is only one puzzle seemingly solved in a universe of mysteries. In a recent paper in Physical Review Letters, Dartmouth physicists delve into another enigmatic particle. Majorana is a name whose very mention evokes a veil of mystery. On one level, it refers to a...

Stubborn Electron Problem Knocked Out With New Method
2012-07-04 10:57:15

A newly published article in Physical Review Letters eliminates one of the top unsolved theoretical problems in chemical physics as ranked by the National Research Council in 1995. Scientists now can more accurately predict the dynamic behavior of electrons in atoms and molecules in chemical reactions that govern a wide range of phenomena, including the fuel efficiency of combustion engines and the depletion of the atmospheric ozone. The paper by David Mazziotti, professor in chemistry at...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'