Scientists offer designer ‘big atoms’ on demand

In the not-so-distant future, researchers may be able to build atoms to your specifications with the click of a button. It’s still the stuff of science fiction, but a team at the University of Colorado Boulder reports that it is getting closer when it comes to controlling and assembling particles called “big atoms.” The new … Read more Scientists offer designer ‘big atoms’ on demand

Sound waves bypass visual limitations to recognize human activity

Video cameras continue to gain widespread use to monitor human activities for surveillance, health care, home use and more, but there are privacy and environmental limitations in how well they work. Acoustical waves, such as sounds and other forms of vibrations, are an alternative medium that may bypass those limitations. Unlike electromagnetic waves, such as … Read more Sound waves bypass visual limitations to recognize human activity

Release of solar panel dataset helps cities make power grids more safe, reliable

Solar power researchers have traditionally only used the power measurements from single residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to estimate the power generated within a city. But one installation isn’t a good representation of all the rooftops in the city, where the time of day, panel direction, and shade cast by trees and clouds affect power … Read more Release of solar panel dataset helps cities make power grids more safe, reliable

Scientists revisit the cold case of cold fusion

Scientists from the University of British Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Google are conducting a multi-year investigation into cold fusion, a type of benign nuclear reaction hypothesized to occur in benchtop apparatus at room temperature. A progress report published today in Nature publicly discloses … Read more Scientists revisit the cold case of cold fusion

Another major step towards room-temperature superconductivity

Fewer power plants, less greenhouse gases and lower costs: enormous amounts of electricity could be saved if researchers discovered the key to superconductivity at environmental temperatures. Because superconductors are materials that conduct electric energy without losses. A team from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) in Mainz has come a step closer to this … Read more Another major step towards room-temperature superconductivity

Restaurant acoustics that schmeckt

Acoustics consultant Klaus Genuit says that new International Standards Organization guidelines for defining, measuring and evaluating soundscapes are a big step forward in guiding the creation of audibly fine restaurants. “A soup might be delicious or not, but you can’t answer this by knowing the temperature of the soup. It is the same with restaurant … Read more Restaurant acoustics that schmeckt

Moving the needle on nanoscale imaging with single-molecule magnets

Amid intense research focus on magnetic single atoms and molecules – which could serve as the smallest possible memory elements in quantum computing – researchers report creating a sensor capable of measuring and imaging magnetic structures and interactions at the atomic scale, in unprecedented detail. Their sensor, a single magnetic molecule affixed to the tip … Read more Moving the needle on nanoscale imaging with single-molecule magnets

Glassy menagerie of particles in beach sands near Hiroshima is fallout debris

Mario Wannier, a career geologist with expertise in studying tiny marine life, was methodically sorting through particles in samples of beach sand from Japan’s Motoujina Peninsula when he spotted something unexpected: a number of tiny, glassy spheres and other unusual objects. Wannier, who is now retired, had been comparing biological debris in beach sands from … Read more Glassy menagerie of particles in beach sands near Hiroshima is fallout debris

Manipulating superconductivity using a ‘mechanic’ and an ‘electrician’

In the strongly correlated materials such as cuprate high-temperature superconductors, superconductivity can be controlled either by changing the number of electrons or by changing the kinetic energy, or transfer energy, of electrons in the system.Although a large number of strongly correlated materials have been examined with different parameters to understand the mechanism of superconductivity, the … Read more Manipulating superconductivity using a ‘mechanic’ and an ‘electrician’