Current Applied Physics News and Events

Current Applied Physics News and Events, Applied Physics News Articles.
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Nuclear physicist's voyage towards a mythical island
Theories were introduced as far back as the 1960s about the possible existence of superheavy elements. Their most long-lived atomic nuclei could give rise to a so-called ''island of stability'' far beyond the element uranium. However, a new study, led by nuclear physicists at Lund University, shows that a 50-year-old nuclear physics manifesto must now be revised. (2021-01-26)

Reducing traps increases performance of organic photodetectors
Physicists at the Dresden Integrated Center for Applied Physics and Photonic Materials (IAPP) discovered that trap states rule the performance of organic photodetectors, ultimately limiting their detectivity. These highly promising results have now been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Communications. (2021-01-22)

Bringing atoms to a standstill: NIST miniaturizes laser cooling
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have miniaturized the optical components required to cool atoms down to a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, the first step in employing them on microchips to drive a new generation of super-accurate atomic clocks, enable navigation without GPS, and simulate quantum systems. (2021-01-21)

Innovations through hair-thin optical fibres
Scientists at the University of Bonn have built hair-thin optical fibre filters in a very simple way. They are not only extremely compact and stable, but also colour-tunable. This means they can be used in quantum technology and as sensors for temperature or for detecting atmospheric gases. The results have been published in the journal ''Optics Express''. (2021-01-20)

Light-controlled Higgs modes found in superconductors; potential sensor, computing uses
Iowa State University's Jigang Wang and a team of researchers have discovered a short-lived form of the famous Higgs boson -- subject of a groundbreaking search at the Large Hadron Collider -- within an iron-based superconductor. This Higgs mode can be accessed and controlled by laser light flashing on the superconductor at trillions of pulses per second. (2021-01-19)

Constructing termite turrets without a blueprint
Following a series of studies on termite mound physiology and morphogenesis over the past decade, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have now developed a mathematical model to help explain how termites construct their intricate mounds. (2021-01-19)

Physical virology shows the dynamics of virus reproduction
The reproductive cycle of viruses requires self-assembly, maturation of virus particles and, after infection, the release of genetic material into a host cell. New physics-based technologies allow scientists to study the dynamics of this cycle and may eventually lead to new treatments. (2021-01-14)

New way to control electrical charge in 2D materials: Put a flake on it
Gaining control of the flow of electrical current through atomically thin materials is important to potential future applications in photovoltaics or computing. Physicists in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered one way to locally add electrical charge to a graphene device. (2021-01-14)

Quantum computers to study the functioning of the molecules of life
A breakthrough that has implications for molecular biology, pharmacology and nanotechnologies. The fields of application are many. Identifying the mechanisms behind neurodegenerative processes in some proteins, for example, can help limit their proliferation. Understanding how a protein takes on a certain shape can open the way to use the nanomachines that nature has designed to cut, edit or block damaged or defective genes. Their study was published in the international academic journal Physical Review Letters (2021-01-14)

The changing paradigm of next-generation semiconductor memory development
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology(KIST) has announced that the research team led by Dr. Kim Kyoung-Whan at the Center for Spintronics has proposed a new principle about spin memory devices, which are next-generation memory devices. This breakthrough presents new applicability that is different from the existing paradigm. (2021-01-12)

Wearable electronics for continuous cardiac, respiratory monitoring
A small and inexpensive sensor, announced in Applied Physics Letters and based on an electrochemical system, could potentially be worn continuously by cardiac patients or others who require constant monitoring. A solution containing electrolyte substances is placed into a small circular cavity that is capped with a thin flexible diaphragm, allowing detection of subtle movements when placed on a patient's chest. The authors suggest their sensor could be used for diagnosis of respiratory diseases. (2021-01-12)

Can sodium-ion batteries replace trusty lithium-ion ones?
Sodium-ion batteries are a potential replacement for lithium batteries, but different anodes are needed for the same level of performance. Amorphous carbon is known to be a useful anode, because it has defects and voids that can be used to store sodium ions. Nitrogen/phosphorus-doped carbon also offers appealing electrical properties. In Applied Physics Reviews, researchers describe how they applied basic physical concepts of atomic scale to build high-performance anodes for sodium-ion batteries. (2021-01-12)

Singing a tumor test song
Singing may be the next-generation, noninvasive approach to determining the health of a patient's thyroid. When a person sings, the vibrations create waves in the tissue near the vocal tract called shear waves. If a tumor is present in the thyroid, the elasticity of its surrounding tissue increases, stiffening, and causing the shear waves to accelerate. Using ultrasound imaging to measure these waves, researchers can determine the elasticity of the thyroid tissue. (2021-01-12)

Enlightening dark ions
Every field has its underlying principles. For economics it's the rational actor; biology has the theory of evolution; modern geology rests on the bedrock of plate tectonics. (2021-01-12)

A charge-density-wave topological semimetal
A novel material has been discovered that is characterised by the coupling of a charge density wave with the topology of the electronic structure. (2021-01-09)

Breaking through the resolution barrier with quantum-limited precision
Researchers at Paderborn University have developed a new method of distance measurement for systems such as GPS, which achieves more precise results than ever before. Using quantum physics, the team led by Leibniz Prize winner Professor Christine Silberhorn has successfully overcome the so-called resolution limit. (2021-01-05)

Scrambled supersolids
Supersolids are fluid and solid at the same time. Physicists from Innsbruck and Geneva have for the first time investigated what happens when such a state is brought out of balance. They discovered a soft form of a solid of high interest for science. As the researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino and Thierry Giamarchi report in Nature Physics, they were also able to reverse the process and restore supersolidity. (2021-01-04)

Detective work in theoretical physics
Physicists at the Universities of Münster and Düsseldorf in Germany have published a review article on the so-called dynamical density functional theory (DDFT). This is a method for describing systems consisting of a large number of interacting particles such as are found in liquids, for example. The 127-page article is published in the magazine Advances in Physics. (2020-12-29)

Theory describes quantum phenomenon in nanomaterials
Theoretical physicists Yoshimichi Teratani and Akira Oguri of Osaka City University, and Rui Sakano of the University of Tokyo have developed mathematical formulas that describe a physical phenomenon happening within quantum dots and other nanosized materials. The formulas, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, could be applied to further theoretical research about the physics of quantum dots, ultra-cold atomic gasses, and quarks. (2020-12-23)

New imaging method views soil carbon at near-atomic scales
The Earth's soils contain more than three times the amount of carbon than is found in the atmosphere, but the processes that bind carbon in the soil are still not well understood. (2020-12-22)

Researchers invent method to 'sketch' quantum devices with focused electrons
A technique created by researchers out of the Department of Physics and Astronomy enables them to ''sketch'' patterns of electrons into a programmable quantum material--lanthanum aluminate/strontium titanate or ''LAO/STO''. (2020-12-21)

The mechanics of the immune system
Not only chemistry plays a role in the docking of antigens to the T-cell; micromechanical effects are important too. Submicrometer structures on the cell surface act like microscopic tension springs. Tiny forces that occur as a result are likely to be of great importance for the recognition of antigens. At TU Wien, it has now been possible to observe these forces directly using highly developed microscopy methods. (2020-12-21)

Ecosystem dynamics: Topological phases in biological systems
Physicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that topological phases could exist in biology, and in so doing they have identified a link between solid-state physics and biophysics. (2020-12-21)

New curriculum improves students' understanding of electric circuits in schools
The topic of electricity often poses difficulties for many secondary school students in physics lessons. Physics Education Researchers at the Goethe University and the University of Tübingen have developed and empirically evaluated a new, intuitive curriculum as part of a major comparative study. The result: not only do secondary school students gain a better conceptual understanding of electric circuits, but teachers also perceive the curriculum as a significant improvement in their teaching. (2020-12-18)

New discovery brings analogue spintronic devices closer
The observation of nonlinearity in electron spin-related processes in graphene makes it easier to transport, manipulate and detect spins, as well as spin-to-charge conversion. It also allows analogue operations such as amplitude modulation and spin amplification. This brings spintronics to the point where regular electronics was after the introduction of the first transistors. These results by University of Groningen physicists were published in the journal Physical Review Applied on 17 December. (2020-12-18)

New topological properties found in "old" material of Cobalt disulfide
Researchers working with the Schoop Lab discovered the presence of Weyl nodes in bulk CoS2 that allow them to make predictions about its surface properties. The material hosts Weyl-fermions and Fermi-arc surface states within its band structure, which may enable it to serve as a platform for exotic phenomena. (2020-12-18)

Ultra-thin designer materials unlock quantum phenomena
New research, published in Nature, has measured highly sought-after Majorana quantum states (2020-12-17)

The latest magnesium studies pave the way for new biomedical materials
Materials used in biomedicine must be characterized by controlled biodegradability, sufficient strength and total absence of toxicity to the human body. The search for such materials is, therefore, not a simple task. In this context, scientists have been interested in magnesium for a long time. Recently, using such techniques as positron annihilation spectroscopy, the researchers were able to demonstrate that magnesium subjected to surface mechanical attrition treatment obtains the properties necessary for a biocompatible material. (2020-12-17)

Ultracold atoms reveal a new type of quantum magnetic behavior
An MIT experiment with ultracold atoms reveals new quantum magnetic behavior that may help in design of spintronic devices and magnetic materials. (2020-12-16)

Physicists quantum simulate a system in which fermions with multiple flavors behave like bosons
Quantum simulations show that boson-like behaviours, so-called bosonization, emerge from an ensemble of fermions in three-dimensional systems, despite that bosons and fermions are governed by distinct quantum statistics (2020-12-16)

UMBC researchers identify where giant jets from black holes discharge their energy
Scientists have disagreed about where powerful jets from black holes discharge their energy. A new study in Nature Communications uses standard statistical techniques and relies on very few assumptions to determine that the jets release their energy in an area called the molecular torus, which is much farther away from the black hole's center than another prime candidate, the broadline region. This finding has implications for how jets form, pick up speed, and become column-shaped. (2020-12-15)

Not so fast!: controlling the speed of light bullets
Researchers from Osaka University accurately and arbitrarily control flying velocities of light bullets, offering new opportunities for optical and physical applications. (2020-12-14)

Quantum interference in time
Bosons--especially photons--have a natural tendency to clump together. In 1987, three physicists conducted a remarkable experiment demonstrating this clustering property, known as the Hong-Ou- Mandel effect. Recently, researchers at ULB's Centre for Quantum Information and Communication, have identified another way in which photons manifest their propensity to stick together. This research has just been published in PNAS (2020-12-14)

Quantum mysteries: Probing an unusual state in the superconductor-insulator transition
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology approach the two decade-old mystery of why an anomalous metallic state appears in the superconductor-insulator transition in 2D superconductors. Through experimental measurements of a thermoelectric effect, they found that the ''quantum liquid state'' of quantum vortices causes the anomalous metallic state. The results clarify the nature of the transition and could help in the design of superconducting devices for quantum computers. (2020-12-14)

UMBC team reveals possibilities of new one-atom-thick materials
New 2D materials have the potential to transform technologies, but they're expensive and difficult to synthesize. Researchers at UMBC used computer modeling to predict the properties of 2D materials that haven't yet been made in real life. These highly-accurate predictions show the possibility of materials whose properties could be ''tuned'' to make them more efficient than existing materials in particular applications. A separate paper demonstrated a way to integrate these materials into real electronic devices. (2020-12-14)

Energy-efficient magnetic RAM: A new building block for spintronic technologies
Researchers demonstrate a new way to enhance the energy efficiency of the non-volatile magnetic memory. (2020-12-10)

Bristol researchers publish significant step toward quantum advantage
Researchers from the University of Bristol and quantum start-up, Phasecraft, have achieved a milestone in quantum computing research, accelerating the journey from theory to research to reality. (2020-12-10)

Research develops new theoretical approach to manipulate light
The quest to discover pioneering new ways in which to manipulate how light travels through electromagnetic materials has taken a new, unusual twist. (2020-12-08)

Batteries mimic mammal bones for stability
Sodium-ion batteries offer several advantages over lithium-ion batteries; however, it is difficult to develop sodium cathodes, materials through which electrons can enter a battery. Many candidate materials are unstable or cannot withstand high voltages. To find a solution, researchers turned to nature. They created a porous system of NVP structures, surrounded by a dense shell of reduced graphene oxide. They describe the mammal bone-inspired sodium cathode in the journal Applied Physics Reviews. (2020-12-08)

Tiny nanospindles enhance use of ultrasound to fight cancer
Ultrasound can be used to treat cancer when used in combination with molecules that sensitize the system to sound waves. These sonosensitizers generate toxic reactive oxygen species that attack and kill tumor cells. In Applied Physics Review, scientists report a new type of sonosensitizer based on a vanadium-doped titanium dioxide that enhances the amount of damage ultrasound inflicts on tumors. Studies in mice showed tumor growth was markedly suppressed when compared to a control group. (2020-12-08)

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