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The invisible smallest particles matter for the air we breathe
Researchers of the University of Helsinki have resolved for the first time, how the ultrafine particles of atmosphere effect on the climate and health. (2021-02-23)

Protective ship coatings as an underestimated source of microplastic pollution
Shipping traffic can be a major source of microplastics, especially out in the open ocean. In a new study, a team of environmental geochemists from the University of Oldenburg (Germany) for the first time provides an overview of microplastics mass distribution in the North Sea. The scientists found that most of the plastic particles in water samples taken in the south-eastern North Sea originate from binders used in marine paints. Their hypothesis is that ships leave a kind of 'skid mark' in the water. (2021-02-23)

Reclusive neutron star may have been found in famous supernova
Since astronomers captured the bright explosion of a star on February 24, 1987, researchers have been searching for the squashed stellar core that should have been left behind. A group of astronomers using data from NASA space missions and ground-based telescopes may have finally found it. (2021-02-23)

New catalyst could enable better lithium-sulfur batteries, power next-gen electronics
Lithium-sulfur batteries, given their light weight and theoretical high capacities, are a promising alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries for large-scale energy storage systems, drones, electric vehicles, etc. But at present, they suffer from poor battery life, limiting their applicability. Now, scientists from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, have discovered a new catalyst material's ability to significantly improve lithium-sulfur battery life, opening doors to their near-future practical commercial realization. (2021-02-22)

Ghost particle from shredded star reveals cosmic particle accelerator
Tracing back a ghostly particle to a shredded star, scientists have uncovered a gigantic cosmic particle accelerator. The subatomic particle was hurled towards Earth after the doomed star came too close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of its home galaxy and was ripped apart, as the team led by DESY scientist Robert Stein reports in the journal Nature Astronomy. (2021-02-22)

Scientists link star-shredding event to origins of universe's highest-energy particles
A team of scientists has detected the presence of a high-energy neutrino in the wake of a star's destruction as it is consumed by a black hole. This discovery sheds new light on the origins of Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays--the highest energy particles in the Universe. (2021-02-22)

42,000-year-old trees allow more accurate analysis of last Earth's magnetic field reversal
The last complete reversal of the Earth's magnetic field, the so-called Laschamps event, took place 42,000 years ago. Radiocarbon analyses of the remains of kauri trees from New Zealand now make it possible for the first time to precisely time and analyse this event and its associated effects, as well as to calibrate geological archives such as sediment and ice cores from this period. Simulations based on this show considerable effects in the Earth's atmosphere. (2021-02-19)

Should Uber and Lyft be electrifying more vehicles?
Increases in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by ridesourcing impact human health and the environment--what happens when companies shoulder that cost? (2021-02-19)

Selective concentration of cationic species
POSTECH Professor Geunbae Lim Develops a Multiscale-Porous Anion Exchange Membrane. (2021-02-18)

Investigating the wave properties of matter with vibrating molecules
The working group led by Prof. Stephan Schiller, Ph.D. from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has used a novel, high-precision laser spectroscopic experiment to measure the internal vibration of the simplest molecule. This allowed the researchers to investigate the wave character of the motion of atomic nuclei with unprecedented accuracy. They present their findings in the current edition of Nature Physics. (2021-02-18)

RUDN University physicists analyzed the role of gravity in elementary particles formation
Gravity might play a bigger role in the formation of elementary particles than scientists used to believe. A team of physicists from RUDN University obtained some solutions of semi-classical models that describe particle-like waves. They also calculated the ratio between the gravitational interaction of particles and the interaction of their charges. (2021-02-17)

New highly radioactive particles found in Fukushima
The 10 year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident occurs in March. Work just published in the Journal 'Science of the Total Environment' documents new, large (> 300 micrometers), highly radioactive particles that were released from one of the damaged Fukushima reactors. (2021-02-17)

Solution to puzzling phenomenon may open door to improved Cold Spray efficiency
An international team of researchers has solved a puzzling phenomenon whereby strangely beautiful, vortex-like structures appear between materials deposited onto engineering components used in multiple settings - from space shuttles to household items and everyday transport vehicles The discovery may ultimately improve the efficiency of the ''Cold Spray'' (CS) deposition process from which these structures are formed - a not-insignificant financial or functional consideration. (2021-02-16)

Sloshing quantum fluids of light and matter to probe superfluidity
'Sloshing' of a quantum fluid comprised of light and matter reveals superfluid properties. An Australian-led team have successfully created sloshing quantum liquids in a 'bucket' formed by containment lasers, gaining new insights of the intriguing superfluid properties of this peculiar, hybrid light-matter system. Superfluidity--the flow of particles without resistance--is pursued by FLEET researchers for future applications in ultra low-energy electronics. (2021-02-16)

First humans in Tasmania must have seen spectacular auroras
A small sub-alpine lake in western Tasmania has helped establish that 41,000 years ago Australia experienced the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion and that Tasmanian, Aboriginals, would've seen it. (2021-02-15)

Dual character of excitons in the ultrafast regime: atomic-like or solid-like?
Researchers at Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies IFN-CNR and a theory group from the Tsukuba University (Japan) and the Max Plank Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of matter (Hamburg, Germany), have discovered that an exciton can simultaneously adopt two radically different characters when it isstimulated by light. (2021-02-15)

Interaction between iodonium and silver cation was demonstrated for the first time
An international research team led by Professor Kari Rissanen of the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland) and Professor Antonio Frontera of the University of Balearic Islands (Spain) has demonstrated that positively charged iodine (termed iodonium) is able to favorably interact with a silver cation (Ag+), overcoming the strong electrostatic repulsion. The research was published online in Chem -journal 8th of February 2021. (2021-02-12)

Swirlonic super particles baffle physicists
We report a novel state of active matter--a swirlonic state. It is comprised of swirlons, formed by groups of active particles orbiting their common center of mass. (2021-02-11)

Combination of pine scent and ozone as super source of particulate emissions
Scientists have managed to figure out why conifer forests produce so many fine particles into the atmosphere. Aerosol particles are particularly abundant when ?-pinene, the molecule responsible for the characteristic pattern of pine trees reacts with atmospheric ozone. (2021-02-11)

Climate research: rapid formation of iodic particles over the Arctic
When sea ice melts and the water surface increases, more iodine-containing vapours rise from the sea. Scientists from the international research network CLOUD have now discovered that aerosol particles form rapidly from iodine vapours, which can serve as condensation nuclei for cloud formation. The CLOUD researchers, among them scientists from the Goethe University Frankfurt, fear a mutual intensification of sea ice melt and cloud formation, which could accelerate the warming of the Arctic and Antarctic. (2021-02-11)

New machine learning theory raises questions about nature of science
A novel computer algorithm, or set of rules, that accurately predicts the orbits of planets in the solar system could be adapted to better predict and control the behavior of the plasma that fuels fusion facilities designed to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. (2021-02-11)

Researchers unravel what makes someone a COVID-19 super-spreader
Researchers at Tulane University, Harvard University, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have learned that obesity, age and COVID-19 infection correlate with a propensity to breathe out more respiratory droplets -- key spreaders of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Their findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2021-02-10)

Plant-based magnetic nanoparticles with antifungal properties
A team of researchers from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University obtained magnetic nanoparticles using sweet flag (Acorus calamus). Both the roots and the leaves of this plant have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and insecticide properties. (2021-02-10)

Nanoparticle gel unites oil and water in manufacturing-friendly approach
Oil and water may not mix, but adding the right nanoparticles to the recipe can convert these two immiscible fluids into an exotic gel with uses ranging from batteries to water filters to tint-changing smart windows. A new approach to creating this unusual class of soft materials could carry them out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. (2021-02-10)

Researchers produce tiny nanoparticles and reveal their inner structure for the first time
Tiny nanoparticles can be furnished with dyes and could be used for new imaging techniques, as chemists and physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) show in a recent study. The researchers have also been the first to fully determine the particles' internal structure. Their results were published in the renowned journal Angewandte Chemie. (2021-02-08)

Iodine oxoacids formed in oceans have major impact on climate
Molecular iodine, a major emission from the ocean, can quickly convert to iodic oxoacids even under weak daylight conditions. These oxoacids lead rapidly to aerosol particles that significantly affect climate and human health. (2021-02-08)

Shuffling bubbles reveal how liquid foams evolve
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University studied the dynamics of foams. When a drop of water was added to a foam raft, the bubbles rearranged themselves to reach a new stable state. The team found that bubble movement was qualitatively different depending on the range of bubble sizes present. Along with analogies with soft-jammed materials, these findings may inspire the design of new foam materials for industry. (2021-02-06)

Mathematics developed new classes of stellar dynamics systems solutions
The Vlasov-Poisson equations describe many important physical phenomena such as the distribution of gravitating particles in the interstellar space, high-temperature plasma kinetics, and the Landau damping effect. A joint team of scientists from the Mathematical Institute of RUDN University and the Mathematical Institute of the University of Munich suggested a new method to obtain stationary solutions for a system of Vlasov-Poisson equations in a three-dimensional case. (2021-02-05)

A new tool in the search for axions
Researchers have discovered a new avenue to search for axions--a hypothetical particle that is one of the candidates of dark matter particles. The group, which usually performs ultra-high precision measurements of the fundamental properties of trapped antimatter, has for the first time used the ultra-sensitive superconducting single antiproton detection system of their advanced Penning trap experiment as a sensitive dark matter antenna. (2021-02-04)

Iodine oxoacids drive rapid aerosol formation in pristine atmospheric areas
Iodine plays a bigger role than thought in rapid new particle formation (NPF) in relatively pristine regions of the atmosphere, such as along marine coasts, in the Arctic boundary layer or in the upper free troposphere, according to a new study. (2021-02-04)

First images of muon beams
A new technique has taken the first images of muon particle beams. Nagoya University scientists designed the imaging technique with colleagues in Osaka University and KEK, Japan. They plan to use it to assess the quality of these beams, which are being used more and more in advanced imaging applications. (2021-02-03)

Stanford research could lead to injectable gels that release medicines over time
The researchers dissolved polymers and nanoparticles in water, and comingled them at room temperature to solidify a Jello-like substance that - unlike its kitchen counterpart -- did not liquify at higher heat, such as in the body. The technique kept in balance two thermodynamic concepts- enthalpy, which measures energy added to or subtracted from a material, and entropy, which describes how energy changes make a material more or less orderly at the molecular level. (2021-02-03)

Tracking cells with omnidirectional visible laser particles
Microlaser particles have emerged as unique optical probes for single-cell tacking. However, due to inherent directionality of laser emission, cell tracking with laser particles suffers from frequent loss of cell traces. Recently, scientists in Harvard Medical School and Peking University placed omnidirectional visible laser particles into live cells, and demonstrated continuous spatial tracking of single cells. The technique will open new avenues for large-scale single-cell analysis in the study of cellular heterogeneity. (2021-02-02)

How do electrons close to Earth reach almost the speed of light?
In the Van Allen radiation belts, electrons can reach almost speed of light. Hayley Allison and Yuri Shprits, German Research Centre for Geosciences, have revealed conditions for such strong accelerations. They had demonstrated in 2020: during solar storm plasma waves play a crucial role. However, it remained unclear why ultra-relativistic electron energies are not achieved in all solar storms. In Science Advances they now show: extreme depletions of the background plasma density are crucial. (2021-02-02)

UBC study highlights the best style and fabrics for COVID-19 face masks
In the race to stop the spread of COVID-19, a three-layer cloth mask that fits well can effectively filter COVID particles, says a group of UBC researchers. After testing several different mask styles and 41 types of fabrics, they found that a mask consisting of two layers of low-thread-count quilting cotton plus a three-ply dried baby wipe filter was as effective as a commercial non-surgical mask at stopping particles--and almost as breathable. (2021-02-02)

A full-scale prototype for muon tomography
In this article of EPJ Plus, researchers build on previous studies into detection technologies and reconstruction algorithms for muon tomography, to develop a full-scale muon tomograph prototype. (2021-02-01)

Searching for dark matter through the fifth dimension
Theoretical physicists of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz are working on a theory that goes beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. The central element is an extra dimension in spacetime. Until now, the scientists have faced the problem that the predictions of their theory could not be tested experimentally. They have now overcome this problem in a publication in the current issue of the European Physical Journal C. (2021-02-01)

Arctic warming and diminishing sea ice are influencing the atmosphere
Researchers of the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth system research at the University of Helsinki have resolved for the first time, how the environment affects the formation of nanoparticles in the Arctic. The results give additional insight into the future of melting sea ice and the Arctic atmosphere. Until recent studies, the molecular processes of particle formation in the high Arctic remained a mystery. (2021-01-29)

Local emissions amplify regional haze and particle growth
A Finnish-Chinese research team performed simultaneous measurements of aerosol composition and particle number size distributions at ground level and at 260 m in central Beijing, China, during a total of 4 months in 2015-2017. The team found concentration of both primary and secondary particles in the accumulation mode would decrease drastically, and the haze formation would be reduced if the emission cuts are higher than 30%. (2021-01-29)

Accurate drug dosages with proton traps
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a proton trap that makes organic electronic ion pumps more precise when delivering drugs. The new technique may reduce drug side effects, and in the long term, ion pumps may help patients with symptoms of neurological diseases for which effective treatments are not available. The results have been published in Science Advances. (2021-01-29)

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