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Tracking the evolution Maxwell knots
A new study published in EPJ C by Alexei Morozov and Nikita Tselousov, from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics and the Institute of Transmission Problems, Moscow, respectively, details peculiar solutions to the Maxwell equations--so-called Maxwell knots. The research could have applications in the fields of mathematical physics and string theory. (2021-01-18)

Scientists synthetize new material for high-performance supercapacitors
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with colleagues from the University of Lille (Lille, France) synthetized a new material based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) for supercapacitors, energy storage devices. The rGO modification method with the use of organic molecules, derivatives of hypervalent iodine, allowed obtaining a material that stores 1.7 times more electrical energy. The research findings are published in Electrochimica Acta academic journal (IF: 6,215; Q1). (2021-01-15)

Concept for a hybrid-electric plane may reduce aviation's air pollution problem
A proposed hybrid-electric plane could ''eliminate aviation's air pollution problem,'' say MIT engineers. Their design could reduce global nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 95 percent, they report in a study. (2021-01-14)

New algorithm mimics electrosensing in fish
Weakly electric fish are specially adapted to traverse murky waters without relying on vision; instead, they sense their environment via electric fields. Researchers developed an innovative algorithm for observing objects via electrosensing that is based on the real behavior of weakly electric fish. (2021-01-14)

Scientists discover electric eels hunting in a group
Deep in the Brazilian Amazon River basin, scientists discovered a small, river-fed lake filled with more than 100 adult electric eels. Researchers witnessed the electric eels working together to herd small fish into tightly packed balls. Groups of up to 10 eels periodically split off to form cooperative hunting parties. Those smaller groups then surrounded the prey and launched simultaneous electric attacks. The findings overturn the idea that these serpentine fish are exclusively solitary predators. (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)

Seawater as an electrical cable !? Wireless power transfers in the ocean
Toyohashi University of Technology research team has successfully transferred power and data wirelessly through seawater by using a power transmitter/receiver with four layers of ultra-thin, flat electrodes. Until now, it had been thought that wireless power transfers could only be achieved through magnetic coupling. This time, with a focus on the high-frequency properties of seawater, a third method for conductive coupling was devised, and a power transmitter/receiver was developed to achieve highly-efficient power transfers. (2021-01-13)

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)

UVA-led team expands power grid planning to improve system resilience
Researchers' paper in Nature Energy demonstrates that modernizing power grids and using renewable energy will be cheaper than repairing hurricane damage. (2021-01-11)

2D compound shows unique versatility
A unique two-dimensional material shows distinct properties on each side, depending on polarization by an external electric field. The pairing of antimony and indium selenide could have applications in solar energy and quantum computing. (2021-01-11)

Researchers repurpose 'damaged' polymer optical fibers to precisely measure magnetic fields
Optical fiber sensors can measure strain, temperature, pressure, and many other physical parameters along the fibers, but they are currently immune to electromagnetic noise -- interference from other external electric or magnetic interactions. It is a desirable trait, until the effect of the electromagnetic field on the fibers needs to be measured. An international research team has used what was previously considered a 'damaged' part of an optical fiber to develop such a magnetic field sensor. (2021-01-07)

High-flux table-top source for femtosecond hard X-ray pulses
Researchers at the Max Born Institute (MBI) in Berlin have now accomplished a breakthrough in table-top generation of femtosecond X-ray pulses by demonstrating a stable pulse train at kilohertz repetition rate with a total flux of some 10^12 X-ray photons per second. (2021-01-07)

It's getting hot in here: Warming world will fry power plant production in coming years
During the year's hottest months, many people rely on electricity-generated cooling systems to remain comfortable. But the power plants that keep air conditioners pushing out cold air could soon be in a vicious cycle in a warming world-not able to keep up with growing demands on hotter days and driving up greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous levels. (2021-01-06)

Record-setting thermoelectric figure of merit achieved for metal oxides
Scientists at Hokkaido University have developed a layered cobalt oxide with a record-setting thermoelectric figure of merit, which can be used to enhance thermoelectric power generation. (2020-12-22)

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)

Roadmap to renewables unites climate and sustainability goals
Are clean energy plans missing the forest for the GHGs? A study from UC Davis and John Hopkins University presents a roadmap to renewables that unites climate change and biodiversity goals. (2020-12-18)

New class of cobalt-free cathodes could enhance energy density of next-gen lithium-ion batteries
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in today's lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and consumer electronics. (2020-12-18)

Seeking answers in ferroelectric patterning
Why do some ferroelectric materials display 'bubble'-shaped patterning, while others display complex, labyrinthine patterns? A FLEET/UNSW study finds the changing patterns in ferroelectric films are driven by non-equilibrium dynamics, with topological defects driving subsequent evolution. Understanding the physics behind ferroelectric material patterns is crucial for designing advanced low-energy ferroelectric electronics, or brain-inspired neuromorphic computing. (2020-12-18)

A shock to the PPE system
A researcher at The University of Tokyo has shown that the N95 masks used by health care workers to prevent the spread of COVID can be sterilized and recharged using a van de Graaff generator. This work may lead to a much larger supply of personal protective equipment for those most likely to be exposed to the virus. (2020-12-17)

Invention may get Army quadcopters to move faster
Researchers believe a new hinge is the key to get load-bearing, large, Army quadrotors to climb a few dozen feet in seconds (2020-12-16)

Novel cathode design significantly improves performance of next-generation battery
A research team at HKUST has proposed a novel cathode design concept for lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery that substantially improves the performance of this kind of promising next-generation battery. (2020-12-11)

Single-crystal technology holds promise for next-generation lithium-ion batteries
Scientists have improved a promising battery technology, creating a single-crystal, nickel-rich cathode that is hardier and more efficient than before. It's one step toward improved lithium-ion batteries that are common in electric vehicles today. Increasing nickel content in the cathode is on the drawing board of lithium-ion battery makers largely because of its relatively low cost, wide availability and low toxicity compared to other key battery materials, such as cobalt. (2020-12-10)

Can sting rays and electric rays help us map the ocean floor?
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan have completed a feasibility study indicating that electric rays and sting rays equipped with pingers will be able to map the seabed through natural exploration. (2020-12-09)

Shining a light on what's really happening in perovskite solar cells
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba used electron spin resonance spectroscopy to follow the internal deterioration mechanism of perovskite solar cells while they were in operation. They showed correlation between changes in the spin states and the performance of the solar cells. It is hoped that the findings will provide a useful starting point for the continued development of perovskite solar cells and ultimately contribute to viable green energy solutions. (2020-12-09)

New JILA tools 'turn on' quantum gases of ultracold molecules
JILA researchers have developed tools to 'turn on' quantum gases of ultracold molecules, gaining control of long-distance molecular interactions for potential applications such as encoding data for quantum computing and simulations. (2020-12-09)

Magnesium contact ions stabilize the macromolecular structure of transfer RNA
In cells transfer RNA (tRNA) translates genetic information from the encoding messenger RNA (mRNA) for protein synthesis. New results from ultrafast spectroscopy and in-depth theoretical calculations demonstrate that the complex folded structure of tRNA is stabilized by magnesium ions in direct contact with phosphate groups at the RNA surface. (2020-12-09)

'Spooky Interactions', shocking adaptations discovered in electric fish of Brazil's Amazon
In findings published in the journal Frontiers, researchers have shown how a cave-adapted glass knifefish species of roughly 300 living members (Eigenmannia vicentespelea) has evolved from surface-dwelling relatives (Eigenmannia trilineata) that still live just outside their cave door -- by sacrificing their eyes and pigmentation, but gaining slightly more powerful electric organs that enhance the way they sense prey and communicate in absolute darkness. (2020-12-09)

Predicting epilepsy from neural network models
A new study published in EPJ B shows how 'tipping points' in the brain, responsible for diseases including epilepsy, can be better predicted by accounting for branches in networks of neurons. (2020-12-08)

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)

A colossal step for electronics
Scientists at Osaka University have created a thin-film resistor with a conductivity that can be controlled by exposing it to hydrogen and an external electric field. This work may lead to new gas sensors, as well as advanced materials that can dynamically respond to changes in the environment. (2020-12-08)

To accelerate or decelerate in the light-emitting process of zinc-oxide crystals
A recent study has measured the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of Zinc-Oxide (ZnO) crystals in both the light-emitting process and non-light-emitting process. (2020-12-06)

Electrical spin filtering the key to ultra-fast, energy-efficient spintronics
A new UNSW study is a step towards even-faster, more energy-efficient 'spintronic' technology - an exciting, beyond-CMOS technology. The new study applies 'spin-filtering' to separate spin orientation, allowing generation and detection of spin via electrical (rather than magnetic) means, because electric fields are a lot less energetically costly to generate than magnetic fields. (2020-12-03)

Ultrasensitive transistor for herbicide detection in water
University of Tokyo researchers have fabricated a tiny electronic sensor that can detect very low levels of a commonly used weed killer in drinking water. (2020-12-01)

Tunable rainbow light trapping in ultrathin resonator arrays
Light squeezed into nanoscale metallic gaps has a myriad of applications in sensing, energy, and nonlinear optics. Recently, scientists at the University of Toronto have developed a new paradigm for the design of ultrathin metallic nanostructures which allows for precision tailoring to fit any desired application. This design strategy, coupled with a novel fabrication technique, provides a promising platform for the advancement of nanoscale optics. (2020-12-01)

Army researchers look to reduce rotorcraft noise
Imagine a silent helicopter stealthily moving troops and supplies around a future battlefield. U.S. Army researchers look to helicopter noise reduction technology as a top priority in aircraft design. At the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory, researchers collaborated with Uber and the University of Texas at Austin to investigate the acoustic properties of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, which use distributed electric propulsion to power flight. (2020-12-01)

Holographic fluorescence imaging
A study in Science Advances by ICFO researchers, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, reports on a novel fluorescence holographic technique for the fast tracking of the 3D motion in cells. (2020-11-30)

Raman holography
Scientists from ICFO and University Rovira i Virgili report on a novel Raman holographic technique capable of tracking individual particles in 3D volumes from one single image. (2020-11-30)

Microfluidic system with cell-separating powers may unravel how novel pathogens attack
To develop effective therapeutics against pathogens, scientists need to first uncover how they attack host cells. An efficient way to conduct these investigations on an extensive scale is through high-speed screening tests called assays. (2020-11-30)

Grabbing viruses out of thin air
Materials that convert mechanical into electrical or magnetic energy could open the door to a future of wearable and structure-integrated virus sensors. (2020-11-25)

Guiding the way to improved solar cell performance
Small molecules could hold the key to enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells. (2020-11-24)

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