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A single electron's tiny leap sets off 'molecular sunscreen' response

In experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists were able to see the first step of a process that protects a DNA building block called thymine from sun damage: When it's hit with ultraviolet light, a single electron jumps into a slightly higher orbit around the nucleus of a single oxygen atom.

Focus: Image

Author(s): David Ehrenstein Predictions of diffraction patterns for honeycomb photonic crystals were part of a comprehensive study of these structures that may be useful in nanoscale photonic devices. [Physics 10, 71] Published Fri Jun 23, 2017

World’s biggest neutrino experiment moves one step closer

The startup of a 25-ton test detector at CERN advances technology for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

This Week’s Hype

I’m on vacation in Europe, not in any mood to spend more time on this than just to point out that it’s the same usual tedious string theory promotional operation from the same people who have been at this for … Continue reading ?

Synthetic iris could let cameras react to light like our eyes do

The iris in our eyes shrinks the pupil in bright light and enlarges it in the dark, and now an artificial version could do the same for both eyes and cameras

Piling on pressure solves enduring mystery about metal's makeup

Scientists have solved a decades-old puzzle about a widely used metal, thanks to extreme pressure experiments and powerful supercomputing.

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

In an arranged marriage of optics and mechanics, physicists have created microscopic structural beams that have a variety of powerful uses when light strikes them. Able to operate in ordinary, room-temperature environments, yet exploiting...Show More Summary

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved

At EPFL, researchers challenge a fundamental law and discover that more electromagnetic energy can be stored in wave-guiding systems than previously thought. The discovery has implications in telecommunications. Working around the fundamental...Show More Summary

New screen coating makes reading in sunlight a lot easier—the secret? Moth eyes

Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

Assistant Professor Taichi Goto at Toyohashi University of Technology elucidated the noise generation mechanism of the spin wave (SW), the wave of a magnetic moment transmitted through magnetic oxide, and established a way to suppress it. Show More Summary

3-D virus cam catches germs red-handed

Before germs like viruses can make you sick, they first have to make a landing on one of your cells—Mars Rover style—and then punch their way inside.

Injector 2—a pre-accelerator for protons

As fundamental building blocks of matter, protons are a part of all things that surround us. At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, however, they step out of their usual role and are deployed to generate other particles, namely neutrons and muons, which are subsequently used to study materials. Show More Summary

Ultra-thin camera creates images without lenses

Traditional cameras—even those on the thinnest of cell phones—cannot be truly flat due to their optics: lenses that require a certain shape and size in order to function. At Caltech, engineers have developed a new camera design that replaces the lenses with an ultra-thin optical phased array (OPA). Show More Summary

Camera captures microscopic holograms at femtosecond speeds

Researchers from ITMO University have built a setup for recording holograms of tiny objects like living cells at femtosecond speeds. The new method reconstructs the phase topography of a sample according to deformations that emerge in a laser pulse when it passes through the specimen. Show More Summary

Synopsis: Laser Stars Under the Lens

Raman scattering could contaminate astronomical observations that use artificial, laser-generated “stars” to correct for the effect of atmospheric turbulence. [Physics] Published Thu Jun 22, 2017

Synopsis: Sensing Earthly Magnetic Fields

An organic material’s resistance changes measurably in weak magnetic fields, with a sensitivity similar to that of migrating birds. [Physics] Published Thu Jun 22, 2017

Fermilab celebrates its website’s 25th anniversary

Twenty-five years ago this month, Fermilab stood up its first website — one of the earliest websites in the United States.

African School works to develop local expertise

Universities in sub-Saharan Africa are teaming up to offer free training to students interested in fundamental physics. Last Feremenga was born in a small town in Zimbabwe. As a high school student in a specialized school in the capital,...Show More Summary

Alex Halderman testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee

This morning, my childhood best friend Alex Halderman testified before the US Senate about the proven ease of hacking electronic voting machines without leaving any record, the certainty that Russia has the technical capability to hack American elections, and the urgency of three commonsense (and cheap) countermeasures: a paper trail for every vote cast in every state, […]

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