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Synopsis: Acoustic Waves Direct Particles in Microchannels

Acoustic waves guided by the channels of a microfluidic device can precisely manipulate microscopic particles suspended in the liquid flowing through the device. [Physics] Published Thu Feb 15, 2018

Bats’ hairy tongues are perfectly adapted for lapping up nectar

If you're a greedy bat, it helps to have a hairy tongue. The hairs will ensure that you can slurp as much nectar as possible from flowers into your mouth

Simulations reveal that atomic disorder from radiation can launch a cycle of self-healing in ceramic oxides

Scientists discovered a self-healing cycle for defects in ceramics predicted by advanced atomic-level simulations. Irradiation creates defects and causes the ordered atomic structure to become disordered. Simulations showed that creation of a threshold amount of disorder caused the displaced atoms to move faster. This sped up annihilation of the defects and healed the structure.

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

Quantum entanglement is a key feature of quantum computing. Yet, how can researchers verify that a quantum computer actually incorporates large-scale entanglement? Conventional methods require a large number of repeated measurements, presenting research difficulties. Show More Summary

Current generated when light hits a material reveals electrons behaving like an elusive particle

A massless particle, a.k.a. Weyl fermion, predicted nearly 100 years ago, has been found in another corner of physics. Electrons in a semimetal can behave like these particles. They are either right-handed or left-handed—they are mirror images like our hands. Show More Summary

US National Science Foundation clamps down on misconduct

Agency will now require every grantee organization to report cases of sexual harassment

Looking – into the future

With age comes failing eyesight, but Helen Gleeson hopes her team’s research into liquid-crystal contact lenses that can switch focus may provide a solution

The search for dark matter—axions have ever-fewer places to hide

If they exist, axions, among the candidates for dark matter particles, could interact with the matter comprising the universe, but at a much weaker extent than previously theorized. New, rigorous constraints on the properties of axions have been proposed by an international team of scientists.

Recreating outer space plasma systems in the lab

Thermodynamics provides insight into the internal energy of a system and the energy interaction with its surroundings. This relies on the local thermal equilibrium of a system. The application of classical thermodynamics to systems in disequilibrium is challenging. These include granular gas and materials, hard sphere packing in 3-D, and plasma systems.

Turning background room temperature heat into energy

Every time we convert energy from one form to another, part of that energy is lost in the form of heat. Trying to efficiently get that energy back is very difficult once it is lost to the environment. Thermoelectric devices can change heat energy into electricity, and vice versa. Show More Summary

Silicon qubits plus light add up to new quantum computing capability

A silicon-based quantum computing device could be closer than ever due to a new experimental device that demonstrates the potential to use light as a messenger to connect quantum bits of information—known as qubits—that are not immediately adjacent to each other. Show More Summary

Viewpoint: Atoms Oscillate Collectively in Large Optical Lattice

Author(s): Helmut Ritsch By coupling atoms in an optical lattice to a thin elastic membrane, researchers have demonstrated a dynamic instability that is evidence of collective atomic motion. [Physics 11, 17] Published Wed Feb 14, 20...

Stock market forces can be modeled with a quantum harmonic oscillator

Traditionally, a quantum harmonic oscillator model is used to describe the tiny vibrations in a diatomic molecule, but the description is also universal in the sense that it can be extended to a variety of other situations in physics and beyond. Show More Summary

Quantum time machine: How the future can change what happens now

The idea that the future can influence the past may finally explain the inherent randomness of quantum theory and bring it in line with Einstein's space-time

Breaking local symmetry—why water freezes but silica forms a glass

Everyone knows that water freezes at 0 degrees C. Life on Earth would be vastly different if this were not so. However, water's cousin, silica, exhibits wayward behavior when cooled that has long puzzled scientists.

Simulations reveal how sharp boundaries endure in soft tissue

Research could help explain how cells organize into complex living systems

Building a firm foundation in vacuum technology

Sponsored article: One company's evolution from a small component manufacturer to a major supplier of precision vacuum equipment highlights the importance of expert knowledge for winning customer trust

New turbulent transport modeling shows multiscale fluctuations in heated plasma

Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, a DOE Office of Science user facility operated by General Atomics, used a "reduced physics" fluid model of plasma turbulence to explain unexpected properties of the density profile inside a tokamak experiment. Show More Summary

Show your affection with physics valentines

When it comes to love, sometimes you have to say it with science.

A single atom is visible to the naked eye in this stunning photo

This photo shows a strontium atom suspended in electric fields. A blue laser makes the tiny dot visible, though it’s only 215 billionths of a millimetre wide

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