Blog Profile / Physorg Features

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:661
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:April 9, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Salinity-gradient-power cell's surprisingly high voltage gives it best cost-per-watt of its kind

Several different methods exist for generating electricity from the mixing of salt water and fresh water, which is also called salinity gradient power (SGP). One method uses concentration cells, in which two semi-cells separated by a porous diaphragm such as filter paper are filled with solutions of different ion concentrations. Show More Summary

Of catalysts and chirality: Highly-selective growth of structure-specific single-walled carbon nanotubes

( —Carbon – the chemical basis of all known life and an element known as far back as the 8th century BC – exists in a range of forms, or allotropes, with remarkably diverse properties. (Diamond, for example, is transparent and extremely hard tetrahedral lattice that conducts electricity poorly but is an excellent thermal conductor. Show More Summary

Test of equivalence principle searches for effects of spin-gravity coupling

( —Einstein's equivalence principle states that an object in gravitational free fall is physically equivalent to an object that is accelerating with the same amount of force in the absence of gravity. This principle lies at the heart of general relativity and has been experimentally tested many times. Show More Summary

Particle, meet wave: Optical qubit technique squeezes photons to bridge discrete and continuous quantum regimes

( —While quantum states are typically referred to as particles or waves, this is not actually the case. Rather, quantum states have complementary discrete particlelike and continuous wavelike properties that emerge based on the experimental or observational context. Show More Summary

Entanglement between particle and wave-like states of light resembles Schrodinger's cat experiment

( —While entangling cats with atoms is not exactly an active area of research in any physics lab today (as far as anyone knows), many physicists are working on a close analogy of Schrödinger's cat experiment. That is, they are developing methods to entangle classical objects (analogous to the cat) with quantum particles (like an individual atom).

Artificial spacetime experiment could show tantalizing effects of gravitational waves

( —Although the curves and ripples of spacetime are suspected to be full of intriguing secrets about the history of the universe, they are also extremely difficult to study. For this reason, some physicists are turning to the lab to attempt to recreate spacetime geometries where they can be more easily analyzed.

Liquid crystals controlled by magnetic fields may lead to new optical applications

( —Liquid crystals are widely known for their use in LCD TVs, in which quickly changing electrical fields are used to control the molecular order of the liquid crystals. This in turn changes how light is transmitted through the liquid crystals to make the pictures change on the TV screen.

Which happened first: Did sounds form words, or words form sentences?

The origins of language is, in some ways, more complicated to study than the origins of other biological traits because language does not fossilize or leave behind physical traces the way that bones and tissues do. However, there are other ways to study the origins of language, such as watching children learn to speak, analyzing genetics, and exploring how animals communicate.

Venus-flytrap-like gripper could capture individual cells in the human body

( —No two biological cells are exactly the same. Even a small biopsied tumor sample contains cells with large variations in their proliferation rate, potential for metastasis, drug responsiveness, etc. However, because of the...Show More Summary

Spiral-shaped 'light fan' adds new twist to laser-driven plasma accelerators

( —For the past few decades, physicists have been studying the phenomenon of "twisted light," which is light that is twisted like a corkscrew along its axis of travel. Due to the twisting, the light waves at the center of the axis cancel out, resulting in a ring of light with a dark spot in the center. Show More Summary

Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology

( —In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium...Show More Summary

From barrels to biology: Scientists develop cost-competitive bioderived polymers for a post-petroleum future

( —The advantages of sustainable, biodegradable, carbon-neutral and bioderived renewable polymers – that is, synthetic polymers based on biomolecules produced by living organisms – are reflected in the extent of the research recently conducted into their development. Show More Summary

Scientists shoot carbon nanotubes out of high-speed gun (w/ video)

( —What happens when you shoot multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) out of a gun onto an aluminum target at a velocity of more than 15,000 mph? Scientists finally have the answer. If a nanotube reaches the target at a 90° angle (head-on), it will break and deform quite drastically. Show More Summary

New test may provide 'smoking gun' for modified gravity

( —Since 1916, general relativity has provided a description of gravity that can explain many observations, including objects in free fall, gravitational lensing by massive objects, and black holes. Despite the success of the...Show More Summary

Superconducting refrigerator cools via tunneling cascade

( —Cooling microscopic objects to temperatures near absolute zero requires unconventional refrigeration technologies. One microscale cooling method is superconducting refrigeration, in which refrigerators extract hot quasiparticles (collective excitations) from non-superconducting metals and transport them to superconducting metals. Show More Summary

Graphene quantum dot flash memories look promising for data storage

( —Today's commercial flash memories usually store data as electric charge in polysilicon layers. Because polysilicon is a single continuous material, defects in the material can interfere with the desired charge movement, which can limit data retention and density.

Introducing synthetic features to living organisms without genetic modification

( —Genetic engineering is one of the great achievements of modern science, allowing for the insertion or deletion of genes in order to control an organism's characteristics and behaviors. However, genetic engineering has its...Show More Summary

Eavesdroppers begone: New quantum key distribution technique is impervious to noise

( —Cryptography – the art and science of providing secure communications – typically employs three methods to authenticate users and prevent data theft: secret key (symmetric) cryptography, which uses a single key for both encryption...Show More Summary

Four-color theorem linked to crystal's magnetic properties

( —Sometimes mathematical theories have implications that extend far beyond their original purpose. This situation holds true for the four-color theorem, which was originally used by cartographers hundreds of years ago to draw maps. Show More Summary

Herding in the stock market may inspire human-guided trading algorithms

( —Humans have a strong tendency to belong to a group, an instinct that often manifests in herding behavior. Not limited to humans, herding exists throughout nature, for example in ant colonies, schools of fish, and flocks of birds. But what about the stock market?

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