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Blog Profile / Physorg Features

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:590
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:April 9, 2010

Blog Post Archive

What can slime molds offer computing?

Slime molds may not have brains, but that isn't preventing some computer scientists from investigating them for their potential as novel, unconventional computers. A slime mold consists of a single cell containing millions of nuclei, and forms a network of protoplasmic tubes to move toward its food source along nearly the shortest paths. Show More Summary

Mars may act as a giant planetary pump

( —The surface of Mars is full of activity, with dust storms, dust devils, and drifting dunes in constant motion. Scientists suspect that similarly rich activity may exist underneath the surface, even though it has never been seen. Show More Summary

Graphene origami opens up new spintronics features

( —Despite graphene's many impressive properties, its lack of a bandgap limits its use in electronic applications. In a new study, scientists have theoretically shown that a bandgap can be opened in graphene by folding 2D graphene sheets origami-style and exposing them to a magnetic field. Show More Summary

Maxwell's demon can use quantum information to generate work

( —In theory, Maxwell's demon can decrease the entropy of a system by opening and closing a door at appropriate times to separate hot and cold gas molecules. But as physicist Leó Szilárd pointed out in 1929, entropy does not decrease in such a situation because the demon's measurement process requires information, which is a form of entropy. Show More Summary

When liquids behave like solids

( —When a rubber ball and a droplet of water are compressed onto a solid surface, they behave very differently. For the ball, the compression process is reversible, so the ball retains its original form when decompressed. In...Show More Summary

New view of dendrites in Li batteries gets to the root of the problem

( —One of the biggest challenges facing rechargeable batteries with lithium (Li) electrodes is the growth of dendrites, which can short-circuit the batteries and cause complete failure. Although dendrites do their damage inShow More Summary

Quantum dots with confined light holes could have applications in quantum technologies

( —Semiconductor quantum dots are being widely studied for their potential use in future quantum technologies. One of the reasons for their appeal is that they can confine quantum bits such as excitons and spins inside of them. Show More Summary

Two for the price of one: Single-molecule microscopy simultaneously monitors protein structure and function

( —Proteins accomplish something rather amazing: A protein can have many functions, with a given function being determined by the way they fold into a specific three-dimensional geometry, or conformations. Moreover, the structural transitions form one conformation to another is reversible. Show More Summary

Invisibility cloak hides parts of objects, leaves other parts visible

( —When Harry Potter walks around with a visible head but an invisible body, the performance seems strongly rooted in fantasy. But in a new study, scientists have designed and fabricated an invisibility cloak that may make such a feat possible. Show More Summary

Harmonic holograms: High-speed three-dimensional imaging captures biological dynamics

( —In the world of biomedical science, optical microscopy rules – and nonlinear optical microscopy, which uses ultrashort pulse lasers as the illumination source, allows researchers to glean much greater detail from biological specimens. Show More Summary

Robots may receive urine-powered artificial 'hearts'

( —It's a first: researchers have built the first artificial-heart-like pump that is powered by microbial fuel cells fed on human urine. But instead of being used as a prosthetic device for human patients suffering from cardiac failure, the pump is intended to be used in "EcoBots" that extract energy from organic waste and turn it into electricity.

Express yourself: Scientists use genetic algorithm to design self-assembling ssDNA-grafted particles

( —Material design usually follows what is known as the Edisonian method, a traditional process characterized by trial-and-error discovery rather than a systematic theoretical approach. While this may be somewhat inaccurateShow More Summary

Proton radius puzzle may be solved by quantum gravity

( —Officially, the radius of a proton is 0.88 ± 0.01 femtometers (fm, or 10-15 m). Researchers attained that value using two methods: first, by measuring the proton's energy levels using hydrogen spectroscopy, and second, by...Show More Summary

Physicists add 'quantum Cheshire Cats' to list of quantum paradoxes

( —Given all the weird things that can occur in quantum mechanics—from entanglement to superposition to teleportation—not much seems surprising in the quantum world. Nevertheless, a new finding that an object's physical properties can be disembodied from the object itself is not something we're used to seeing on an everyday basis. Show More Summary

Ultra-flexible battery's performance rises to meet demands of wearable electronics

( —While there has been much research lately on the development of flexible electronic devices that can be integrated into clothes, glasses, watches, and even skin, the limiting factor of this technology is the battery. Although...Show More Summary

Organic semiconductor transistor made of a single nanoparticle achieves highest mobility yet

( —Organic semiconducting devices have many positive attributes, such as their low cost, high flexibility, light weight, and ease of processing. However, one drawback of organic semiconductors is that they generally have a low electron mobility, resulting in a weak current and poor conductivity.

Scientists create light bullets for high-intensity optical applications

( —Controlling the propagation of high-intensity light beams as they travel through air (or other transparent media) is a challenging task, but scientists have now shown that a relatively new type of light beam called a ring-Airy beam can self-focus into intense light bullets that propagate over extended distances. Show More Summary

Physicists 'uncollapse' a partially collapsed qubit

( —One of the striking features of a qubit is that, unlike a classical bit, it can be in two states at the same time. That is, until a measurement is made on the qubit, causing it to collapse into a single state. This measurement process and the resulting collapse may at first seem irreversible. Show More Summary

'Peanut' particles could be used to build micro-scale factories

( —One of the main components of a factory is the robots that transport and assemble objects of varying shapes and sizes. When scaling down to the micro level, the steel and wiring that these robots are made of must be replaced by something else—one new idea is peanut-shaped particles that are propelled with light and steered by magnetic fields.

Photon-plasmon nanowire laser offers new opportunities in light manipulation

Recently, researchers have been developing a new type of laser that combines photons and plasmons (electron density oscillations) into a single radiation-emitting device with unique properties. In particular, nanoscale photon-plasmon lasers can emit light that is more tightly confined than the light emitted by lasers that use only photons.

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