news 2012



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Physics - Chemistry - 11.12.2012
Alternative to fullerenes in organic solar cells - just as exciting
An insight into the properties of fullerene is set to open the door to a new class of electronic acceptors which can be used to build better and cheaper organic solar cells. Organic solar cells have advanced a great deal since they were first invented nearly 20 years ago, but the fullerene component has remained largely the same and this has had a braking effect on the evolution of the technology.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 28.11.2012
Graphite experiment shines new light on giant planets, white dwarfs & laser-driven fusion
An international team led by researchers from the University of Warwick and Oxford University is now dealing with unexpected results of an experiment with strongly heated graphite (up to 17,000 degrees Kelvin). The findings may pose a new problem for physicists working in laser-driven nuclear fusion and may also lead astrophysicists to revise our understanding of the life cycle of giant planets and stars.

Physics - Life Sciences - 20.11.2012
Nanoscale ’rainbows’ could lead to improved solar cells and TV screens
New research at King's College London may lead to improved solar cells and LED-displays. Researchers from the Biophysics and Nanotechnology Group at King's, led by Anatoly Zayats in the Department of Physics have demonstrated in detail how to separate colours and create 'rainbows' using nanoscale structures on a metal surface.

Chemistry - Physics - 20.11.2012
Researchers improve technology to detect hazardous chemicals
Researchers improve technology to detect hazardous chemicals
Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a system to quickly detect trace amounts of chemicals like pollutants, explosives or illegal drugs. The new system can pick out a single target molecule from 10 000 trillion water molecules within milliseconds, by trapping it on a self-assembling single layer of gold nanoparticles.

Physics - Mechanical Engineering - 15.11.2012
University of Glasgow makes breakthrough in understanding of turbulence
A mathematician at the University of Glasgow is helping to find an answer to one of the last unsolved problems in classical mechanics. Andrew Baggaley, of the University's School of Mathematics and Statistics, has published a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters ,which extends our understanding of the chaotic motion of fluids, commonly known as turbulence.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 13.11.2012
Supersymmetry squeezed as LHC spots ultra rare particle decay
Supersymmetry squeezed as LHC spots ultra rare particle decay
An observation of this very rare decay is a key result that is putting our Supersymmetry theory colleagues in a spin. Results of this quality rely on the dedication and enthusiasm of research post-docs who analyse the data as it pours from the experiment" —Professor Val Gibson The result is very damaging to new theories like the extremely popular Supersymmetry.

Physics - 07.11.2012
Quantum kisses change the colour of nothing
Quantum kisses change the colour of nothing
—Professor Jeremy Baumberg from the University of Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory Even empty gaps have a colour. Now scientists have shown that quantum jumps of electrons can change the colour of gaps between nano-sized balls of gold. The new results set a fundamental quantum limit on how tightly light can be trapped.

Physics - 01.11.2012
Scientists perform new experiment to solve the 'one real mystery' of quantum mechanics
Scientists perform new experiment to solve the ’one real mystery’ of quantum mechanics
What is light made of: waves or particles? This basic question has fascinated physicists since the early days of science. Quantum mechanics predicts that photons, particles of light, are both particles and waves simultaneously. Reporting in Science, physicists from the University of Bristol give a new demonstration of this wave-particle duality of photons, dubbed the 'one real mystery of quantum mechanics' by Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman.

Physics - Chemistry - 24.10.2012
Electron 'sniper' targets graphene
Electron 'sniper' targets graphene
Because of its intriguing properties graphene could be the ideal material for building new kinds of electronic devices such as sensors, screens, or even quantum computers. One of the keys to exploiting graphene's potential is being able to create atomic-scale defects - where carbon atoms in its flat, honeycomb-like structure are rearranged or 'knocked out' - as these influence its electrical, chemical, magnetic, and mechanical properties.

Physics - Computer Science - 23.10.2012
Quantum computing with recycled particles
Quantum computing with recycled particles
A research team from the University of Bristol's Centre for Quantum Photonics (CQP) have brought the reality of a quantum computer one step closer by experimentally demonstrating a technique for significantly reducing the physical resources required for quantum factoring. The team have shown how it is possible to recycle the particles inside a quantum computer, so that quantum factoring can be achieved with only one third of the particles originally required.

History / Archeology - Physics - 12.10.2012
Science illuminating art
Science illuminating art
Illuminated manuscripts are revealing their secret histories thanks to the application of techniques more commonly found in scientific laboratories. Art historical and linguistic research can take you a long way towards answering questions but scientific analysis can clinch arguments and dispel myths." —Dr Stella Panayotova Fairy-tale pinnacles stretch to the horizon in an azure sky, scarlet flags flutter, an angel plays a golden horn, and the Madonna, shrouded in folds of tumbling ivory, serenely cradles her newborn baby.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.10.2012
Large water reservoirs at the dawn of stellar birth
Scientists from the University of Leeds have discovered enough water vapour to fill Earth's oceans more than 2000 times over in a gas and dust cloud which is about to collapse into a Sun-like star. The research, led by Professor Paola Caselli, is the first detection of water vapour in a ‘pre-stellar core’, the cold, dark clouds of gas and dust from which stars form.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 03.10.2012
New technique to counter the effects of solar activity on GNSS
It's long been known that increased activity related to the 11-year solar cycle may disrupt Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). As we approach the 2013 solar maximum, researchers at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI) have developed a new technique which retains a high degree of accuracy under adverse ionospheric conditions.

Physics - 02.10.2012
Pulling the strings
Pulling the strings
Look hard enough, string theory says, and at a scale so small that atoms loom as large as entire continents do to us you would see that every particle in the universe is just the product of vibrating strings. It's a powerful idea that could help to explain everything from black holes to hidden dimensions, and lead to a new understanding of gravity.

Physics - 01.10.2012
Curiosity finds evidence of ancient riverbed on Mars
Curiosity finds evidence of ancient riverbed on Mars
Nasa's Curiosity rover has captured photographs of rounded pebbles which suggest the past existence of an ancient riverbed on the surface of Mars. Since landing in Gale Crater on 5 August, the six-wheeled mobile laboratory has sent high resolution images of the Martian landscape back to the control team in Pasadena, California, who are looking for evidence of habitability.

Physics - 01.10.2012
First images of Landau levels revealed
Physicists have directly imaged Landau Levels - the quantum levels that determine electron behaviour in a strong magnetic field - for the first time since they were theoretically conceived of by Nobel prize winner Lev Landau in 1930. Using scanning tunnelling spectroscopy - a spatially resolved probe that interacts directly with the electrons - scientists at institutions including the University of Warwick and Tohoku University have revealed the internal ring-like structure of these Landau Levels at the surface of a semiconductor.

Physics - 01.10.2012
Loopholes discovered in Sun's magnetic belt
Loopholes discovered in Sun’s magnetic belt
The mystery surrounding how an electrically charged solar wind can be unleashed from around the Sun's equator - an area where strong magnetic fields should strap it to the surface - has been solved by an international team of researchers. Using data from the Hinode telescope, researchers have been studying the 'slow' solar wind, which comes from the aptly named 'equatorial belt' of the Sun where the magnetic field is strapped to the surface of our local star.

Chemistry - Physics - 19.09.2012
Researchers develop printable lasers
A way of printing lasers using everyday inkjet technology has been created by scientists. The development has a wide range of possible applications, ranging from biomedical testing to laser arrays for displays.

Physics - Earth Sciences - 17.09.2012
Dark energy camera records first images
Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant galaxies began their long journey to Earth. On 12 September, that ancient starlight found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, where the newly-constructed Dark Energy Camera, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, captured and recorded it for the first time.

Physics - Administration - 10.09.2012
African fruit ‘brightest’ thing in nature but does not use pigment to create its extraordinary colour
African fruit ‘brightest’ thing in nature but does not use pigment to create its extraordinary colour
This obscure little plant has hit on a fantastic way of making an irresistible shiny, sparkly, multi-coloured, iridescent signal to every bird in the vicinity." —Beverley Glover The 'brightest' thing in nature, the Pollia condensata fruit, does not get its blue colour from pigment but instead uses structural colour - a method of reflecting light of particular wavelengths- new research reveals.
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