news 2013



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Physics - 13.12.2013
Graphene research lands one of 2013 top 10 physics breakthroughs
Graphene research lands one of 2013 top 10 physics breakthroughs
13 Dec 2013 Research by a University of Manchester scientist has been included in the top 10 breakthroughs in physics in 2013, as judged by Physics World magazine. Dr Roman Gorbachev was highly commended for research he and his team carried out the first measurement of Hofstadter's butterfly in a solid-state system.

Chemistry - Physics - 13.12.2013
Noble gas molecule discovered in space
A molecule containing a noble gas has been discovered in space by a team including astronomers from Cardiff University. The find was made using a Cardiff-led instrument aboard Europe's Herschel Space Observatory. The molecule, argon hydride, was seen in the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded 1,000 years ago.

Physics - Chemistry - 13.12.2013
First noble gas molecules in space
First noble gas molecules in space
Noble gas molecules have been detected in space for the first time in the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, by astronomers at UCL. Watch a video explaining the findings Led by Professor Mike Barlow (UCL Physics & Astronomy) the team used ESA's Herschel Space Observatory to observe the Crab Nebula in far infrared light.

Electroengineering - Physics - 04.12.2013
Diamond could hold more charge
For a copy of the paper, go to Nano Electronic Diamond Devices and Systems group Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found an improved method to introduce mobile electronic charge into synthetic diamond. The improved method will increase the stability and performance of electronic components such as transistors made from diamond and lead to a new generation of tough and durable electronic systems that could be used in space.

Physics - Chemistry - 22.11.2013
Nobel laureate marks Bragg centenary
Professor Dan Shechtman celebrated crystallography's profound impact on modern science in the Bragg Centenary Lecture 2013 - and explained how he overturned one of the discipline's key principles. Professor Shechtman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011, spoke in the University’s Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre on November 21 at the culmination of a year of events marking the centenary of the development of X-ray crystallography by William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg at Leeds in 1912-13.

Physics - Chemistry - 18.11.2013
Two for one in solar power
A process that could revolutionise solar energy harvesting has been efficiently demonstrated in solution for the first time. We are only beginning to understand how this process works, and as we learn more we expect improvements in the technology to follow Brian Walker Solar cells offer the opportunity to harvest abundant, renewable energy.

Art and Design - Physics - 06.11.2013
Solar panels perform better when listening to music
Solar panels perform better when listening to music
The sound vibrations that make up music can make solar panels work harder, according to new research, and pop music performs better than classical. Scientists showed that high pitched sounds like those common in pop and rock music caused the greatest improvement in the solar cells' power output, increasing it by up to forty per cent.

Physics - 06.11.2013
Volume of nuclear waste could be reduced by 90 per cent says new research
Volume of nuclear waste could be reduced by 90 per cent says new research
Engineers from the University of Sheffield have developed a way to significantly reduce the volume of some higher activity wastes, which will reduce the cost of interim storage and final disposal. The researchers, from the University's Faculty of Engineering, have shown that mixing plutonium-contaminated waste with blast furnace slag and turning it into glass reduces its volume by 85-95 per cent.

Mechanical Engineering - Physics - 06.11.2013
Nanoscale ’tsunami’ helps locusts tune in
The remarkable mechanism by which the tiny ears of locusts can hear and distinguish between different tones has been discovered by researchers from the University of Bristol. Understanding how the nanoscale features of the insect eardrum mechanically process sound could open up practical possibilities for the fabrication of embedded signal processing in extremely small microphones.

Chemistry - Physics - 06.11.2013
Big beats bolster solar cell efficiency
Playing pop and rock music improves the performance of solar cells, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London. The high frequencies and pitch found in pop and rock music cause vibrations that enhanced energy generation in solar cells containing a cluster of 'nanorods', leading to a 40 per cent increase in efficiency of the solar cells.

Physics - 04.11.2013
Quantum ’sealed envelope’ system enables "perfectly secure" information storage
Breakthrough guarantees "unconditional" security of information by harnessing quantum theory and relativity, and has been successfully demonstrated on a global scale for the first time.

History / Archeology - Physics - 01.11.2013
New light shed on history of ancient glass
It's an everyday material we take for granted but now the secrets of how we came to benefit from the many uses of the most unique of substances.. glass, are revealed in a new book by a world-leading archaeologist from The University of Nottingham. The beautifully illustrated Cambridge University Press volume, 'Ancient Glass', by Professor Julian Henderson , is the first monograph of this versatile composite material to combine forensic investigational techniques from both the sciences and the humanities.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 01.11.2013
Former missile-tracking telescope helps reveal fate of baby pulsar
Former missile-tracking telescope helps reveal fate of baby pulsar
01 Nov 2013 A radio telescope once used to track ballistic missiles has helped astronomers determine how the magnetic field structure and rotation of the young and rapidly rotating Crab pulsar evolves with time. The Crab pulsar is a neutron star which formed in a massive cosmic explosion seen in both Europe and China in AD 1054 as a bright star in the daytime sky.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 30.10.2013
New dark matter detector sends first data from gold mine 1.5km underground
New dark matter detector sends first data from gold mine 1.5km underground
Scientists testing the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment have reported promising scientific and technological results today. They have set up the experiment to identify the nature of dark matter, an invisible substance that physicists believe is all around us, making up most of the matter in the universe, but that barely has any effect on our every-day lives.

Physics - 30.10.2013
Manchester leads the Physics charm offensive
Manchester leads the Physics charm offensive
30 Oct 2013 Manchester scientists working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) have reported the world's most precise measurement of the difference between matter and antimatter – known as CP violation – during the decay of charm particles. The team, which included colleagues from the universities of Oxford and Glasgow, presented their findings at the sixth International Workshop for Charm Physics hosted by The University of Manchester's School of Physics and Astronomy in September and have now submitted their publication .

Physics - Chemistry - 28.10.2013
New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue
New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue
A common blue pigment used in the 5 note could have an important role to play in the development of a quantum computer, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature . The pigment, copper phthalocyanine (CuPc), which is similar to the light harvesting section of the chlorophyll molecule, is a low-cost organic semiconductor that is found in many household products.

Physics - Mathematics - 25.10.2013
Scientists identify a mathematical 'crystal ball' that may predict calamities
Scientists identify a mathematical ’crystal ball’ that may predict calamities
Scientists identify a mathematical 'crystal ball' that may predict calamities Neuroscientists have come up with a mathematical equation that may help predict calamities such as financial crashes in economic systems and epileptic seizures in the brain. The University of Sussex-led study, published this week (24 October 2013) in Physics Review Letters , could have far-reaching implications.

Physics - Art and Design - 22.10.2013
Atomic movies reveal 'ultimate spring'
Atomic movies reveal 'ultimate spring'
An international team, including Oxford University scientists, has used the powerful X-ray laser at the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create atomic-scale movies of 'the ultimate spring'. Normally, when a metal is crushed suddenly, as during an impact, it deforms and buckles, with the atoms re-arranging themselves in a complex way to take up the deformed shape - and usually only small pressures allow a metal to 'bounce back' like a spring.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 17.10.2013
The strange misalignment of Kepler-56 and its planets
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a stellar system in our Galaxy where the spin of its 'red giant' star and the orbits of its planets are misaligned, according to research published in the journal Science today (17 October 2013). In our own solar system the rotation of the Sun and the orbits of the planets are perfectly aligned, with the spin axis of the Sun at right angles to the orbits of the planets.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 11.10.2013
Iron in the Earth's core weakens before melting
Iron in the Earth’s core weakens before melting
The iron in the Earth's inner core weakens dramatically before it melts, explaining the unusual properties that exist in the moon-sized solid centre of our planet that have, up until now, been difficult to understand. Scientists use seismic waves - pulses of energy generated during earthquakes - to measure what is happening in the Earth's inner core, which at 6000 km beneath our feet is completely inaccessible.
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