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Astronomy / Space - Physics - 12.05.2023
Shining ring around black holes recreated in the lab
Shining ring around black holes recreated in the lab
Researchers have created a spinning disc of plasma in a lab, mimicking discs found around black holes and forming stars. The experiment more accurately models what happens in these plasma discs, which could help researchers discover how black holes grow and how collapsing matter forms stars. As matter approaches black holes it heats up, becoming plasma - a fourth state of matter consisting of charged ions and free electrons.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.05.2023
Sustainable solar cell material shown to be highly promising for medical imaging
Sustainable solar cell material shown to be highly promising for medical imaging
Using X-rays to see inside the human body has revolutionised non-invasive medical diagnostics. However, the dose of X-rays required for imaging is far higher than background levels, due to the poor performance of the detector materials currently available. This can cause harm to patients, and in some cases even cancer.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 02.05.2023
Signs that a rocky exoplanet could have an atmosphere detected by JWST
Signs that a rocky exoplanet could have an atmosphere detected by JWST
Scientists working with the James Webb Space Telescope say new data potentially shows water vapour around a rocky exoplanet - a first if confirmed. However, the water signature may also be coming from the star itself, so additional observations are needed. Water vapour has been seen on gaseous exoplanets before, but to date no atmosphere has been detected around a rocky exoplanet - defined as those with sizes less than or equal to 1.4x Earth's radius.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 26.04.2023
Most massive touching stars ever found will eventually collide as black holes
Most massive touching stars ever found will eventually collide as black holes
Two massive touching stars in a neighbouring galaxy are on course to become black holes that will eventually crash together, generating waves in the fabric of space-time, according to a new study by researchers at UCL and the University of Potsdam. The study, accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics , looked at a known binary star (two stars orbiting around a mutual centre of gravity), analysing starlight obtained from a range of groundand space-based telescopes.

Materials Science - Physics - 19.04.2023
Intelligent membranes with memories make next-generation smart filters
Researchers from the National Graphene Institute (NGI) have made 'intelligent' membranes whose 'memory' can be used in areas like smart separation technology, wound management, drug delivery, sensors and memory devices. "The history of membrane development spans more than 100 years and has led to a revolution in industrial separation processes," says Professor Rahul Raveendran Nair , Carlsberg/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair and study team leader.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 17.04.2023
Researchers team up with NASA to launch new citizen science study
Researchers team up with NASA to launch new citizen science study
The cosmos is roaring with activity produced by the fourth state of matter - and now we can listen to it. Contrary to popular belief, space isn't a total vacuum - it's actually full of activity, with 99.999% of the universe's matter found in the form of the mysterious fourth state of matter: plasma.

Physics - 12.04.2023
Wonder material graphene claims yet another superlative
In a paper published in Nature this week (13 Apr 2023), researchers from The University of Manchester report record-high magnetoresistance that appears in graphene under ambient conditions. Materials that strongly change their resistivity under magnetic fields are highly sought for various applications and, for example, every car and every computer contain many tiny magnetic sensors.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 12.04.2023
Jupiter icy moon explorer prepares to discover new worlds
Jupiter icy moon explorer prepares to discover new worlds
A Jupiter-exploring mission, which includes hardware provided by UCL scientists, is due to take off tomorrow (Thursday 13 April)m and will investigate whether some of the planet's icy moons are home to conditions that could support life. The European Space Agency's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will spend eight years travelling to the Jupiter system.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 11.04.2023
New findings that map the universe's cosmic growth support Einstein's theory of gravity
New findings that map the universe’s cosmic growth support Einstein’s theory of gravity
A new image reveals the most detailed map of dark matter distributed across a quarter of the entire sky, reaching deep into the cosmos.

Physics - 03.04.2023
Double-slit experiment that proved the wave nature of light explored in time
Double-slit experiment that proved the wave nature of light explored in time
Imperial physicists have recreated the famous double-slit experiment, which showed light behaving as particles and a wave, in time rather than space. The experiment relies on materials that can change their optical properties in fractions of a second, which could be used in new technologies or to explore fundamental questions in physics.

Chemistry - Physics - 28.03.2023
Tiny materials have huge solar energy applications
Tiny materials one hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a strand of hair could be used to improve solar cell technology. A study published this month in Advanced Materials shows that materials as small as 1.2 nanometres across could function in solar cells, which harvest energy from the sun.

Physics - Chemistry - 14.03.2023
Nanorippled graphene becomes a catalyst
Nanorippled graphene becomes a catalyst
A team of researchers led by Prof. Andre Geim from the National Graphene Institute (NGI) have discovered that nanoripples in graphene can make it a strong catalyst, contrary to general expectations that the carbon sheet is as chemically inert as the bulk graphite from which it is obtained. Published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the research has shown that graphene with nanoscale corrugations of its surface can accelerate hydrogen splitting as well as the best metallic-based catalysts.

Physics - Health - 13.03.2023
Laser-driven creation of high-energy ions boosts next-gen accelerators
A new way to create high-energy ions could speed up their applications in treating cancer and probing the fundamental nature of matter. The new technique, created by researchers at Imperial College London with collaborators in Japan and Germany, will help deliver beams of ions that could treat cancers with high doses of more targeted radiation.

Health - Physics - 02.03.2023
Edible electronics: how a seaweed second skin could transform health and fitness sensor tech
Scientists at the University of Sussex have successfully trialed new biodegradable health sensors that could change the way we experience personal healthcare and fitness monitoring technology. The team at Sussex have developed the new health sensors - such as those worn by runners or patients to monitor heart rate and temperature - using natural elements like rock salt, water and seaweed, combined with graphene.

Physics - 02.03.2023
Stick to your lane: hidden order in chaotic crowds
Stick to your lane: hidden order in chaotic crowds
Mathematical research brings new understanding of crowd formation and behaviour. Have you ever wondered how pedestrians -know- to fall into lanes when they are moving through a crowd, without the matter being discussed or even given conscious thought? A new theory developed by mathematicians at the University of Bath led by Professor Tim Rogers explains this phenomenon, and is able to predict when lanes will be curved as well as straight.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 24.02.2023
Astronomers measure the heartbeat of spinning stars
Astronomers measure the heartbeat of spinning stars
An international team of scientist have used the MeerKAT radio telescope to observe the pulsing heartbeat of the universe as neutron stars are born and form swirling lightning storms which last for millions of years. Radio pulsars are spinning neutron stars from which we can observe flashes of radio waves in the manner of light pulses from a lighthouse.

Physics - Life Sciences - 22.02.2023
Animals' 'sixth sense' more widespread than previously thought
Animals’ ’sixth sense’ more widespread than previously thought
A study using fruit flies, led by researchers at The Universities of Manchester and Leicester, supported by the National Physical Laboratory, has suggested that the animal world's ability to sense a magnetic field may be more widespread than previously thought. The paper, published in Nature today (22/02/23) makes significant advances in our understanding of how animals sense and respond to magnetic fields in their environment.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 15.02.2023
First evidence that black holes are the source of dark energy
First evidence that black holes are the source of dark energy
Observations of supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies point to a likely source of dark energy - the 'missing' 70% of the Universe. The measurements from ancient and dormant galaxies show black holes growing more than expected, aligning with a phenomenon predicted in Einstein's theory of gravity.

Chemistry - Physics - 09.02.2023
Graphene aerogel particles for efficient water purification
Writing in the Journal of Molecular Liquids , a team led by Professor Aravind Vijayaraghavan based in the National Graphene Institute (NGI) have produced 3-dimensional particles made of graphene, of many interesting shapes, using a variation of the vortex ring effect. The same effect is used to produce smoke rings and is responsible for keeping dandelion seeds flying.

Chemistry - Physics - 06.02.2023
AI lights the way for futuristic electronics – from bendy TVs to lightweight solar cells
AI lights the way for futuristic electronics - from bendy TVs to lightweight solar cells Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming modern electronics - accelerating the design of bendable TV screens, ultra-lightweight revolutionised solar cells and more. In a study published in Nature today, scientists used a type of AI algorithm to create new molecules, suited for electronics that could come straight from a sci-fi movie.