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Life Sciences - Physics - 25.01.2023
Long-term memory in 2D nanofluidic channels
Published in Science , a collaboration between teams from the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester , and the cole Normale Sup rieure (ENS), Paris, demonstrated the Hebbian learning in artificial nanochannels, where the channels showed short and long term memory. Hebbian learning is a technical term introduced in 1949 by Donald Hebb, describing the process of learning by repetitively doing an action.

Physics - Chemistry - 24.01.2023
Scientists open new window on the physics of glass formation
Research from an international team of scientists has cast new light on the physics of vitrification - the process by which glass forms. Their findings, which centre on analysis of a common feature of glasses called the boson peak, could help pave the way for new developments in materials science. The peak can be observed in glass when special equipment is used to study the vibrations of its constituent atoms, where it spikes in the terahertz range.

Physics - Innovation - 20.01.2023
Method to preserve entanglement could enable new quantum tech
An international team of researchers has developed a new method of overcoming a key challenge for the development of future quantum tech. In a new paper published in the journal Physical Review X Quantum, the researchers describe how they may have solved a key problem for quantum technologies by keeping particles entangled in previously impossible conditions.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 12.01.2023
Astronomical collaboration maps the structure of our Galaxy’s magnetic field
Almost a decade after starting observations of the sky in the northern hemisphere in the microwave range, the QUIJOTE Collaboration has presented the most accurate description we have of the polarisation of the emission of the Milky Way at these wavelengths. This is a window of observation not previously explored, which provides complementary information to that obtained previously by space mission (Planck and WMAP) dedicated to the study of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), the fossil radiation left behind by the Big Bang.

Physics - 10.01.2023
The optical fibre that keeps data safe even after being twisted or bent
The optical fibre that keeps data safe even after being twisted or bent
Physicists have created an optical fibre that uses the maths concept of topology to remain robust, thereby guaranteeing the high-speed transfer of information. Optical fibres are the backbone of our modern information networks. From long-range communication over the internet to high-speed information transfer within data centres and stock exchanges, optical fibre remains critical in our globalised world.

Materials Science - Physics - 20.12.2022
Lucky find! How science behind epidemics helped Sussex physicists to develop state-of-the-art conductive paint
Lucky find! How science behind epidemics helped Sussex physicists to develop state-of-the-art conductive paint
In new research published in Nature Communications , University of Sussex scientists demonstrate how a highly conductive paint coating that they have developed mimics the network spread of a virus through a process called 'explosive percolation' - a mathematical process which can also be applied to population growth, financial systems and computer networks, but which has not been seen before in materials systems.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 19.12.2022
How magnetic waves interact with Earth's bubble
How magnetic waves interact with Earth’s bubble
A new study involving UCL has uncovered how magnetic waves are transmitted past a standing shock wave, known as the bow shock, that forms ahead of Earth as a result of the solar wind hitting our magnetic bubble (magnetosphere). Shock waves occur in air when a plane travels faster than the speed of sound and also occur in plasma (a fourth state of matter that makes up 99% of the visible Universe) in space.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 09.12.2022
Webb telescope reaches new milestone in its search for distant galaxies
Webb telescope reaches new milestone in its search for distant galaxies
New findings confirm that JWST has surpassed the Hubble telescope in its ability to observe the early Universe So many questions about galaxies have been waiting for the transformative opportunity of Webb, and we are thrilled to be able to play a part in revealing this story Sandro Tacchella An international team of astronomers, including scientists at the Universities of Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Oxford, has reported the discovery of the earliest galaxies ever confirmed in our Universe.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 30.11.2022
Mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth, astronomers say
Mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth, astronomers say
Astronomers have determined the source of an incredibly bright X-ray, optical and radio signal appearing from halfway across the Universe. The signal, named AT 2022cmc, was discovered earlier this year by the Zwicky Transient Facility in California. Findings published today in Nature Astronomy, suggest that it is likely from a jet of matter, streaking out from a supermassive black hole at close to the speed of light.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 28.11.2022
Non-detection of key signal allows astronomers to determine what the first galaxies were - and weren't - like
Non-detection of key signal allows astronomers to determine what the first galaxies were - and weren’t - like
Researchers have been able to make some key determinations about the first galaxies to exist, in one of the first astrophysical studies of the period in the early Universe when the first stars and galaxies formed, known as the cosmic dawn.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 24.11.2022
Shock waves trigger black holes' powerful jets
Shock waves trigger black holes’ powerful jets
Powerful jets of material released by black holes are accelerated far into space by shock waves within the jets, an international collaboration involving UCL researchers has found. The study, published in Nature , helps to solve a decades-old mystery about how these jets are produced. The research team was able to rule out alternative causes of the jets - such as magnetic reconnection - and, out of a number of theoretical models of how the particles in the jets are accelerated, showed that just one model was correct.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 22.11.2022
New era of exoplanet exploration begins with 'remarkable' JWST study of WASP-39b
New era of exoplanet exploration begins with ’remarkable’ JWST study of WASP-39b
Studies of one exoplanet's atmosphere using James Webb Space Telescope instruments have revealed the detection of new molecules and cloud structures. In a suite of studies across five papers, a large international team including Imperial College London researchers has demonstrated the power of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for investigating exoplanets.

Physics - Chemistry - 22.11.2022
Can a new technique for capturing 'hot' electrons make solar cells more efficient?
Can a new technique for capturing ’hot’ electrons make solar cells more efficient?
A Bath discovery opens a new route for measuring and controlling hot electrons. The hope is that more energy will be available to power solar cells. A new way of extracting quantitative information from state-of-the-art single molecule experiments has been developed by physicists at the University of Bath.

Health - Physics - 18.11.2022
Fusion surprises and COVID scars: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From research into how ions behave in fusion reactions, to a study on why some people develop scar tissue in their lungs following severe COVID-19 infection, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Fusion surprises Ions may behave differently in fusion reactions than previously expected, providing important insights for the future design of a laser-fusion energy source.

Computer Science - Physics - 09.11.2022
Spiderweb-like lasers can emit light in controlled colours
Researchers have created a laser system based on a network like a spider's web, which can be precisely controlled to produce different light colours. The system, invented by a team led by researchers at Imperial College London with partners in Italy and Switzerland, could be used in new sensing and computing applications.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 03.11.2022
Magnetism could help explain Earth’s formation
A peculiar property of the Earth's magnetic field could help us to work out how our planet was created 4.5 billion years ago, according to a new scientific assessment. There are several theories about how the Earth and the Moon were formed, most involving a giant impact. They vary from a model where the impacting object strikes the newly formed Earth a glancing blow and then escapes, through to one where the collision is so energetic that both the impactor and the Earth are vaporized.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 03.11.2022
Can cosmic inflation be ruled out?
Can cosmic inflation be ruled out?
Astrophysicists say that cosmic inflation - a point in the Universe's infancy when space-time expanded exponentially, and what physicists really refer to when they talk about the -Big Bang can in principle be ruled out in an assumption-free way. Is it possible in principle to test cosmic inflation in a model-independent way? Sunny Vagnozzi The astrophysicists, from the University of Cambridge, the University of Trento, and Harvard University, say that there is a clear, unambiguous signal in the cosmos which could eliminate inflation as a possibility.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 03.11.2022
Magnetised dead star likely has solid surface
Magnetised dead star likely has solid surface
A signature in the X-ray light emitted by a highly magnetised dead star known as a magnetar suggests the star has a solid surface with no atmosphere, according to a new study by an international collaboration co-led by UCL researchers. The study, published in the journal Science , uses data from a NASA satellite, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), which was launched last December.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.10.2022
New approach to 'cosmic magnet' manufacturing could reduce reliance on rare earths in low-carbon technologies
New approach to ’cosmic magnet’ manufacturing could reduce reliance on rare earths in low-carbon technologies
Researchers have discovered a potential new method for making the high-performance magnets used in wind turbines and electric cars without the need for rare earth elements, which are almost exclusively sourced in China.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 17.10.2022
This Sussex Life. Physicist Prof Xavier Calmet: 'I'm glad I didn't listen to my father.'
This Sussex Life. Physicist Prof Xavier Calmet: ’I’m glad I didn’t listen to my father.’
Physicist Professor Xavier Calmet describes how the ill advice of his father sent him on a journey to black holes - and a scientific breakthrough. I had a telescope in the back yard when I was a child . It was enough to dream, to look at the stars and wonder what could be out there. I had a broad interest in science, but I always thought it was so beautiful to watch the stars and to realise that we were so little and there's so much out there that we don't understand.