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Physics - Music - 20.09.2021
The nanophotonics orchestra presents: Twisting to the light of nanoparticles
The nanophotonics orchestra presents: Twisting to the light of nanoparticles
Physicists at the University of Bath observe a new physical effect in chiral (twisted) nanoparticles. Last updated on Thursday 23 September 2021 Physics researchers at the University of Bath discover a new physical effect relating to the interactions between light and twisted materials - an effect that is likely to have implications for emerging new nanotechnologies in communications, nanorobotics and ultra-thin optical components.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 15.09.2021
Have we detected dark energy? Cambridge scientists say it's a possibility
Have we detected dark energy? Cambridge scientists say it’s a possibility
Dark energy, the mysterious force that causes the universe to accelerate, may have been responsible for unexpected results from the XENON1T experiment, deep below Italy's Apennine Mountains. It was surprising that this excess could in principle have been caused by dark energy rather than dark matter.

Physics - Chemistry - 02.09.2021
Nano 'camera' made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions
Nano ’camera’ made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions
Researchers have made a tiny camera, held together with 'molecular glue' that allows them to observe chemical reactions in real time. This platform is a really big toolbox - it opens up lots of new possibilities for imaging chemical reactions Kamil Sokolowski The device, made by a team from the University of Cambridge, combines tiny semiconductor nanocrystals called quantum dots and gold nanoparticles using molecular glue called cucurbituril (CB).

Physics - Chemistry - 26.08.2021
Atomic snapshots show fast ion migration in ultra-thin clays
Research led by The University of Manchester has found that ions diffuse 10,000 times faster inside atomically thin clays than in bulk clay crystals. Clays are used in a wide variety of membrane applications, so this result offers the potential to achieve vastly improved desalination or fuel cell performance simply by switching to ultra-thin clays when producing the membranes.

Chemistry - Physics - 23.08.2021
Scientists report breakthrough in actinide metal-metal bonding
Scientists from The University of Manchester have managed to successfully make actinide metals form molecular actinide-actinide bonds for the first time, opening up a new field of scientific study in materials research. Reported in the journal Nature , a group of scientists from Manchester and Stuttgart universities have successfully prepared and characterised long-sought actinide-actinide bonding in an isolable compound.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 27.07.2021
On the hunt for 'hierarchical' black holes
On the hunt for ’hierarchical’ black holes
Black holes, detected by their gravitational wave signal as they collide with other black holes, could be the product of much earlier parent collisions. Such an event has only been hinted at so far, but scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and Northwestern University in the US, believe we are getting close to tracking down the first of these so-called 'hierarchical' black holes.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 26.07.2021
Planets form in binary systems without getting crushed
Planets form in binary systems without getting crushed
Astronomers have developed the most realistic model to date of planet formation in binary star systems. Planet formation in binary systems is more complicated, because the companion star acts like a giant eggbeater, dynamically exciting the protoplanetary disc Roman Rafikov The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and the Max Planck Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics, have shown how exoplanets in binary star systems - such as the 'Tatooine' planets spotted by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope - came into being without being destroyed in their chaotic birth environment.

Life Sciences - Physics - 26.07.2021
New imaging system brings brains into sharper focus
One of the greatest challenges in science is the study of the brain's anatomy and cellular architecture. Accurately visualising the brain's complex structure at high resolutions is critically important for improving our understanding of the functions of the central nervous system. A promising new technique, developed by scientists in Italy, the UK and Germany, is now bringing the microscopic details of the brain into sharper focus even over macroscopic volumes.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 09.07.2021
Scientists solve 40-year mystery over Jupiter’s X-ray aurora
A research team co-led by UCL has solved a decades-old mystery as to how Jupiter produces a spectacular burst of X-rays every few minutes. The X-rays are part of Jupiter's aurora - bursts of visible and invisible light that occur when charged particles interact with the planet's atmosphere. A similar phenomenon occurs on Earth, creating the northern lights, but Jupiter's is much more powerful, releasing hundreds of gigawatts of energy, enough to briefly power all of human civilisation*.

Physics - Life Sciences - 05.07.2021
Nanomaterials shape and form influences their ability to cross the blood brain barrier - study
Nanomaterials shape and form influences their ability to cross the blood brain barrier - study
Nanomaterials found in consumer and health-care products can pass from the bloodstream to the brain side of a blood-brain barrier model with varying ease depending on their shape - creating potential neurological impacts that could be both positive and negative, a new study reveals. Scientists found that metal-based nanomaterials such as silver and zinc oxide can cross an in vitro model of the 'blood brain barrier' (BBB) as both particles and dissolved ions - adversely affecting the health of astrocyte cells, which control neurological responses.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 29.06.2021
First detection of gravitational waves from black holes swallowing neutron stars
For the first time, scientists have picked up the ripples in space-time caused by the death spiral of a neutron star and a black hole. University of Glasgow researchers played a key role in the international collaboration that made the detection possible. They contributed to the design of the detectors - the most sensitive scientific instruments ever built - and the advanced data analysis needed to provide an astrophysical interpretation of the signals.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 29.06.2021
Black hole and neutron star merger detected for first time
Black hole and neutron star merger detected for first time
Scientists have, for the first time, picked up the ripples in space-time caused by the collision of a neutron star and a black hole. Two instances of this violent cosmic event have been detected using the Advanced LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors, details of which have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 24.06.2021
Rock crystals from the deep give microscopic clues to earthquake ground movements
Rock crystals from the deep give microscopic clues to earthquake ground movements
Microscopic imperfections in rock crystals deep beneath Earth's surface play a deciding factor in how the ground slowly moves and resets in the aftermath of major earthquakes, says new research involving the University of Cambridge. The stresses resulting from these defects - which are small enough to disrupt the atomic building blocks of a crystal - can transform how hot rocks beneath Earth's crust move and in turn transfer stress back to Earth's surface, starting the countdown to the next earthquake.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.06.2021
Lowering the carbon footprint of fabric and plastic manufacturing
Manufacturing of plastics and fabrics could become greener and have a lower carbon footprint, thanks to a new catalyst architecture developed by a team of experts including UCL academics. Propylene, produced from propane, is critical to the manufacture of plastics, fabrics and other chemicals, and is in short supply.

Materials Science - Physics - 23.06.2021
Low-cost imaging technique shows how smartphone batteries could charge in minutes
Low-cost imaging technique shows how smartphone batteries could charge in minutes
Researchers have developed a simple lab-based technique that allows them to look inside lithium-ion batteries and follow lithium ions moving in real time as the batteries charge and discharge, something which has not been possible until now. This technique could be an important piece of the puzzle in the development of next-generation batteries Christoph Schnedermann Using the low-cost technique, the researchers identified the speed-limiting processes which, if addressed, could enable the batteries in most smartphones and laptops to charge in as little as five minutes.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.06.2021
A sharper focus on protein behaviour
A sharper focus on protein behaviour
Scientists have developed a new computational technique that allows them to see in finer detail the way protein molecules behave. Currently, they have relied on laboratory techniques such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, but those laboratory procedures can disrupt the normal functioning of the molecule.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.06.2021
Scrambled magnetic fields and Gamma-Ray Bursts: Space scientists solve a decades-long puzzle
Scrambled magnetic fields and Gamma-Ray Bursts: Space scientists solve a decades-long puzzle
Bath astrophysicists find the magnetic field in Gamma-Ray Bursts is scrambled after the ejected material crashes into, and shocks, the surrounding medium. Last updated on Friday 18 June 2021 An international team of scientists, led by astrophysicists from the University of Bath, has measured the magnetic field in a far-off Gamma-Ray Burst, confirming for the first time a decades-long theoretical prediction - that the magnetic field in these blast waves becomes scrambled after the ejected material crashes into, and shocks, the surrounding medium.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 14.06.2021
Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way's galactic bar
Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar
The spin of the Milky Way's galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by UCL and University of Oxford researchers. For 30 years, astrophysicists have predicted such a slowdown, but this is the first time it has been measured.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 10.06.2021
Astronomers join Twinkle space mission
Astronomers join Twinkle space mission
Astronomers from the School of Physics and Astronomy have joined the Science Team of the Twinkle space mission, a pioneering space telescope designed to study the atmospheres of exoplanets - planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. Twinkle will be launched in 2024 and will operate for seven years, making sensitive visible and infrared spectroscopic measurements to detect molecules in the atmospheres of planets as they pass in front of their host stars.

Physics - Materials Science - 09.06.2021
Mixing solutions in the world’s smallest test tubes
Researchers based at The University of Manchester have demonstrated a new method for imaging live chemical reactions with atomic resolution using nanoscale test tubes created using two-dimensional (2D) materials. The ability to observe solution-based chemical reactions with sub-nanometre resolution in real time has been highly sought after since the invention of the electron microscope 90 years ago.
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