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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Jun 14, 2019

Electron (or ‘hole’) pairs may survive effort to kill superconductivity

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Scientists seeking to understand the mechanism underlying superconductivity in “stripe-ordered” cuprates—copper-oxide materials with alternating areas of electric charge and magnetism—discovered an unusual metallic state when attempting to turn superconductivity off. They found that under the conditions of their experiment, even after the material loses its ability to carry electrical current with no energy loss, it retains some conductivity—and possibly the electron (or hole) pairs required for its superconducting superpower.

“This work provides circumstantial evidence that the stripe-ordered arrangement of charges and magnetism is good for forming the charge-carrier pairs required for superconductivity to emerge,” said John Tranquada, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Tranquada and his co-authors from Brookhaven Lab and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, where some of the work was done, describe their findings in a paper just published in Science Advances. A related paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by co-author Alexei Tsvelik, a theorist at Brookhaven Lab, provides insight into the theoretical underpinnings for the observations.

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Jun 14, 2019

Revealing ‘hidden’ phases of matter through the power of light

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Most people think of water as existing in only one of three phases: Solid ice, liquid water, or gas vapor. But matter can exist in many different phases—ice, for example, has more than ten known phases, or ways that its atoms can be spatially arranged. The widespread use of piezoelectric materials, such as microphones and ultrasound, is possible thanks to a fundamental understanding of how an external force, like pressure, temperature, or electricity, can lead to phase transitions that imbue materials with new properties.

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Jun 13, 2019

Optics / Photonics Information

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

The gold vapor laser has been widely used in the treatment of cancer using photodynamic therapy.


Using Blue Light to See Through Fire in Optical Imaging Dr Matthew Hoehler AZoOptics talks to Dr Matthew Hoehler about his recent research, using blue light to see through fires and make previously impossible qualitative observations about material damage during a fire.

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Jun 13, 2019

A Superconducting Magnet Just Smashed The Strongest Magnetic Field Record

Posted by in categories: habitats, materials

A new superconducting magnet has briefly sustained an astonishing 45.5 tesla magnetic field intensity. For comparison, your flimsy fridge magnets have about 1 percent of a single tesla.

The measurement, achieved by researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) at Florida State University resets the bar on what’s possible in direct current magnetic fields, exceeding the previous limit by half a tesla.

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Jun 11, 2019

NASA details Deep Space Atomic Clock and other tests launching on SpaceX Falcon Heavy

Posted by in categories: materials, satellites

SpaceX’s next mission for its Falcon Heavy high-capacity rocket is set for June 24, when it’ll take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with 20 satellites on board that comprise the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2. That’s not all it’ll carry however: There also will be cargo pertaining to four NASA missions aboard the private launch vehicle, including materials that will support the Deep Space Atomic Clock, the Green Propellant Infusion Mission and two payloads that will serve scientific missions.

NASA detailed all of these missions in a press conference today, going into more detail about what each will involve and why NASA is even pursuing this research to begin with.

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Jun 10, 2019

Mass anomaly detected under the moon’s largest crater

Posted by in categories: materials, space

A mysterious large mass of material has been discovered beneath the largest crater in our solar system—the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin—and may contain metal from the asteroid that crashed into the Moon and formed the crater, according to a Baylor University study.

“Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground. That’s roughly how much unexpected mass we detected,” said lead author Peter B. James.

Ph.D., assistant professor of planetary geophysics in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. The itself is oval-shaped, as wide as 2,000 kilometers—roughly the distance between Waco, Texas, and Washington, D.C.—and several miles deep. Despite its size, it cannot be seen from Earth because it is on the far side of the Moon.

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Jun 9, 2019

Handy graphene foam combos keep surfaces ice-free

Posted by in category: materials

Combining laser-induced graphene with a range of other materials gives it all sorts of new tricks.

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Jun 8, 2019

Synopsis: Scanning Earth’s Interior with Neutrinos

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Future neutrino experiments may provide tomographic scans of Earth’s interior by viewing solar neutrinos that pass through our planet’s layers.

The Sun showers Earth with neutrinos, but this “glow” doesn’t dim when the Sun goes down. At night, solar neutrinos penetrate Earth, impinging detectors from below. Like x rays in a medical scanner, these planet-traversing neutrinos might offer information about the material they pass through. New theoretical calculations show that future experiments, such as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), could characterize the different layers inside Earth with neutrino-based tomography.

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Jun 6, 2019

A Squeezable “Glass” Water Bottle That Won’t Collect Tastes or Smells

Posted by in category: materials

A plastic water bottle can survive the rigors of an active lifestyle, but over time it will collect odd smells and flavors that eventually can’t be scrubbed out. A glass bottle is a better option, naturally eschewing mold and odors, but one wrong move and suddenly it’s a pile of shards. These Squeezable Glass bottles claim to offer the best of both worlds—but have a bit of a misleading claim to fame.

The bottles aren’t actually made from some indestructible self-repairing glass material discovered in a secret lab a decade ago; they’re plastic, which is why they can be squeezed without shattering. However, the insides of the bottles are coated with an incredibly thin layer of silicon dioxide—which is what glass is made from—that’s just 20 nanometers thick. It acts as barrier preventing smells, flavors, mold, and other bad stuff from sticking to the plastic, but it remains completely flexible.

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Jun 6, 2019

Mushrooms Clean Up Toxic Mess, Including Plastic. So Why Aren’t They Used More?

Posted by in category: materials

Proponents say this natural alternative to wildfire cleanup is potentially cheaper.

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