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Nov 26, 2020

Direct Visualization of Quantum Dots Reveals Shape of Quantum Wave Function of the Trapped Electrons

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

Researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to visualize quantum dots in bilayer graphene, an important step toward quantum information technologies.

Trapping and controlling electrons in bilayer graphene quantum dots yields a promising platform for quantum information technologies. Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have now achieved the first direct visualization of quantum dots in bilayer graphene, revealing the shape of the quantum wave function of the trapped electrons.

The results, published on November 23, 2020, in Nano Letters, provide important fundamental knowledge needed to develop quantum information technologies based on bilayer graphene quantum dots.

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Nov 21, 2020

Hubble Captures a Black Hole’s ‘Shadow Beams’, Yawning Across Space

Posted by in categories: cosmology, materials

In images from the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have spotted an entirely new phenomenon. Reaching tens of thousands of light-years into the void of space, vast shadows stretch from the centre of the galaxy IC 5063, as though something is blocking the bright light from therein.

You’ve probably seen something very like it before – bright beams from the Sun when it’s just below the horizon and clouds or mountains only partially block its light, known as crepuscular rays. According to astronomers, the shadows from IC 5063 could be something very similar. They’re just a whole lot bigger – at least 36,000 light-years in each direction.

IC 5063, a galaxy 156 million light-years away, is a Seyfert galaxy. This means it has an active nucleus; the supermassive black hole at its centre is busily guzzling down material from a dense accretion disc and torus of dust and gas around it.

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Nov 20, 2020

Decades Old Mystery Solved: A “New Kind of Electrons”

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Why do certain materials emit electrons with a very specific energy? This has been a mystery for decades — scientists at TU Wien have found an answer.

It is something quite common in physics: electrons leave a certain material, they fly away and then they are measured. Some materials emit electrons, when they are irradiated with light. These electrons are then called “photoelectrons.” In materials research, so-called “Auger electrons” also play an important role — they can be emitted by atoms if an electron is first removed from one of the inner electron shells. But now scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have succeeded in explaining a completely different type of electron emission, which can occur in carbon materials such as graphite. This electron emission had been known for about 50 years, but its cause was still unclear.

Strange electrons without explanation.

Nov 19, 2020

Scientists produce rare diamonds in minutes at room temperature

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

I guess they can now make the diamond sword from minecraft! 😃


While traditional diamonds are formed over billions of years deep in the Earth where extreme pressures and temperatures provide just the right conditions to crystalize carbon, scientists are working on more expedient ways of forging the precious stones. An international team of researchers has succeeded in whittling this process down to mere minutes, demonstrating a new technique where they not only form quickly, but do so at room temperature.

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Nov 17, 2020

Understanding astrophysics with laser-accelerated protons

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

Bringing huge amounts of protons up to speed in the shortest distance in fractions of a second—that’s what laser acceleration technology, greatly improved in recent years, can do. An international research team from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of GSI, in collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, U.S., has succeeded in using protons accelerated with the GSI high-power laser PHELIX to split other nuclei and to analyze them. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports and could provide new insights into astrophysical processes.

For less than one picosecond (one trillionth of a second), the PHELIX laser shines its extremely intense light pulse onto a very thin gold foil. This is enough to eject about one trillion hydrogen nuclei (protons), which are only slightly attached to the gold, from the back-surface of the foil, and accelerate them to high energies. “Such a large number of protons in such a short period of time cannot be achieved with standard acceleration techniques,” explains Pascal Boller, who is researching laser acceleration in the GSI research department Plasma Physics/PHELIX as part of his graduate studies. “With this technology, completely new research areas can be opened that were previously inaccessible.”

These include the generation of nuclear fission reactions. For this purpose, the researchers let the freshly generated fast protons impinge on uranium material samples. Uranium was chosen as a case study material because of its large reaction cross-section and the availability of published data for benchmarking purposes. The samples have to be close to the production to guarantee a maximum yield of reactions. The protons generated by the PHELIX laser are fast enough to induce the fission of uranium nuclei into smaller fission products, which remain then to be identified and measured. However, the laser impact has unwanted side effects: It generates a strong electromagnetic pulse and a gammy-ray flash that interfere with the sensitive measuring instruments used for this detection.

Nov 16, 2020

Scientists create ‘non-cuttable’ material 85% less dense than steel

Posted by in category: materials

Once again, humans are taking inspiration from nature. The metal is based on Arapaima fish scales that are known to stop Piranha bites. Pretty cool!

Even a waterjet cutter couldn’t get through during testing.

I bet a knight would want his suit based on this! 😃

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Nov 16, 2020

Novel glass materials made from organic and inorganic components

Posted by in categories: chemistry, materials

Cambridge/Jena (16.11.2020) Linkages between organic and inorganic materials are a common phenomenon in nature, e.g., in the construction of bones and skeletal structures. They often enable combinations of properties that could not be achieved with just one type of material. In technological material development, however, these so-called hybrid materials still represent a major challenge today.

A new class of hybrid glass materials

Researchers from the Universities of Jena (Germany) and Cambridge (GB) have now succeeded in creating a new class of hybrid glass materials that combine organic and inorganic components. To do this, the scientists use special material combinations in which chemical bonds between organometallic and inorganic glasses can be generated. They included materials composed of organometallic networks—so-called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)—which have recently been experiencing rapidly increasing research interest. This is primarily because their framework structures can be created in a targeted manner, from the length scale of individual molecules up to a few nanometers. This achieves a control of porosity which can be adapted to a large number of applications, both in terms of the size of the pores and their permeability, and in terms of the chemical properties prevailing on the pore surfaces.

Nov 15, 2020

Can We Change Our Genes & DNA With Our Thoughts?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

A 2002 article published in the American Psychological Association’s prevention & treatment, by University of Connecticut psychology professor Irving Kirsch titled, “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” made some more shocking discoveries. He found that 80 percent of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. This professor even had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get information on the clinical trials of the top antidepressants.

A Baylor School of Medicine study, published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at surgery for patients with severe and debilitating knee pain. Many surgeons know there is no placebo effect in surgery, or so most of them believe. The patients were divided into three groups. The surgeons shaved the damaged cartilage in the knee of one group. For the second group, they flushed out the knee joint, removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. Both of these processes are the standard surgeries people go through who have severe arthritic knees. The third group received a “fake” surgery, the patients were only sedated and tricked that they actually had the knee surgery. For the patients not really receiving the surgery, the doctors made the incisions and splashed salt water on the knee as they would in normal surgery. They then sewed up the incisions like the real thing and the process was complete.

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Nov 14, 2020

Microchip produces laser light of different colours

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

Nonlinear material exploits third-order optical parametric oscillation.


Years of research and development work have made compact, high-performance lasers ubiquitous for the.

Nov 13, 2020

Giant Galaxy Cluster Acts as Cosmic Furnace

Posted by in categories: materials, space

HSC J023336-053022, a massive galaxy cluster located approximately 4 billion light-years away from Earth, is heating the material within it to hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius — over 25 times hotter than the core of the Sun.

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