Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 3

Aug 26, 2019

Simulation of eight million ‘mock universes’ sheds light on galaxy evolution

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

Physics World represents a key part of IOP Publishing’s mission to communicate world-class research and innovation to the widest possible audience. The website forms part of the Physics World portfolio, a collection of online, digital and print information services for the global scientific community.

Aug 26, 2019

Physicists’ study demonstrates silicon’s energy-harvesting power

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, physics

A University of Texas at Dallas physicist has teamed with Texas Instruments Inc. to design a better way for electronics to convert waste heat into reusable energy.

The collaborative project demonstrated that silicon’s ability to harvest energy from heat can be greatly increased while remaining mass-producible.

Dr. Mark Lee, professor and head of the Department of Physics in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, is the corresponding author of a study published July 15 in Nature Electronics that describes the results. The findings could greatly influence how circuits are cooled in electronics, as well as provide a method of powering the sensors used in the growing “internet of things.”

Aug 25, 2019

Laser-produced uranium plasma evolves into more complex species

Posted by in categories: evolution, physics

When energy is added to uranium under pressure, it creates a shock wave, and even a tiny sample will be vaporized like a small explosion. By using smaller, controlled explosions, physicists can test on a microscale in a safe laboratory environment what could previously be tested only in larger, more dangerous experiments with bombs.

“In our case, it’s the laser depositing energy into a target, but you get the same formation and time-dependent evolution of plasma,” author Patrick Skrodzki said. “With these small-scale explosions in the lab, we can understand similar physics.”

In a recent experiment, scientists working with Skrodzki used a laser to ablate atomic uranium, stealing its electrons until it ionized and turned to plasma, all while recording as the plasma cooled, oxidized and formed species of more complex uranium. Their work puts uranium species and the reaction pathways between them onto a map of space and time to discover how many nanoseconds they take to form and at which part of the plasma’s evolution.

Aug 24, 2019

Physicists Have Built The World’s Smallest Engine, And It’s Seriously Tiny

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, physics, transportation

It’s not like the one in your car, but a team of physicists at Trinity College Dublin have built what they claim is the world’s smallest engine. The engine is the size of a single calcium ion — about ten billion times smaller than an automobile engine.

Rather than powering your next road trip, the atomic engine could one day be used to lay the foundation for extraordinary, futuristic nanotechnologies.

Here’s how it works: the calcium ion holds an electrical charge, which makes it spin. This angular momentum is then used to convert heat from a laser beam into vibrations.

Aug 23, 2019

Star crust is 10 billion times stronger than steel

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

By Rachel Courtland

The crust of neutron stars is 10 billion times stronger than steel, according to new simulations. That makes the surface of these ultra-dense stars tough enough to support long-lived bulges that could produce gravitational waves detectable by experiments on Earth.

Neutron stars are the cores left behind when relatively massive stars explode in supernovae. They are incredibly dense, packing about as much mass as the sun into a sphere just 20 kilometres or so across, and some rotate hundreds of times per second.

Aug 22, 2019

New Experiment Just Placed a Major Constraint on The Mysterious Force of Dark Energy

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The Universe is expanding, and that expansion is speeding up over time. These two facts have been well established through observation, but we don’t know what’s causing that expansion. It seems to be some mysterious, unknown energy that acts like the opposite of gravity.

We call this hypothetical energy “dark energy”, and it’s been calculated to constitute around 72 percent of all the stuff that makes up the Universe. We don’t know what it actually is. But a new experiment has just allowed us to rule out one more thing that it isn’t: a new force.

“This experiment, connecting atomic physics and cosmology, has allowed us to rule out a wide class of models that have been proposed to explain the nature of dark energy, and will enable us to constrain many more dark energy models,’‘said physicist Ed Copeland of the University of Nottingham.

Aug 22, 2019

Does our energy future hold electrification, biomass and hydrogen?

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

Physics World represents a key part of IOP Publishing’s mission to communicate world-class research and innovation to the widest possible audience. The website forms part of the Physics World portfolio, a collection of online, digital and print information services for the global scientific community.

Aug 21, 2019

Physicists create world’s smallest engine

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, transportation

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world’s smallest engine—which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold’s QuSys group in Trinity’s School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor. The research, published today in international journal Physical Review Letters, explains how random fluctuations affect the operation of microscopic machines. In the future, such devices could be incorporated into other technologies in order to recycle and thus improve .

The engine itself—a single calcium ion—is electrically charged, which makes it easy to trap using electric fields. The working substance of the engine is the ion’s “intrinsic spin” (its angular momentum). This spin is used to convert heat absorbed from laser beams into oscillations, or vibrations, of the trapped ion.

Aug 21, 2019

Scientists find a way to create long-life, fast-charging batteries

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, physics, transportation

A group of researchers led by Skoltech Professor Pavel Troshin studied coordination polymers, a class of compounds with scarcely explored applications in metal-ion batteries, and demonstrated their possible future use in energy storage devices with a high charging/discharging rate and stability. The results of their study were published in the journal Chemistry of Materials.

The charging/discharging rate is one of the key characteristics of lithium-ion batteries. Most modern commercial batteries need at least an hour to get fully charged, which certainly limits the scope of their application, in particular, for electric vehicles. The trouble with active materials, such as the most popular anode material, graphite, is that their capacity decays significantly, as their charging rate increases. To retain the battery capacity at high charging rates, the active electrode materials must have high electronic and ionic conductivity, which is the case with the newly-discovered coordination polymers that are derived from and salts of , such as nickel or copper. Although these compounds hold a great promise, their application in lithium-ion batteries remains virtually unexplored.

A recent study undertaken by a group of scientists from Skoltech and the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of RAS led by Professor P. Troshin in collaboration with the University of Cologne (Germany) and the Ural Federal University, focused on tetraaminobenzene-based linear polymers of nickel and copper. Although the linear polymers exhibited much lower initial electronic conductivity as compared to their two-dimensional counterparts, it transpired that they can be used as anode materials that get charged/discharged in less than a minute, because their conductivity increases dramatically after the first discharge due to lithium doping.

Aug 21, 2019

Mathematical framework turns any sheet of material into any shape using kirigami cuts

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, mathematics, physics, transportation

This could lead to self-healing cars.

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a mathematical framework that can turn any sheet of material into any prescribed shape, inspired by the paper craft termed kirigami (from the Japanese, kiri, meaning to cut and kami, meaning paper).

Unlike its better-known cousin origami, which uses folds to shape , kirigami relies on a pattern of cuts in a flat paper sheet to change its flexibility and allow it to morph into 3D shapes. Artists have long used this artform to create everything from pop-up cards to castles and dragons.

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