Physics

The artificial tendon material developed by UCLA materials scientists. Credit: Sidi Duan, Shuwang Wu, Mutian Hua, and Ximin He/UCLA A strong, flexible and tough hydrogel that contains more than 70% water could be used to make durable artificial tendons and other load-bearing biological tissues. The new hydrogel was made by researchers at the University of
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Olivia Geneus is a PhD candidate in nanotechnology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is also the co-founder of the Black in Nanotech initiative, which highlights both the contributions of Black scientists and the barriers they face within the field of nanotechnology. She talks to Physics World’s Margaret Harris. Olivia Geneus ‘As
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Combining materials with different swelling ratios creates structures that transform into tubes when exposed to water. (Courtesy: Yu Bin Lee) Materials that controllably change shape over time – often called four-dimensional (4D) materials – are excellent candidates for advanced tissue engineering applications. Many 4D materials, however, have only been loaded with low concentrations of cells,
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Ben Penaflor is computer systems manager at General Atomics, which operates the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, California, for the US Department of Energy. This post is part of a series on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the personal and professional lives of physicists around the world. If you’d like to share
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By Jill Kathleen Wenderott Women Supporting Women in the Sciences (WS2), an international organization unifying and supporting graduate and professional-level women and allies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), has recently been awarded an American Physical Society (APS) Innovation Fund to form international teams that will design and distribute low-cost physics and materials science
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Taken from the April 2021 issue of Physics World where it appeared under the headline “Recognizing religious diversity”. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. Sebastian Wood says that science needs to welcome different faiths and do more to build bridges between the two communities Common
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison Synthetic diamond created using vapour deposition process. Steve Jurvetson, Apollo synthetic diamond, CC BY 2.0 In late 1940, the Debeers Diamond company started using the slogan “Diamonds are forever” to popularize diamond engagement rings. What they didn’t know is that in terms of quantum mechanics that might be true. Diamonds are
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Quick verification A quantum computer has been shown to be faster than a classical one at verifying the solution to an NP-complete problem when provided with only a part of that solution. (Courtesy: iStockphoto/Hendrik5000) One of the main goals in quantum computing is to experimentally demonstrate that a quantum machine can perform some computational task
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By: Hannah Pell “Go out and make the world a better place.” So ends the foreword to CDR Primer, an online, freely available digital booklet co-authored by more than a dozen climate scientists, social scientists, engineers, and writers in dialogue about carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology and its important role in addressing our climate crisis.
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Zooming in: Google’s Sycamore processor. (Courtesy: Erik Lucero/Google) An international team of researchers has used Google’s Sycamore quantum computer to power an online Zoom meeting for the first time. The US tech giant’s device, which consists of 53 programmable superconducting quantum bits, has already been shown to outperform classical computers at certain tasks. The new
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Multiple measurements: The experimental set-up. (Courtesy: Cyril FRESILLON / SYRTE / FIRST-TF / CNRS Photothèque) Quantum sensors based on cold-atom interferometry are among the most accurate instruments in fundamental physics, with predicted applications that include mapping underground structures and creating more precise navigational systems. Their speed, however, is limited by the fact that the measurement
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Taken from the March 2021 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. Ian Randall reviews The Brilliant Abyss: True Tales of Exploring the Deep Sea, Discovering Hidden Life and Selling the Seabed by Helen Scales Strange and beautiful The yeti crab is
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Conceptual comparison between (A) a traditional 2D grid radiation field and (B) 3D LATTICE radiotherapy, where focused beams are used to form a dose lattice. (Courtesy: CC BY 4.0/Cureus 10.7759/cureus.9) The combination of LATTICE radiation therapy (LRT), a spatially fractionated radiotherapy technique, and immunotherapy dramatically shrank a large metastatic lung cancer mass in one month
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison Noah Friedlander, San Francisco from the Marin Headlands in March 2019, CC BY-SA 4.0  As you walk the pavement of your city, the buildings rising around you, the impact of a city on the landscape is clear. It changes the skyline and the view. But how does it change the ground
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Dreamland: artistic impression of the surface of Gliese 486b. The exoplanet could have glowing rivers of lava. (Courtesy: RenderArea) A newly discovered exoplanet called Gliese 486b could offer the best opportunity yet for studying the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet beyond the solar system. An international team, made up of astronomers at the CARMENES project
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Magnetic swirl: a view of the M87 supermassive black hole in polarized light. The lines mark the orientation of the polarization, which is related to the magnetic field around the shadow of the black hole. (Courtesy: EHT Collaboration) A new image showing magnetic fields surrounding the supermassive black hole M87* has been created by scientists
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Time triangle: illustration of how the ytterbium (Yb), strontium (Sr) and aluminium-magnesium (Al+/Mg+) atomic clocks were connected. (Courtesy: N Hanacek/NIST) The time kept by three of the world’s best atomic clocks has been compared by connecting them using optical fibres and an over-air link. The comparisons were done by the Boulder Atomic Clock Optical Network
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Join the audience for a live webinar at 3 p.m. BST/4 p.m. CEST on 22 April 2021 exploring the principles of 3D Raman imaging Want to take part in this webinar? Raman spectroscopic imaging is a powerful, versatile and increasingly common microscopy technique that can quickly identify molecules in a sample and visualize their distribution
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The fibre-optic probe of the PTeye system is placed onto tissue suspected to be parathyroid (A). A baseline for thyroid NIR autofluorescence is established (B). Tissue is identified as positive (C) or negative (D) for parathyroid. (Courtesy: Surgery 10.1016/j.surg.2018.04.079) “It’s not just about navigating the leap from the lab to market, but also from the
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This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast features an interview with the physics PhD student Elham Fadaly, who is a runner-up for 2020 Nanotechnology Young Researcher Award for making an important breakthrough in semiconductor technology. Indeed, that breakthrough was finding the Holy Grail of optoelectronics: a silicon-based material that is an efficient emitter of
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Some of the projects affected by the cuts will be research “hubs” such as the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub that address issues including flood, drought and climate change risks. (Courtesy: iStock_piyaset) Over 4500 researchers have signed an open letter warning of significant long-term damage due to cuts made to research funded through international
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[embedded content] A soft, self-powered robot, capable of swimming in the deepest regions of Earth’s oceans has been created by researchers in China. Inspired by the hadal snailfish, the team led by Guorui Li at Zhejiang University designed its device to feature flapping fins, and decentralized electronics encased in a deformable silicone body. Having successfully
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A porous carbon aerogel improves the low-temperature performance of supercapacitors, which could help supply energy for space missions and polar activities. Credit: Adapted from Nano Letters 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c04780 Lightweight composite materials containing more than 99% air could prove key to powering future space missions. The materials, known as porous carbon aerogels, make up the
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Illustration of a space hurricane created using the observation data. (Courtesy: Qing-He Zhang, Shandong University) A space hurricane – complete with electron “rain” – has been detected in the Earth’s upper atmosphere for the first time, an international team of researchers has reported. With the requisite plasma and magnetic fields needed for such storms present
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Jae Jung, from Cleveland Clinic’s Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health, and collaborators have developed a promising new COVID-19 vaccine candidate. (Courtesy: Cleveland Clinic) As the international effort to vaccinate the population against COVID-19 gathers pace, the demand for vaccine doses that can be used in all countries and climates is enormous. Researchers
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Ignorance is bliss A cartoon depicting the differences between ‘ignorant’ observers of mixing gases in the classical and quantum versions of the Gibbs paradox. (Courtesy: Bethan Morris, PhD student at University of Nottingham) Entropy has been a subject of debate among physicists ever since it was formulated in classical thermodynamics some 150 years ago. One
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Paradox of choice: from improving electric cars to developing Facebook algorithms, physicists can apply their skills in a wide variety of roles. (Courtesy: iStock/Delpixart) Before I chose to study physics, I remember hearing more than once that ”you can do anything with a physics degree”. As encouraging as that statement sounds, it is also vague.
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By: Hannah Pell I recently relocated from the bustling Washington, D.C. metro area back to my south-central Pennsylvania hometown. My new space is in a quiet, wooded area; outside my back window I see an expanse full of trees (“Pennsylvania” actually means “Penn’s Woods”) — and a small solar farm is nestled in between them.
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Glashow event visualization: each coloured circle shows an IceCube sensor that was triggered by the event; red circles indicate sensors triggered earlier in time, and green-blue circles indicate sensors triggered later. (Credit: IceCube Collaboration) Physicists working on the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica say they have made the first observation of the Glashow resonance –
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison The same animal was once described by paleontologists as a shrimp, jellyfish, sea cucumber, and a sponge at different times during its study. Anomalocaris, Latin for “abnormal shrimp”, is a creature of exceeding strangeness to modern hominids; it is related to modern-day shrimp with a flat segmented body, faceted eyes on
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In experiments conducted at the CERN CLEAR beamline, an electron beam passes through two sets of triplet electromagnetic quadrupoles and is focused inside a water phantom. (Courtesy: the University of Strathclyde) An international research team has developed a pioneering radiotherapy technique that uses very high-energy electron (VHEE) beams to target tumours precisely. Proposed as an
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