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jcunha

Interference of thermal waves - Can heat be controlled as waves? - 0 views

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    Imagine a material that only admits thermal conduction for certain temperatures. Martin Maldovan from Georgia Tech holds a tiny thermoelectric device that turns cold on one side when current is applied. Recent research has focused on the possibility of using interference effects in phonon waves to control heat transport in materials.

    These are exciting news (see Nature Materials paper here http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v14/n7/full/nmat4308.html). Heterostructure research lead to outstanding new possibilities when applied to electronic transport (e.g. in quantum well and quantum dots) and to photonics (e.g. Quantum Cascade Laser tunnable lasers).
    Apparently the time has come to see selective thermal control in this way! Truly exciting!!
jcunha

Where Life Meets Light: Bio-Inspired Photonics - 0 views

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    Octopus and optoelectronics camouflage, light bugs and LEDs, or spider webs and touch screens, ... a whole cool bunch of biomimetic stuff
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    See also the referred work "Light-extraction enhancement for light-emitting diodes: a firefly-inspired structure refined by the genetic algorithm" - quite cool!
    https://pure.fundp.ac.be/portal/files/11946897/paper89.pdf
Thijs Versloot

Black Hole Hunters - Event Horizon Telescope @nytimes - 1 views

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    Nice web story on setting up the event horizon telescope network of up to 20 telescopes across the globe to observe the black hole at the galaxy's center
Thijs Versloot

Student Confirms That There Are Enormous Tubes Of Plasma Floating Above The Earth - 1 views

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    A 60-year-old theory about the structure of the magnetic fields that surround Earth has been confirmed directly for the first time. The lead author of the paper is an undergraduate student who invented a way to view the Earth's magnetosphere in three dimensions.
Thijs Versloot

Solar singlet fission bends the laws of physics to boost solar power efficiency by 30% ... - 2 views

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    Chemists at UCR have found a way of turning a single photon into two excitons, by a process known as singlet fission. By doubling the yield of excitons in a solar cell, you theoretically double the number of electrons produced and could lead to having a max theoretical efficiency of 60% or more in an (organic) solar cell

    See also DOI: 10.1021/jz500676c - "Singlet Fission: From Coherences to Kinetics"
jcunha

Training and operation of an integrated neural network based on memristors - 0 views

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    Almost in time for the workshop last week!
    This new Nature paper (e-mail me for full paper) claims training and usage of neural network implemented with metal-oxide memristors, without selector CMOS. They used it to implement a delta-rule algorithm for classification of 3x3 pixel black and white letters. Very impressive work!!!!
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    For those not that much into the topic, see the Nature's News and View section www.nature.com/nature/journal/v521/n7550/full/521037a.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20150507 where they feature this article.
jessyjemy

What happens to your brain on the way to Mars - 1 views

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    This study from NASA shows that cosmic rays have a deleterious effect on the brain, more than expected, resulting in in symptoms similar to dementia (memory loss, decline in problem solving skills, general cognitive functions).

    A reason more to investigate into hibernation?
jcunha

Nature podcast - Music and the making of science - 2 views

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    "Is music simply a pleasant accompaniment to thought, or a driving force behind it? This show examines music's influence on the development of modern science and the foundations of acoustics."
    See also http://www.nature.com/news/strike-a-chord-1.17127
Thijs Versloot

Electromagnetism generated by symmetry breaking in dielectrics - 0 views

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    Using dielectric materials as efficient EM radiators and receivers can scale down these antenna's to the chip level, reducing both weight and power consumption. The infamous internet-of-things one step closer. But could we also transmit power this way??

    "In dielectric aerials, the medium has high permittivity, meaning that the velocity of the radio wave decreases as it enters the medium," said Dr Dhiraj Sinha, the paper's lead author. "What hasn't been known is how the dielectric medium results in emission of electromagnetic waves. This mystery has puzzled scientists and engineers for more than 60 years."
    The researchers determined that the reason for this phenomenon is due to symmetry breaking of the electric field associated with the electron acceleration
    The researchers found that by subjecting the piezoelectric thin films to an asymmetric excitation, the symmetry of the system is similarly broken, resulting in a corresponding symmetry breaking of the electric field, and the generation of electromagnetic radiation.
Athanasia Nikolaou

NASA Vesta Trek - 2 views

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    NASA Releases Tool Enabling Citizen Scientists to Examine Asteroid Vesta

    Vesta Trek is a free, web-based application that provides detailed visualizations of Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in our solar system.

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft studied Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. Data gathered from multiple instruments aboard Dawn have been compiled into Vesta Trek's user-friendly set of tools, enabling citizen scientists and students to study the asteroid's features. The application includes:

    -- Interactive maps with the ability to overlay a growing range of data sets including topography, mineralogy, abundance of elements and geology, as well as analysis tools for measuring the diameters, heights and depths of surface features and more.

    -- 3-D printer-exportable topography so users can print physical models of Vesta's surface.

    -- Standard keyboard gaming controls to manoever a first-person visualization of "flying" across the surface of the asteroid.

    "There's nothing like seeing something with your own eyes, but these types of detailed data-visualizations are the next best thing," said Kristen Erickson, Director, Science Engagement and Partnerships at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.
annaheffernan

Acoustic topological insulator could hide submarines - 2 views

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    Researchers have proposed a new "acoustic topological insulator" that could help alleviate sound scattering problems by transmitting sound in certain directions without any backscattering.
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    If I understood correctly the triangular structure would channel the incident sound wave to a unique direction between two options, according to the rotation direction of the cylinders included in its mesh. So, one (possibly two) directions left to detect the hypothetical submarines? Very interesting though, I hope no oceanographers take measurements simultaneously to the signals as climate models will get even more wrong...!
annaheffernan

How to make droplets chase each other and self-assemble into devices - 0 views

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    Droplets can be made to chase each other around a track and even self-assemble into devices, simply by mixing two everyday liquids. This remarkable discovery made by scientists in the US has already been used to create beautiful shapes and patterns, and could also be exploited to create optical components that assemble themselves and even to clean surfaces. It looks very like Jojo's self-assembling balls :p
Thijs Versloot

Watch uranium radiation inside a cloud chamber - 6 views

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    Ever wondered what radiation looks like? If you have, I bet you didn't think it would look as cool as this. This is a small piece of uranium mineral sitting in a cloud chamber, which means you can see the process of decay and radiation emission....
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    Once I saw a DIY spark chamber in LIP (CERN associated laboratory). It was the work of a bunch of BSc students, they made it all from scratch, so it seemed to be not that difficult to have one at home. Yet another project for the future 'Experimental Physics' stagiare maybe :)
jcunha

Medical Xpress: Newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise - 0 views

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    "Hormones are molecules that act as the body's signals, triggering various physiological responses. The newly discovered hormone, dubbed "MOTS-c," primarily targets muscle tissue, where it restores insulin sensitivity, counteracting diet-induced and age-dependent insulin resistance."

    Good news for long distance space travelers?
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    as well as lazy couch potatoes
johannessimon81

This incredible electron micrograph shows light as both a particle and a wave - 6 views

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    So basically we can photograph light now. Not just detect photons but photograph LIGHT WAVES. Really clever setup BTW.
annaheffernan

Filamentous laser beams point to new type of phase transition - applications in weather... - 2 views

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    Filaments of plasma created by a high-powered laser beam undergo a similar type of phase transition as liquid percolating through a porous material - that is the conclusion of physicists in Switzerland. The also describe the application of laser filamentation for directed lightening and encouraged rainfall - Isabelle should come back to take a closer look :p
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    Christophe? Isabelle?
Juxi Leitner

Game-playing software holds lessons for neuroscience : Nature News & Comment - 4 views

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    DeepMind actually got a comp-sci paper into nature...
Thijs Versloot

Alien star invaded the Solar System - 1 views

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    An alien star passed through our Solar System just 70,000 years ago, astronomers have discovered. No other star is known to have approached this close to us. An international team of researchers says it came five times closer than our current nearest neighbour - Proxima Centauri.

    Passing straight through the Oort Cloud region. This must have left some sort of mark maybe? A binary system of a red and brown dwarf (8% and 6% solar masses) so maybe not a too significant impact on trajectories in the Oort cloud?
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    I read this earlier and thought it might be another one of those alien conspiracy stuff. Freaky stuff.
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    what about taking a ride on one of these? - especially if they come with some companion planets? when is the next shuttle coming?
annaheffernan

Mining the moon - 1 views

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    Mining the moon - now we know that the Moon's poles hold millions of tonnes of water ice, firms in the US as well as the Indian and Chinese space agencies are planning to mine this resource and sell it to space missions as fuel.
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