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New material puts a twist in light

28-07-2014

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have uncovered the secret to twisting light at will. It is the latest step in the development of photonics, the faster, more compact and less carbon-hungry successor to electronics. A random find in the washing basket led the team to create ...

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Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity

24-07-2014

New technology under development at the University of California, Berkeley, could soon give bomb-sniffing dogs some serious competition. A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a ...

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Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor

Sensor amplifies optical signature of single molecules about 100 billion times

23-07-2014

Nanophotonics experts at Rice University have created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times. Newly published tests found the device could accurately identify the composition and structure of individual molecules containing fewer than 20 ...

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When is a molecule a molecule?

Scientists watch fast electron jumps in exploding molecules

22-07-2014

Using ultra-short X-ray flashes, an international team of researchers watched electrons jumping between the fragments of exploding molecules. The study reveals up to what distance a charge transfer between the two molecular fragments can occur, marking the limit of the molecular regime. The ...

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'Nanocamera' takes pictures at distances smaller than light's own wavelength

How is it possible to record optically encoded information for distances smaller than the wavelength of light?

22-07-2014

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that an array of novel gold, pillar-bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs) can be used like traditional photographic film to record light for distances that are much smaller than the wavelength of light (for example, distances ...

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NMR under pressure: Reproducing deep-Earth chemistry

16-07-2014

A new pressure cell invented by UC Davis researchers makes it possible to simulate chemical reactions deep in the Earth's crust. The cell allows researchers to perform nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements on as little as 10 microliters of liquid at pressures up to 20 kiloBar. "NMR is our ...

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Sophisticated radiation detector designed for broad public use

14-07-2014

Nuclear engineers at Oregon State University have developed a small, portable and inexpensive radiation detection device that should help people all over the world better understand the radiation around them, its type and intensity, and whether or not it poses a health risk. The device was ...

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Uncertainty gives scientists new confidence in search for novel materials

14-07-2014

Scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to estimate uncertainties in computer calculations that are widely used to speed the search for new materials for industry, electronics, energy, drug design and a host of other ...

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The quantum dance of oxygen

Proposal for a new phase of the element, where atoms dance in quartets

09-07-2014

Perhaps not everyone knows that oxygen has– quite unusually for such a simple molecule – magnetic properties. The phase diagram of solid oxygen at low temperatures and high pressures shows, however, several irregularities (for example, proper "information gaps" with regard to these magnetic ...

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Pseudogenes may provide clearer understanding of biomarkers

09-07-2014

Alas, the thankless pseudogene. Dysfunctional, unloved and seemingly of little use, these poor-cousin relatives of genes have lost their protein-coding abilities. They contain material not essential for an organism's survival and are the "last stop" for removal of genomic waste. Not any more. The ...

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