Mathematics & Physics articlesStoring data on atomic roundabouts
There are right-handed and left-handed yoghurts, right-handed and left-handed snail shells, and right-handed and (occasionally) left-handed screws. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now demonstrated the existence of right-handed and left-handed "magnetic vortices".
New research sheds light on shimmering superconductivity and the courtship of electrons
In their normal state, electrons repel each other because of their charge, but in the state of superconductivity, electrons pair up. John Schlueter, a chemist from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, collaborated with a team of researchers from the University of Oxford to better understand how this unlikely courtship occurs.
Taming tiny, unruly waves for nano optics
Nanoscale devices present a unique challenge to any optical technology — there's just not enough room for light to travel in a straight line.
Harvard scientists predict the future of the past tense
Verbs evolve and homogenize at a rate inversely proportional to their prevalence in the English language, according to a formula developed by Harvard University mathematicians who've invoked evolutionary principles to study our language over the past 1,200 years, from "Beowulf" to "Canterbury Tales" to "Harry Potter."
New force-fluorescence device measures motion previously undetectable
A hybrid device combining force and fluorescence developed by researchers at the University of Illinois has made possible the accurate detection of nanometer-scale motion of biomolecules caused by pico-newton forces.
New particles get a mass boost
A sophisticated, new analysis has revealed that the next frontier in particle physics is farther away than once thought. New forms of matter not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics are most likely twice as massive as theorists had previously calculated, according to a just-published study.
'Electromagnetic wormhole' possible with invisibility technology
The team of mathematicians that first created the mathematics behind the "invisibility cloak" announced by physicists last October has now shown that the same technology could be used to generate an "electromagnetic wormhole."
Time to overhaul newton's theory of gravitation?
For almost 75 years, astronomers have believed that the Universe has a large amount of unseen or 'dark' matter, thought to make up about five-sixths of the matter in the cosmos. With the conventional theory of gravitation, based on Newton's ideas and refined by Einstein 92 years ago, dark matter helps to explain the motion of galaxies, and clusters of galaxies, on the largest scales.
Rutgers physicists show how electrons 'gain weight' in metal compounds near absolute zero temperature
Rutgers University physicists have performed computer simulations that show how electrons become one thousand times more massive in certain metal compounds when cooled to temperatures near absolute zero – the point where all motion ceases. The models may provide new clues as to how superconductivity works and how new superconducting materials could be fabricated.
Heavier hydrogen on the atomic scale reduces friction
Scientists may be one step closer to understanding the atomic forces that cause friction, thanks to a recently published study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Houston and the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.
Physicists see similarities in stream of sand grains, exotic plasma at birth of universe
Streams of granular particles bouncing off a target in a simple tabletop experiment produce liquid-like behavior also witnessed in a massive research apparatus that simulates the birth of the universe.
Max Planck researchers have for the first time analyzed the frequency of molecular resonance, in the same way as musicians analyze the notes of a chord. Their results have even been made audible.
Video shows buckyballs form by 'shrink wrapping'
The birth secret of buckyballs -- hollow spheres of carbon no wider than a strand of DNA -- has been caught on tape by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and Rice University. An electron microscope video and computer simulations show that "shrink-wrapping" is the key; buckyballs start life as distorted, unstable sheets of graphite, shedding loosely connected threads and chains until only the perfectly spherical buckyballs remain.
Traffic jam mystery solved by mathematicians
Mathematicians from the University of Exeter have solved the mystery of traffic jams by developing a model to show how major delays occur on our roads, with no apparent cause.
Scientists make quantum computing leap
University of Toronto physicists are part of an international team that has made the first execution of a quantum calculation, a major step towards building the first quantum computers.
The quest for a new class of superconductors
Fifty years after the Nobel-prize winning explanation of how superconductors work, a research team from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Edinburgh, and Cambridge University are suggesting another mechanism for the still-mysterious phenomenon.
A crystal that nature may have missed
For centuries, human beings have been entranced by the captivating glimmer of the diamond. What accounts for the stunning beauty of this most precious gem? As mathematician Toshikazu Sunada explains in an article appearing today in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, some secrets of the diamond's beauty can be uncovered by a mathematical analysis of its microscopic crystal structure. It turns out that this structure has some very special, and especially symmetric, properties. In fact, as Sunada discovered, out of an infinite universe of mathematical crystals, only one other shares these properties with the diamond, a crystal that he calls the "K_4 crystal". It is not known whether the K_4 crystal exists in nature or could be synthesized.
Researchers bend light through waveguides in colloidal crystals
Researchers at the University of Illinois are the first to achieve optical waveguiding of near-infrared light through features embedded in self-assembled, three-dimensional photonic crystals. Applications for the optically active crystals include low-loss waveguides, low-threshold lasers and on-chip optical circuitry.
Graphene makes movement easy for electrons
Researchers at The University of Manchester have found that electrons move more easily in graphene than all other materials, including gold, silicon, gallium arsenide and carbon nanotubes.
Math models snowflakes
Three-dimensional snowflakes can now be grown in a computer using a program developed by mathematicians at UC Davis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.