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Optical innovation could calm the jitters of high-power lasers The Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed and tested an innovative optical system to precisely measure and control the position and pointing angle of high-power laser beams with unprecedented accuracy—without interrupting or disturbing the beams. The new system will help users throughout the sciences get the most out of high-power lasers.
What will happen to sediment plumes associated with deep-sea mining? In certain parts of the deep ocean, scattered across the seafloor, lie baseball-sized rocks layered with minerals accumulated over millions of years. A region of the central Pacific, called the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ), is estimated to contain vast reserves of these rocks, known as "polymetallic nodules," that are rich in nickel and cobalt—minerals that are commonly mined on land for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, laptops, and mobile phones.
Iridium-catalyzed hydrogen addition, giving plant- and insect-based natural substances The cost-effectiveness of drug synthesis depends on a number of factors, including the amount of waste produced. A team of researchers have now discovered a catalyst that achieves exceptionally high-precision addition of hydrogen to carbon-carbon bonds, improving targeted synthesis by avoiding convoluted multi-step processes, and reducing wasteful by-products. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the authors herald the reaction as especially useful in the production of complex natural substances such as pheromones.
Oral biome change during shift from foraging to farming not as dramatic as in recent years A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Italy, the US and Austria has found that changes to the human oral biome during the shift from foraging to farming were not nearly as dramatic as those that have occurred in modern times. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their analysis of dental records covering thousands of years and what it showed them about changes to the microbiome in the human mouth.
A naturally inspired, reusable system that purifies water and builds itself In nature, the interaction of molecules at the boundary of different liquids can give rise to new structures. These self-assembling molecules make cell formation possible and are instrumental to the development of all life on Earth.
Researchers create powerful quantum source with meta-lens array Researchers for the first time have demonstrated a quantum light source based on a meta-lens array. The approach offers a promising platform for both high-dimensional photon entanglement and the coherent control of multiple photons, making it suitable for advancing quantum technologies for secure communication, computing, and other applications.
Exploring quantum systems that don't find equilibrium Some physical systems, especially in the quantum world, do not reach a stable equilibrium even after a long time. An ETH researcher has now found an elegant explanation for this phenomenon.
Synopsis: Balding Black Holes Lose Their Magnetic Hair
Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz
First-principles plasma simulations show that black holes can’t keep their magnetic fields.
[Physics 14, s92] Published Tue Jul 27, 2021
Research News: Pinpointing the Roots of Extreme Weather Events
Author(s): Katherine Wright
A statistical method for fingerprinting the patterns of heat waves and cold spells could reveal whether climate change caused an extreme weather event.
[Physics 14, 108] Published Tue Jul 27, 2021
Viewpoint: Tin Qubits Give Diamond a New Shine
Author(s): Evangelia Takou and Sophia E. Economou
Nanophotonic devices based on tin-vacancy qubits in diamond show promise as building blocks of quantum repeaters, an important step toward the realization of long-range quantum networks.
[Physics 14, 105] Published Mon Jul 26, 2021
Focus: Ricocheting Waves Pinpoint an Object’s Location
Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz
An echo chamber captures small-scale information about an object without the need for up-close probing.
[Physics 14, 107] Published Fri Jul 23, 2021
Opinion: More than Just a Woman Physicist
Author(s): Lucy Avraamidou
Approaches that consider the intersection of multiple social and personal identities are urgently needed to understand why women are underrepresented in physics.
[Physics 14, 75] Published Thu Jul 22, 2021
News Feature: Fixing A Physics Culture Problem
Author(s): Leto Sapunar
Efforts to improve the climate for women in physics departments take many forms. None should focus on changing its women, some physicists say.
[Physics 14, 106] Published Thu Jul 22, 2021
Synopsis: Magnons Dampen Skyrmion Motion
Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz
Adding a friction term to models helps them better account for how spin textures evolve experimentally at room temperature.
[Physics 14, s90] Published Thu Jul 22, 2021
How is gold made? The mysterious cosmic origins of heavy elements We have long struggled to figure out where heavy elements like gold come from. Now we have seen them being forged in neutron star collisions – and fresh clues suggest a role for the universe's first stars
Strange 3D-printed shapes test 150-year-old mathematical theory In 1871, the mathematician Lord Kelvin invented a shape called an isotropic helicoid that physicists predicted would behave strangely in a fluid – now it has been tested for the first time
New kind of ice is so bendy it can curl and uncurl without breaking A single ice crystal formed into a thin strand can bend almost into a circle and then snap back into its original shape, making it the most elastic form of water ice ever made
Can a new collider reveal the last secrets of the Higgs boson? The most famous subatomic particle has revealed nothing we didn’t expect – so far. Now physicists want to build a “Higgs factory” to better interrogate it for signs of new physics
NASA's most accurate atomic clock will be tested on a mission to Venus A toaster-sized atomic clock in orbit around Earth is far more accurate than existing space clocks. It will be tested on a mission to Venus to see if it will aid autonomous spacecraft navigation on deep-space missions
Steel foil coated with nanowires does backflips out of water Extremely thin and water-repellent steel wafers not only float when submerged, they harvest power from surface tension and leap out of water
The hunt for a primordial force that would revolutionise cosmology Finding magnetic fields dating back to the big bang would transform our understanding of how the universe evolved. Now astronomers think they're on brink of such a breakthrough
Physicists beat Lorentz reciprocity for microwave transmission New device could boost telecommunications and be adapted for photonics
Japan’s SuperKEKB set for first particle collisions Revamped accelerator will soon be smashing electrons and positrons together
Wood-based 'supermaterial' is stronger and tougher than steel New material is made by compressing treated wood
Three photons bind together to make a ‘molecule’ of light Technique could be used to create quantum-information systems
Nuclear excitation by electron capture seen at long last Breakthrough could lead to new type of energy source
Pistachio trees 'talk' to their neighbours, reveals statistical physics Ising model could account for nut production of pistachio orchards
US National Science Foundation clamps down on misconduct Agency will now require every grantee organization to report cases of sexual harassment