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Addressing the solar cell power conversion dilemma
PhysOrg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Physicists studying the properties of GaNAs alloys believe that the characteristics of these semiconductor alloys could lead to more efficient solar cells. Read the associated APS Physics Synopsis article. More



Theoretical walker struts its energy-efficient stuff
Nature News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Staggering home from the supermarket laden with bags of shopping, it would be impossible -- and more than a little silly -- to rock your torso quickly back and forth while swinging your legs in loopy, pendulum-like steps. But research soon to appear in the journal Physical Review E suggests that if you were able to take a cue from a theoretical walker that does just that, you might save yourself some energy. More

A physicist explains why parallel universes may exist
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our universe might be really, really big -- but finite. Or it might be infinitely big. Both cases, says physicist Brian Greene, are possibilities, but if the latter is true, so is another posit: there are only so many ways matter can arrange itself within that infinite universe. Eventually matter has to repeat itself and arrange itself in similar ways. So if the universe is infinitely large, it is also home to infinite parallel universes. More

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Single molecules probe tiny hotspots
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers in the U.S. are the first to use single fluorescent dye molecules to probe the local electromagnetic fields inside nanoscale "hotspots" on metal surfaces. The imaging technique can identify structures as small as just 15 nm across with a resolution of less than 2 nm -- which is much smaller than conventional optical microscopes can achieve. More

Tearing into the Metrodome: Are other air-pressurized stadiums unsafe and outmoded?
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a roof made of fabric similar to that used in trampolines, it's not hard to envision why 43 centimeters of snow tore through Minneapolis's Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome last month. What is perhaps harder to imagine is why anyone would consider keeping in place an inflatable domed stadium that most engineers agree is antiquated. Forensic investigators and engineers are still studying the Dec. 12 accident, although it is unclear whether any federal agencies have been summoned to investigate. More



The hunt for neutrinos in the Antarctic
The Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The IceCube project has constructed a giant detector in the Antarctic ice to find subatomic particles. It could reveal where cosmic rays come from -- and their cause.  More

In pursuit of qubits, uniting subatomic particles by the billions
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a step toward a generation of ultrafast computers, physicists have used bursts of radio waves to briefly create 10 billion quantum-entangled pairs of subatomic particles in silicon. The research offers a glimpse of a future computing world in which individual atomic nuclei store and retrieve data and single electrons shuttle it back and forth. More

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Scientists go deep underground to search for elusive dark matter
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For more than 125 years, the Homestake mine was the center of the search for gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Though the mine closed in 2002, it once again will play a big role in the pursuit of something precious. This time, however, the target is nothing you can see or touch. A group of particle physicists is looking for proof of dark matter, the mysterious glue that holds galaxies together. More

Toxic ash clouds might be culprit in biggest mass extinction
ScienceNOW    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tiny particles embedded in ancient Canadian rocks have provided new clues about what might have triggered Earth's deadliest mass extinction. The ultimate cause, researchers say, might be globe-smothering clouds of toxic ash similar to that spewed by modern-day coal-fired power plants. More
 
 

APS Weekly NewsBrief
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