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Physics - Health - 22.02.2021
3D-printing perovskites on graphene makes next-gen X-ray detectors
3D-printing perovskites on graphene makes next-gen X-ray detectors
By using 3D aerosol jet-printing to put perovskites on graphene, scientists at EPFL have made X-ray detectors with record sensitivity that can greatly improve the efficiency and reduce the cost and health hazard of medical imaging devices. Since Wilhelm Röntgen discovered them in 1895, X-rays have become a staple of medical imaging.

Physics - Materials Science - 22.02.2021
Concept for a new storage medium
Concept for a new storage medium
Physicists from Switzerland, Germany and Ukraine have proposed an innovative new data storage medium. The technique is based on specific properties of antiferromagnetic materials that had previously resisted experimental examination. Using nanoscale quantum sensors, an international research team has succeeded in exploring certain previously uncharted physical properties of an antiferromagnetic material.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 22.02.2021
Martian moons have a common ancestor
Martian moons have a common ancestor
Phobos and Deimos are the remains of a larger Martian moon that was disrupted between 1 and 2.7 billion years ago, say researchers from the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich and the Physics Institute at the University of Zurich. They reached this conclusion using computer simulations and seismic recordings from the InSight Mars mission.

Physics - 19.02.2021
Swimming upstream on sound waves
Swimming upstream on sound waves
Researchers are among the first scientists to have succeeded in propelling microvehicles against a fluid flow using ultrasound. In future, these tiny vehicles are set to be introduced into the human bloodstream, thereby revolutionising the field of medicine. At some point, microvehicles that are small enough to navigate our blood vessels will enable physicians to take biopsies, insert stents and deliver drugs with precision to sites that are difficult to reach, all from inside the body.

Physics - Campus - 19.02.2021
IBM's Quantum computer links two quantum revolutions
IBM's Quantum computer links two quantum revolutions
Using the IBM Q computer, physicists at EPFL have verified for the first time the tight relationship between quantum entanglement and wave-particle duality, showing that the former controls the latter in a quantum system. "It is possible to do experiments in fundamental physics on the remotely accessible IBM Q quantum computer ," says Marc-André Dupertuis, a physicist at EPFL's School of Basic Sciences.

Physics - 19.02.2021
Heat loss control method in fusion reactors
Heat loss control method in fusion reactors
The core of a fusion reactor is incredibly hot. Hydrogen that inevitably escapes from it must be cooled on its way to the wall, as otherwise, the reactor wall would be damaged. Researchers from the Dutch institute DIFFER and EPFL's Swiss Plasma Center have developed a strict measurement and control method for the cooling of very hot particles escaping from fusion plasmas.

Physics - Materials Science - 17.02.2021
Novel sandwich technology improves sensitivity of rapid tests
Novel sandwich technology improves sensitivity of rapid tests
Scientists have developed a method for boosting the sensitivity of rapid-detection tests like those used for the new coronavirus. The results of their feasibility study have just been published in Nano Letters. Pregnancy tests and rapid-detection tests for the new coronavirus work in the same way. They contain a surface - usually made of metal - on which chemical nanosensors detect specific compounds in a sample of urine, saliva or blood that indicate the presence of a given protein or part of a virus.

Physics - Electroengineering - 15.02.2021
Kagome graphene promises exciting properties
Kagome graphene promises exciting properties
For the first time, physicists from the University of Basel have produced a graphene compound consisting of carbon atoms and a small number of nitrogen atoms in a regular grid of hexagons and triangles. This honeycomb-structured -kagome lattice- behaves as a semiconductor and may also have unusual electrical properties.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.02.2021
Droplets perform daredevil feats on gel surfaces
Scientists have succeeded in making droplets flow just as fast on soft surfaces as on hard ones by changing the surface texture. Welcome to the amazing world of soft substrates. These materials are made of silicon gels and have the same texture as panna cotta - but without the delicious flavor. They are used in a range of applications, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, because their biocompatible and antiadhesive properties make them resistant to corrosion and bacterial contamination.

Physics - 28.01.2021
Physicists develop record-breaking source for single photons
Physicists develop record-breaking source for single photons
Researchers at the University of Basel and Ruhr University Bochum have developed a source of single photons that can produce billions of these quantum particles per second. With its record-breaking efficiency, the photon source represents a new and powerful building-block for quantum technologies. Quantum cryptography promises absolutely secure communications.

Physics - Chemistry - 27.01.2021
Size of helium nucleus measured more precisely than ever before
In experiments at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, an international research collaboration with ETH Zurich involvement has measured the radius of the atomic nucleus of helium five times more precisely than ever before. With the aid of the new value, fundamental physical theories can be tested. After hydrogen, helium is the second most abundant element in the universe.

Physics - 26.01.2021
Physics challenges the optimal size of parliaments
Physics challenges the optimal size of parliaments
Analyzing a classic paper that has influenced the size of parliaments for almost half a century, an EPFL physicist discovers major flaws with its methodology, challenges its fundamental assumptions, and calls for a complete and careful re-think of its government-governing rule. What is the best size of a parliament? That is a question at the center of many countries today, including the 2020 referendum in Italy where almost 70% of voters selected to slash the number of members of parliament by about a third.

Physics - Computer Science - 25.01.2021
Lasers and virtual reality to revolutionize watch-crystal engraving
Lasers and virtual reality to revolutionize watch-crystal engraving
EPFL engineers teamed up with luxury watchmaker Vacheron Constantin to develop an innovative system that uses lasers to create 3D sculptures within sapphire watch crystals.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 21.01.2021
How our planets were formed
How our planets were formed
Terrestrial planets versus gas and ice giants: A new theory explaining why the inner solar system is so different to the outer regions runs counter to the prevailing wisdom. The theory was proposed by an international research group with ETH Zurich's participation. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars in the inner solar system are relatively small, dry planets, unlike Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the outer regions, planets that contain much greater quantities of volatile elements.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.01.2021
Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings. Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method.

Physics - Electroengineering - 11.01.2021
Electrically switchable qubit can tune between storage and fast calculation modes
Electrically switchable qubit can tune between storage and fast calculation modes
To perform calculations, quantum computers need qubits to act as elementary building blocks that process and store information. Now, physicists have produced a new type of qubit that can be switched from a stable idle mode to a fast calculation mode. The concept would also allow a large number of qubits to be combined into a powerful quantum computer, as researchers from the University of Basel and TU Eindhoven have reported in the journal -Nature Nanotechnology-.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 22.12.2020
How Nearby Galaxies Form Their Stars
How Nearby Galaxies Form Their Stars
How stars form in galaxies remains a major open question in astrophysics. A new UZH study sheds new light on this topic with the help of a data-driven re-analysis of observational measurements. The star-formation activity of typical, nearby galaxies is found to scale proportionally with the amount of gas present in these galaxies.

Physics - 21.12.2020
When light and atoms share a common vibe
Scientists from EPFL, MIT, and CEA Saclay demonstrate a state of vibration that exists simultaneously at two different times. They evidence this quantum superposition by measuring the strongest class of quantum correlations between light beams that interact with the vibration. An especially counter-intuitive feature of quantum mechanics is that a single event can exist in a state of superposition - happening bothhere andthere , or bothtoday andtomorrow .

Physics - Materials Science - 16.12.2020
Big step with small whirls
Big step with small whirls
Skyrmions are small magnetic objects that could revolutionize the data storage industry and also enable new computer architectures. However, before they can be utilized in such applications, there are still a number of challenges that need to be overcome. A team of Empa researchers has now succeeded for the first time in producing a tunable multilayer system in which two different types of skyrmions - the future bits for "0" and "1" - can exist at room temperature, as they recently reported in the renowned .

Life Sciences - Physics - 14.12.2020
Bacterial nanopores open the future of data storage
Bioengineers at EPFL have developed a nanopore-based system that can read data encoded into synthetic macromolecules with higher accuracy and resolution than similar methods on the market. The system is also potentially cheaper and longer-lasting, and overcomes limitations that prevent us from moving away from conventional data storage devices that are rapidly maxing out in capacity and endurance.
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