news from the lab 2012

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Physics/Materials Science



Results 1 - 15 of 15.

Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
22.11.2012
A Magic Formula to Predict Fracture in Steel
A Magic Formula to Predict Fracture in Steel
Researchers have elucidated a century-old mystery: how hydrogen destroys steels. A new mathematical model predicts this failure in the presence of the destructive atoms. A veritable gangrene for steels and other structural metals, hydrogen is one of the most important causes of ruptures in industrial parts, such as pipelines.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
11.11.2012
Using rust and water to store solar energy as hydrogen
Using rust and water to store solar energy as hydrogen
Scientists are producing hydrogen from sunlight, water and rust. They're paving the way for an economic and ecological solution for storing renewable energy. How can solar energy be stored so that it can be available any time, day or night, when the sun shining or not? EPFL scientists are developing a technology that can transform light energy into a clean fuel that has a neutral carbon footprint: hydrogen.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
07.11.2012
A Revolutionary Type of Gel
A Revolutionary Type of Gel
Controlling and modifying at will the transparency, electrical properties, and stiffness of a gel - such are the promises of a new discovery by physicists. This marks an important step for materials used in healthcare, high-tech, and the cosmetics industry. At the mention of gel, we immediately imagine extravagant hairstyles.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Physics/Materials Science
17.10.2012
New Technique to Diagnose Hearing Loss
New Technique to Diagnose Hearing Loss
Researchers have developed an imaging technique that can provide in situ observations of the internal ear, an area which has until now been inaccessible. This groundbreaking work may finally make it possible to understand the mechanisms underlying hearing loss. What actually causes hearing loss in humans? And what are the best therapeutic approaches to this problem? Modern medicine hasn't yet been able to provide doctors with the right answers in many cases, because there has been no way to observe the tissue of the inner ear, without destroying it.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
10.09.2012
Nano-velcro clasps heavy metal molecules in its grips
Nano-velcro clasps heavy metal molecules in its grips
Researchers develop nano-strips for inexpensive testing of mercury levels in our lakes and oceans with unprecedented sensitivity Mercury, when dumped in lakes and rivers, accumulates in fish, and often ends up on our plates. A Swiss-American team of researchers led by Francesco Stellacci at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Bartosz Grzybowski at Northwestern University has devised a simple, inexpensive system based on nanoparticles, a kind of nano-velcro, to detect and trap this toxic pollutant as well as others.
Physics/Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering/Mechanics
26.07.2012
New-generation sensor combines lasers and mechanics
New-generation sensor combines lasers and mechanics
Scientists have developed a rapid, precise opto-mechanical measurement system that can be embedded into a silicon chip. This new technology could revolutionize the domain of sensors and atomic force microscopy. Resonators are used to detect infinitesimal quantities of matter in the atmosphere. Here's how it works: when a microscopic string comes into with a particle or a gas molecule, it vibrates.
Physics/Materials Science
04.07.2012
CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson
CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson
Geneva, 4 July 2012. At a seminar held at CERN today as a curtain raiser to the year's major particle physics conference, ICHEP2012 in Melbourne, the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented their latest preliminary results in the search for the long sought Higgs particle. Both experiments observe a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV.
Physics/Materials Science
29.06.2012
Probing the secrets of unmagnetized magnets
Probing the secrets of unmagnetized magnets
Physicists studying magnetic materials have discovered that they have some unexpected properties. Their research could lead to the development of even tinier magnets in the future. Magnets are everywhere; stuck to our fridges, used in electric motors, built into the hard disks on our computers. Scientists have studied them for centuries, but it's only recently that a team from EPFL's Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism has probed the details of their innermost structure.
Physics/Materials Science
13.06.2012
Composite Materials Will Lead to Greener Cars
Composite Materials Will Lead to Greener Cars
The use of composite materials is rapidly entering into the automotive industry thanks to a technique developed by a spin-off. This technique promises lighter cars that burn less fuel and, consequently, emit less CO2. In 2013, we may see car bumpers, doors, and frames made from composite materials, which are engineered or naturally occurring materials such as fiberglass made from two or more constituents with different physical or chemical properties.
Physics/Materials Science - Architecture
08.06.2012
A solar sandwich to power future buildings
A solar sandwich to power future buildings
All in one: A new electricity generating building component is being developed.
Architecture - Physics/Materials Science
14.05.2012
Light is good for our brains
Light is good for our brains
Scientists have proven that light intensity influences our cognitive performance and how alert we feel, and that these positive effects last until early evening. Tests conducted at EPFL have confirmed the hypothesis that light influences our subjective feeling of sleepiness. The research team, led by Mirjam Münch, also showed that the effects of light exposure last until the early evening, and that light intensity has an impact on cognitive mechanisms.
Physics/Materials Science - Computer Science/Telecom
22.02.2012
Fiber Optics in Computer Screens
Fiber Optics in Computer Screens
A single fiber-optic can light up computer screens. This innovation put in place by a spin-off, brings energy savings of 30% while boosting processors.
Earth Sciences - Physics/Materials Science
20.02.2012
Science of the stick-slip
Science of the stick-slip
Scientists have succeeded in modelling what happens when two bodies slide against each other and thereby release the pressure; a discovery that has implications for the understanding of the magnitude of earthquakes. David Kammer from EPFL has developed a digital model that explains what happens at the interface between two materials when they slide against each other; like a book on a table, rubber soles on linoleum, or - more to the point - tectonic plates.
Physics/Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering/Mechanics
06.02.2012
A quantum connection between light and motion
A quantum connection between light and motion
Researchers have demonstrated a microscopic system in which light can be converted into a mechanical oscillation and back.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
03.02.2012
How to turn leaves into solar panels
How to turn leaves into solar panels
Photovoltaic panels made from plant material could become a cheap, easy alternative to traditional solar cells. An entirely novel approach to photovoltaics has been developed. By taking the very protein in plants that allows for photosythesis and engineering it to produce electrical current, researcher Andreas Mershin has opened the door for potentially cheap and easy to reproduce solar energy.

 
 
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