news from the lab 2017

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Results 21 - 40 of 55.


Physics - Materials Science - 20.07.2017
Diving into magnets
Diving into magnets
First-time 3D imaging of internal magnetic patterns Magnets are found in motors, in energy production and in data storage. A deeper understanding of the basic properties of magnetic materials could therefore impact our everyday technology. A study by Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland, the ETH Zurich and the University of Glasgow has the potential to further this understanding.

Chemistry - Physics - 18.07.2017
New catalyst for future energy storage
New catalyst for future energy storage
In order to allow solar and wind energy to make a greater contribution to our future energy supply, it must be possible to store this energy efficiently, for instance in the form of hydrogen. This is done by means of the electrical cleavage of water in an electrolyser. Thanks to a new catalyst material developed by researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, this process may become cheaper and more efficient in the future.

Chemistry - Physics - 17.07.2017
Nanomaterial helps store solar energy: efficiently and inexpensively
Nanomaterial helps store solar energy: efficiently and inexpensively
Field trials show that new catalyst material for electrolysers is reliable Efficient storage technologies are necessary if solar and wind energy is to help satisfy increased energy demands. One important approach is storage in the form of hydrogen extracted from water using solar or wind energy. This process takes place in a so-called electrolyser.

Physics - Mechanical Engineering - 28.06.2017
A levitated nanosphere as an ultra-sensitive sensor
A levitated nanosphere as an ultra-sensitive sensor
Sensitive sensors must be isolated from their environment as much as possible to avoid disturbances.

Physics - Pharmacology - 27.06.2017
Nano particles as food additives: improving risk assessment
Nano particles as food additives: improving risk assessment
The anticaking agent E551 silicon dioxide, or silica, has been used widely in the food industry over the past 50 years, and was long thought to be quite safe. Now, however, researchers working on the National Research Programme ‘Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials' have discovered that these nanoparticles can affect the immune system of the digestive tract.

Physics - Electroengineering - 23.06.2017
A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
EPFL researchers have found a way around what was considered a fundamental limitation of physics for over 100 years. They were able to conceive resonant systems that can store electromagnetic waves over a long period of time while maintaining a broad bandwidth. At EPFL, researchers challenge a fundamental law and discover that more electromagnetic energy can be stored in wave-guiding systems than previously thought.

Physics - 21.06.2017
Injector 2: a pre-accelerator for protons
Injector 2: a pre-accelerator for protons
As fundamental building blocks of matter, protons are a part of all things that surround us. At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, however, they step out of their usual role and are deployed to generate other particles, namely neutrons and muons, which are subsequently used to study materials.

Physics - Chemistry - 21.06.2017
New conductivity mechanism of ions
New conductivity mechanism of ions
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells.

Physics - Innovation / Technology - 08.06.2017
Ultra-fast optical data transfer using solitons on a photonic chip
Ultra-fast optical data transfer using solitons on a photonic chip
Researchers from EPFL and Karlsruhe Institute of Technologyâ?use a soliton frequency combs from optical microresonators to transmit data at speeds of more than 50 terabits per second.

Environment - Physics - 31.05.2017
Water temperatures to drop after the Mühleberg plant closes
Water temperatures to drop after the Mühleberg plant closes
Mühleberg is the first Swiss nuclear power plant slated for decommissioning in 2019. EPFL researchers have shown that its shutdown will lower water temperatures in the Aar River and Lake Biel, and could affect waterways as far away as Germany. When the Mühleberg nuclear power station goes offline in 2019, the waters of the Aar River and Lake Biel will cool down.

Physics - Chemistry - 26.05.2017
Quantum-aided frequency measurements
Quantum-aided frequency measurements
Accurate measurements of the frequencies of weak electric or magnetic fields are important in many applications. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a procedure whereby a quantum sensor measures the frequency of an oscillating magnetic field with unprecedented accuracy. Accurate frequency measurements are of crucial importance in many scientific and technological applications.

Physics - Chemistry - 24.05.2017
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
Researchers from EPFL have shown that the surface of minuscule water drops with a 100 nm size is surprisingly ordered. At room temperature, the surface water molecules of these droplets have much stronger interactions than a normal water surface. The structural difference corresponds to a difference in temperature of -50 °C, which may shed new light on a variety of atmospheric, biological and even geological processes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 19.05.2017
Astronomers make the largest map of the Universe yet
Astronomers make the largest map of the Universe yet
Astronomers of the extended Baryonic Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, led by EPFL Professor Jean-Paul Kneib, used the Sloan telescope to create the first map of the Universe based entirely on quasars.  Quasars are incredibly bright and distant points of light powered by supermassive black holes. As matter and energy fall into the black hole, they heat up to incredible temperatures and begin to glow with excessive brightness.

Physics - Electroengineering - 15.05.2017
Quantum reservoir for microwaves
Quantum reservoir for microwaves
EPFL researchers use a mechanical micrometer-size drum cooled close to the quantum ground state to amplify microwaves in a superconducting circuit. Image: Photograph of the chip used in the experiment to couple a microwave cavity to a micrometer-size drum (the sharp purple pencil tip is placed as a scale).

Physics - Electroengineering - 12.05.2017
One laser is enough
One laser is enough
Gases in the environment can be spectroscopically probed fast and precisely using so-called dual frequency combs. Researchers at ETH have now developed a method by which such frequency combs can be created much more simply and cheaply than before. In contrast to the light emitted by a simple lamp, laser light has a very precisely defined frequency.

Innovation / Technology - Physics - 05.05.2017
A touchable tablet to guide the visually impaired
A touchable tablet to guide the visually impaired
Researchers at EPFL have developed a tablet to help people with a visual impairment find their way around unfamiliar places.

Chemistry - Physics - 28.04.2017
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3D printed plastic pieces
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3D printed plastic pieces
EPFL scientists have combined 3D-printing with electroplating to easily produce high-quality metal electrodes that can be used as a molecular beam-splitter. Many measurement techniques, such as spectroscopy, benefit from the ability to split a single beam of light into two in order to measure changes in one of them.

Life Sciences - Physics - 25.04.2017
A novel form of iron for fortification of foods
A novel form of iron for fortification of foods
Whey protein nanofibrils loaded with iron nanoparticles: ETH researchers are developing a new and highly effective way of fortifying iron into food and drinks.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.04.2017
Nanoparticles remain unpredictable
Nanoparticles remain unpredictable
The way that nanoparticles behave in the environment is extremely complex. There is currently a lack of systematic experimental data to help understand them comprehensively, as ETH environmental scientists have shown in a large overview study. A more standardised approach would help to advance the research field.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.04.2017
Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide
Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide
EPFL scientists have uncovered the hidden properties of titanium dioxide, one of the most promising materials for light-conversion technology. Figure Caption : Lattice structure of anatase TiO 2 with a graphical representation of the 2D exciton that is generated by the absorption of light (purple wavy arrow).