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Physics - 25.03.2019
In a new quantum simulator, light behaves like a magnet
In a new quantum simulator, light behaves like a magnet
Physicists at EPFL propose a new "quantum simulator": a laser-based device that can be used to study a wide range of quantum systems. Studying it, the researchers have found that photons can behave like magnetic dipoles at temperatures close to absolute zero, following the laws of quantum mechanics.

Physics - 21.03.2019
LHCb sees a new flavour of matter-antimatter asymmetry
LHCb sees a new flavour of matter-antimatter asymmetry
The LHCb collaboration at CERN 1 has seen, for the first time, the matter-antimatter asymmetry known as CP violation in a particle dubbed the D0 meson. The finding, presented today at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference and in a dedicated CERN seminar , is sure to make it into the textbooks of particle physics.

Life Sciences - Physics - 20.03.2019
How our body «listens» to vibrations
How our body «listens» to vibrations
UNIGE researchers show that, for the brain, sounds and vibrations are ultimately quite similar. This would explain why vibrations are sometimes as unpleasant as noise pollution. We all know the feeling of a mobile phone vibrating in our hands when announcing an incoming call. If we perceive these vibrations so clearly, it is due to specialized receptors that transduce them into neural signals sent to our brain.

Physics - Environment - 20.03.2019
Precision work for large molecules
Precision work for large molecules
Quantum cascade lasers are able to measure the smallest molecules with high precision. But the technology has failed to measure larger gas molecules - until now! Empa researchers have succeeded in quantifying ethanol, an important organic molecule, with the aid of such a laser. In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), a team of researchers has successfully developed a method for determining the concentration of ethanol in a gas mixture with a very high proportion of water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.03.2019
Researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear
Researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear
Using high-performance computer simulations, EPFL researchers were able to observe how surface roughness changes when two materials rub together. Their findings, which provide insight into friction and wear mechanisms, have implications for areas ranging from engineering to the study of tectonic faults.

Physics - 08.03.2019
Super superlattices: The moiré patterns of three layers change the electronic properties of graphene
Super superlattices: The moiré patterns of three layers change the electronic properties of graphene
Combining an atomically thin graphene and a boron nitride layer at a slightly rotated angle changes their electrical properties. Physicists at the University of Basel have now shown for the first time the combination with a third layer can result in new material properties also in a three-layer sandwich of carbon and boron nitride.

Life Sciences - Physics - 04.03.2019
Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution is a powerful technique for engineering proteins. EPFL scientists now show that it can also be used to engineer synthetic nanoparticles as optical biosensors, which are used widely in biology, drug development, and even medical diagnostics such as real-time monitoring of glucose. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who developed the method that forever changed protein engineering: directed evolution.

Physics - Electroengineering - 20.02.2019
The holy grail of nanowire production
The holy grail of nanowire production
EPFL researchers have found a way to control and standardize the production of nanowires on silicon surfaces. This discovery could make it possible to grow nanowires on electronic platforms, with potential applications including the integration of nanolasers into electronic chips and improved energy conversion in solar panels.

Electroengineering - Physics - 15.02.2019
A transformer to drive the transition from AC to DC
A transformer to drive the transition from AC to DC
EPFL researchers have developed a compact and efficient medium-frequency transformer. Their device is poised to enhance the flexibility and efficiency of tomorrow's smart grids and DC power distribution networks. An EPFL-made prototype has been thoroughly tested and presented in several tutorials designed for experts from the academic and industrial worlds.

Physics - Materials Science - 12.02.2019
Next-generation optics in just two minutes of cooking time
Next-generation optics in just two minutes of cooking time
One of the key building blocks of flexible photonic circuits and ultra-thin optics are metasurfaces. And EPFL engineers have now discovered a simple way of making these surfaces in just a few minutes - without needing a clean room - using a method already employed in manufacturing. Their findings have just been published.

Physics - Life Sciences - 12.02.2019
The physical forces of cells in action
The physical forces of cells in action
Swiss scientists have developed probes designed to reveal the physical forces inside living cells. A world first. The detection of physical forces is one of the most complex challenges facing science. Although Newton's apple has long solved the problem of gravity, imaging the physical forces that act in living cells remains one of the main mysteries of current biology.

Physics - 08.02.2019
Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components
Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components
Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs.

Physics - Environment - 04.02.2019
Precious metal tracks nanoplastics
Precious metal tracks nanoplastics
Tiny plastic particles measuring about 100 nanometres (millionths of a millimetre) are used in many products, for example to encapsulate dye or aromatic substances or as additives to shampoos and cosmetics. Many of them land directly in sewage as soon as the products are used. Together with other plastics, for example from tyre rubber in road run-off, they end up in the water-treatment plants.

Physics - Life Sciences - 01.02.2019
Virtual lens improves X-ray microscopy
PSI researchers are first to transfer state-of-the-art microscopy method to X-ray imaging X-rays provide unique insights into the interior of materials, tissues, and cells. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method that makes X-ray images even better: The resolution is higher and allows more precise inferences about the properties of materials.

Physics - Chemistry - 18.01.2019
Hand-knitted Molecules
Hand-knitted Molecules
Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips - in a sense as a "hand-knitted" unique specimen. The properties of the molecules can be monitored in real time while they are being produced.

Physics - Innovation / Technology - 15.01.2019
International collaboration publishes concept design for a post-LHC future circular collider at CERN
International collaboration publishes concept design for a post-LHC future circular collider at CERN
Geneva. Today, the Future Circular Collider (FCC) collaboration submitted its Conceptual Design Report (CDR) for publication, a four-volume document that presents the different options for a large circular collider of the future. It showcases the great physics opportunities offered by machines of unprecedented energy and intensity and describes the technical challenges, cost and schedule for realisation.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.01.2019
Measurement of five flashes from the depths of the universe
Measurement of five flashes from the depths of the universe
First-time precise measurement of gamma-ray bursts conducted successfully from a space station A detector called POLAR, developed at PSI, has been sent to outer space to collect data. In September 2016, the device was launched into Earth orbit on board the newest Chinese space station. From that vantage point, POLAR recorded so-called gamma-ray bursts flashing in the far reaches of the universe.

Physics - 04.01.2019
Excitons pave the way to more efficient electronics
Excitons pave the way to more efficient electronics
After developing a method to control exciton flows at room temperature, EPFL scientists have discovered new properties of these quasiparticles that can lead to more energy-efficient electronic devices. They were the first to control exciton flows at room temperature. And now, the team of scientists from EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) has taken their technology one step further.