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Physics - 19.09.2019
Quantum physics: beyond the logic of cause and effect
In classical, Newtonian theory, causality, the connection between cause and effect, is considered to sit at the core of physics: Causal thinking, together with the idea that absolute time and space are the pre-given stage for all physical events, have been dominating classical physics well into the twentieth century.

Chemistry - Physics - 17.09.2019
A molecular bridge further
A molecular bridge further
Electronics built from molecules could open up new possibilities in the miniaturization of circuits in the future. Empa researchers, together with partners from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Israel, and the UK, succeeded in solving a crucial detail in the realization of such circuit elements: A molecular bridge for electrons that remains mechanically and electronically stable at room temperature.

Physics - 09.09.2019
Making and controlling crystals of light
Making and controlling crystals of light
EPFL scientists have shown how light inside optical on-chip microresonators can be crystallized in a form of periodic pulse trains that can boost the performance of optical communication links or endow ultrafast LiDAR with sub-micron precision. Optical microresonators convert laser light into ultrashort pulses travelling around the resonator's circumference.

Physics - Materials Science - 04.09.2019
Studying heart cells with nanovolcanoes
Studying heart cells with nanovolcanoes
Researchers at EPFL and the University of Bern have developed a groundbreaking method for studying the electrical signals of cardiac muscle cells. The technology has numerous potential applications in basic and applied research - such as improving the search for mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 28.08.2019
Providing a solution to the worst-ever prediction in physics
Providing a solution to the worst-ever prediction in physics
A UNIGE physicist has proposed a new approach to solving one of the biggest theoretical problems in physics: the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant, introduced a century ago by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity, is a thorn in the side of physicists. The difference between the theoretical prediction of this parameter and its measurement based on astronomical observations is of the order of 10121.

Computer Science / Telecom - Physics - 27.08.2019
Universal algorithm set to boost microscopes
Universal algorithm set to boost microscopes
EPFL scientists have developed an algorithm that can determine whether a super-resolution microscope is operating at maximum resolution based on a single image. The method is compatible with all types of microscopes and could one day be a standard feature of automated models. Thanks to the advent of super-resolution microscopes some 30 years ago, scientists can observe subcellular structures, proteins and living tissue with unprecedented precision.

Physics - 22.08.2019
Visualising strong magnetic fields with neutrons
Visualising strong magnetic fields with neutrons
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method with which strong magnetic fields can be precisely measured. They use neutrons obtained from the SINQ spallation source. In the future, it will therefore be possible to measure the fields of magnets that are already installed in devices and thus are inaccessible by other probing techniques.

Physics - Chemistry - 21.08.2019
Graphene nanoflakes: a new tool for precision medicine
Graphene nanoflakes: a new tool for precision medicine
Chemists funded by the SNSF have created a new compound for flexible drug delivery that specifically targets prostate cancer cells. Incorporating four different molecules, the compound prevents tumour cells from multiplying, can be detected by medical imaging and has staying power in the bloodstream.

Physics - Life Sciences - 26.07.2019
Listening to the whispers of individual cells
Listening to the whispers of individual cells
A new method developed by biophysicists at ETH Zurich has made it possible for the first time to detect and analyse signals between individual cells. For the cells in our bodies to function as a unit, they must communicate with one another constantly. They secrete signalling molecules ' ions, proteins and nucleic acids ' that are picked up by adjacent cells, which in turn pass on the signal to other cells.

Chemistry - Physics - 23.07.2019
Adding a polymer stabilizes collapsing metal-organic frameworks
Adding a polymer stabilizes collapsing metal-organic frameworks
Porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have many applications like carbon capture and water-cleaning. However, MOFs with large pores tend to collapse. Chemists and chemical engineers at EPFL have now solved the problem by adding small amounts of a polymer into the MOF pores, an act that impedes pore collapse.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.07.2019
Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms
Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms
Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone.

Physics - 12.07.2019
Weyl fermions discovered in another class of materials
A particular kind of elementary particle, the Weyl fermions, were first discovered a few years ago. Their specialty: They move through a material in a well ordered manner that practically never lets them collide with each other and is thus very energy efficient. This implies intriguing possibilities for the electronics of the future.

Physics - Electroengineering - 09.07.2019
On-demand control of terahertz and infrared waves
On-demand control of terahertz and infrared waves
Researchers from the University of Geneva and the University of Manchester have confirmed experimentally the theory of very strong magneto-optical resonance in graphene. The ability to control infrared and terahertz waves using magnetic or electric fields is one of the great challenges in physics that could revolutionise opto-electronics, telecommunications and medical diagnostics.

Physics - Mathematics - 05.07.2019
Simulating quantum systems with neural networks
Simulating quantum systems with neural networks
A new computational method, based on neural networks, can simulate open quantum systems with unprecedented versatility. The method was independently developed by physicists at EPFL, France, the UK, and the US, and is published in Physical Review Letters. Even on the scale of everyday life, nature is governed by the laws of quantum physics.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.07.2019
Molecular energy machine as a movie star
Molecular energy machine as a movie star
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have used the Swiss Light Source SLS to record a molecular energy machine in action and thus to reveal how energy production at cell membranes works. For this purpose they developed a new investigative method that could make the analysis of cellular processes significantly more effective than before.

Life Sciences - Physics - 10.06.2019
New method reveals principles of chromatin folding in vivo
New method reveals principles of chromatin folding in vivo
Characterizing chromosome structure is fundamental to a better understanding of gene expression. Current experimental methods helped to build mechanistic models of chromosome folding, however they could not be formally validated so far by independent techniques. This is what the Giorgetti group just did - thanks to a new method they developed to measure chromosome structure quantitatively in living cells.

Materials Science - Physics - 04.06.2019
New material with magnetic shape memory
New material with magnetic shape memory
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have developed a new material whose shape memory is activated by magnetism. It retains a given shape when it is put into a magnetic field. It is a composite material consisting of two components. What is special about the new material is that, unlike previous shape-memory materials, it consists of a polymer and droplets of a so-called magnetorheological fluid embedded in it.

Physics - Chemistry - 03.06.2019
Exposing modern forgers
Exposing modern forgers
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a process that can provide conclusive evidence with regard to modern fakes of paintings, even in cases where the forger recycled older canvases. This verification process requires less than 200 micrograms of paint. Art forgeries have been around since ancient times.

Life Sciences - Physics - 30.05.2019
A new mechanism for accessing damaged DNA
A new mechanism for accessing damaged DNA
UV light damages the DNA of skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer. But this process is counteracted by the DNA repair machinery, acting as a molecular sunscreen. It has been unclear, however, how repair proteins work on DNA tightly packed in chromatin, where access to DNA damage is restricted by protein packaging.

Physics - Mathematics - 28.05.2019
Researchers crack an enduring physics enigma
Researchers crack an enduring physics enigma
Researchers from EPFL have found the mechanism that lies behind a mysterious physics phenomenon in fluid mechanics: the fact that turbulence in fluids spontaneously self-organizes into parallel patterns of oblique turbulent bands - an example of order emerging spontaneously from chaos. In so doing, they solved a problem that had stumped generations of physicists.
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