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Physics - 17.12.2018
Data storage using individual molecules
Data storage using individual molecules
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal small, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Life Sciences - Physics - 11.12.2018
Using water molecules to unlock neurons' secrets
EPFL researchers have developed a method to observe the electrical activity of neurons by analyzing the behavior of surrounding water molecules. This simple and non-invasive method, which could eliminate the need for electrodes and fluorophores, can be used to monitor the activity within a single neuron or potentially on an entire region of the brain.

Physics - 03.12.2018
LHC prepares for new achievements
LHC prepares for new achievements
Geneva, 3 December 2018. Early this morning, operators of the CERN Control Centre turned off the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), ending the very successful second run of the world's most powerful particle accelerator. CERN's accelerator complex will be stopped for about two years to enable major upgrade and renovation works.

Physics - Computer Science / Telecom - 07.11.2018
A burst of
A burst of "synchronous" light
Excited photo-emitters can cooperate and radiate simultaneously, a phenomenon called superfluorescence. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich, together with colleagues from IBM Research Zurich, have recently been able to create this effect with long-range ordered nanocrystal superlattices. This discovery could enable future developments in LED lighting, quantum sensing, quantum communication and future quantum computing.

Chemistry - Physics - 05.11.2018
New material cleans and splits water
New material cleans and splits water
Researchers at EPFL's Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering have developed a photocatalytic system based on a material in the class of metal-organic frameworks. The system can be used to degrade pollutants present in water while simultaneously producing hydrogen that can be captured and used further.

Physics - Innovation / Technology - 05.11.2018
How to certify a quantum computer
Researchers have developed a protocol for checking that quantum computer components function as they should. That's a critical step in making the promise of quantum computing - including unprecedented computing power - a reality. Quantum computers are being developed by teams working not only at universities but also at Google, IBM, Microsoft and D-Wave, a start-up company.

Physics - Chemistry - 29.10.2018
AI and NMR spectroscopy determine atoms configuration in record time
AI and NMR spectroscopy determine atoms configuration in record time
EPFL scientists have developed a machine-learning approach that can be combined with experiments to determine, in record time, the location of atoms in powdered solids. Their method can be applied to complex molecules containing thousands of atoms and could be of particular interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

Physics - Chemistry - 26.10.2018
Making the impossible possible
Making the impossible possible
A new material for energy-efficient data storage reaches computer operating temperature Multiferroics are considered miraculous materials for future data storage - as long as their special properties can be preserved at computer operating temperatures. This task has now been accomplished by researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, with colleagues from Institut Laue-Langevin ILL in Grenoble.

Life Sciences - Physics - 10.10.2018
This time, it's all bio: SwissFEL makes protein structures visible
This time, it’s all bio: SwissFEL makes protein structures visible
Successful pilot experiment on biomolecules at the newest large research facility of PSI For the development of new medicinal agents, accurate knowledge of biological processes in the body is a prerequisite. Here proteins play a crucial role. At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL has now, for the first time, directed its strong light onto protein crystals and made their structures visible.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.10.2018
Metal leads to the desired configuration
Metal leads to the desired configuration
Scientists at the University of Basel have found a way to change the spatial arrangement of bipyridine molecules on a surface. These potential components of dye-sensitized solar cells form complexes with metals and thereby alter their chemical conformation. The results of this interdisciplinary collaboration between chemists and physicists from Basel were recently published in the scientific journal ACS Omega.

Physics - 04.10.2018
Why does concrete swell and crack?
Why does concrete swell and crack?
When bridges, dam walls and concrete foundations form cracks, AAR is often the culprit: the alkali-aggregate reaction. It causes the concrete to swell and renders renovations or even reconstructions necessary. A project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and coordinated by Empa is studying the "concrete disease".

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 02.10.2018
New tool helps scientists better target the search for alien life
New tool helps scientists better target the search for alien life
An EPFL scientist has developed a novel approach that boosts the chances of finding extraterrestrial intelligence in our galaxy. His method uses probability theory to calculate the possibility of detecting an extraterrestrial signal (if there is one) at a given distance from Earth.

Physics - 01.10.2018
Microresonators offer a simpler approach to sensing with light pulses
Microresonators offer a simpler approach to sensing with light pulses
Researchers at EPFL have found a way to implement an optical sensing system by using spatial multiplexing, a technique originally developed in optical-fiber communication. The method, which produces three independent streams of ultrashort optical pulses using a single continuous-wave laser and a single optical microresonator, is far simpler than existing technologies.

Physics - Chemistry - 01.10.2018
Eco-Friendly Nanoparticles for Artificial Photosynthesis
Quantum dots are true all-rounders. These material structures, which are only a few nanometers in size, display a similar behavior to that of molecules or atoms, and their form, size and number of electrons can be modulated systematically. This means that their electrical and optical characteristics can be customized for a number of target areas, such as new display technologies, biomedical applications as well as photovoltaics and photocatalysis.

Physics - Environment - 01.10.2018
Rugby or football? ISOLDE reveals shape-shifting character of Mercury isotopes
Rugby or football? ISOLDE reveals shape-shifting character of Mercury isotopes
Geneva 1 st October 2018. An unprecedented combination of experimental nuclear physics and theoretical and computational modelling techniques has been brought together to reveal the full extent of the odd-even shape staggering of exotic mercury isotopes, and explain how it happens.  The result, from an international team at the ISOLDE nuclear physics facility at CERN 1 , published today , demonstrates and explains a phenomenon unique to mercury isotopes where the shape of the atomic nuclei dramatically moves between a football and rugby ball.

Physics - Innovation / Technology - 24.09.2018
EPFL unveils SolAce, a solar-powered pilot unit in Dübendorf
EPFL's SolAce pilot unit was inaugurated today at the NEST R&D center on the Empa campus in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Researchers at this solar-powered unit will test out new technology designed to make buildings energy positive and carbon neutral - while providing maximum comfort for their occupants.

Physics - Philosophy - 18.09.2018
First particle tracks seen in prototype for international neutrino experiment
First particle tracks seen in prototype for international neutrino experiment
Geneva, 18 September 2018. The largest liquid-argon neutrino detector in the world has just recorded its first particle tracks, signaling the start of a new chapter in the story of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). DUNE's scientific mission is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of neutrinos, the most abundant (and most mysterious) matter particles in the universe.

Physics - 12.09.2018
Probing individual edge states with unprecedented precision
Probing individual edge states with unprecedented precision
A new technique makes it possible to obtain an individual fingerprint of the current-carrying edge states occurring in novel materials such as topological insulators or 2D materials. Physicists of the University of Basel present the new method together with American scientists in ‘Nature Communications.' While insulators do not conduct electrical currents, some special materials exhibit peculiar electrical properties: though not conducting

Physics - 29.08.2018
AWAKE achieves first ever acceleration of electrons in a proton-driven plasma wave
AWAKE achieves first ever acceleration of electrons in a proton-driven plasma wave
Geneva, 29 August 2018. In a paper published today in the journal Nature , the AWAKE collaboration at CERN reports the first ever successful acceleration of electrons using a wave generated by protons zipping through a plasma. The acceleration obtained over a given distance is already several times higher than that of conventional technologies currently available for particle accelerators.

Physics - 28.08.2018
Long-sought decay of Higgs boson observed
Long-sought decay of Higgs boson observed
Geneva, 28 August. Six years after its discovery, the Higgs boson has at last been observed decaying to fundamental particles known as bottom quarks. The finding, presented today at CERN 1 by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is consistent with the hypothesis that the all-pervading quantum field behind the Higgs boson also gives mass to the bottom quark.
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