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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.

Chemistry - Physics - 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 used old materials. This verification process requires less than 200 micrograms of paint. Art forgeries have been around since time immemorial.

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.

Physics - 27.05.2019
A new theory of thermal conductivity
A new theory of thermal conductivity
Researchers have developed a new theory for heat conduction that can finally describe and predict the thermal conductivity of any insulating material. This new formulation will let scientists make accurate predictions of thermal conductivity in a range of materials for critical engineering applications - from electronics to lasers to waste-heat recovery.

Materials Science - Physics - 23.05.2019
Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis
Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis
Researchers at EPFL are working on a technology to exploit osmotic energy - a source of power that's naturally available at estuaries, where fresh water comes into contact with seawater. In a laboratory experiment, the team reproduced the real-world conditions that occur where rivers meet the sea (pH and salt concentration) and showed that, by shining light on a system comprising salt, water and a membrane three atoms thick, it was possible to optimize electricity production.

Physics - 22.05.2019
The geometry of an electron determined for the first time
The geometry of an electron determined for the first time
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer.

Physics - Innovation / Technology - 07.05.2019
Twisting whirlpools of electrons
Twisting whirlpools of electrons
Using a novel approach, EPFL physicists have been able to create ultrafast electron vortex beams, with significant implications for fundamental physics, quantum computing, future data-storage and even certain medical treatments. In Jules Verne's famous classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , the iconic submarine Nautilus disappears into the Moskenstraumen, a massive whirlpool off the coast of Norway.

Physics - 03.05.2019
First demonstration of antimatter wave interferometry
An international collaboration with participation of the University of Bern has demonstrated for the first time in an interference experiment that antimatter particles also behave as waves besides having particle properties. This success paves the way to a new field of investigations of antimatter. Matter waves constitute a crucial feature of quantum mechanics, where particles have wave properties in addition to particle characteristics.

Physics - Materials Science - 03.05.2019
New holographic technique opens the way for quantum computation
EPFL physicists have developed a method based on the principles of holograms to capture 3D images of objects beyond the reach of light. Photography measures how much light of different color hits the photographic film. However, light is also a wave, and is therefore characterized by the phase. Phase specifies the position of a point within the wave cycle and correlates to depth of information, meaning that recording the phase of light scattered by an object can retrieve its full 3D shape, which cannot be obtained with a simple photograph.

Physics - 02.05.2019
Watching concrete explode
Watching concrete explode
Even if concrete is not flammable, it can be hazardous in tunnel fires: high-performance concrete can explode at high temperatures. Although the phenomenon is well known, the physics behind it have not yet been fully understood. Empa researchers have now made the processes inside concrete visible for the first time using real-time-neutron radiography and tomography.

Chemistry - Physics - 29.04.2019
Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight
Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight
EPFL researchers have created a smart device capable of producing large amounts of clean hydrogen. By concentrating sunlight, their device uses a smaller amount of the rare, costly materials that are required to produce hydrogen, yet it still maintains a high solar-to-fuel efficiency. Their research has been taken to the next scale with a pilot facility installed on the EPFL campus.

Physics - Chemistry - 29.04.2019
Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide
Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide
The use of potassium bromide in the production of graphene on a copper surface can lead to better results. When potassium bromide molecules arrange themselves between graphene and copper, it results in electronic decoupling. This alters the electrical properties of the graphene produced, bringing them closer to pure graphene, as reported by physicists from the universities of Basel, Modena and Munich in the journal ACS Nano.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.04.2019
Positive outcome from the CLASP-II solar physics experiment that involved IRSOL
Positive outcome from the CLASP-II solar physics experiment that involved IRSOL
Some of the CLASP-II scientists pose for a photograph in front of the rocket at White Sands Missile Range (New Mexico, USA) (image: U.S. Army, Louis Rosales) On April 11, 2019, at the NASA facility at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico (USA), the successful launch of a sounding rocket was performed as part of the 'Chromospheric LAyer Spectro-Polarimeter' experiment (CLASP-II).

Physics - Materials Science - 25.04.2019
Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors
Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors
For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 24.04.2019
Researchers Observe Slowest Atom Decay Ever Measured
Researchers Observe Slowest Atom Decay Ever Measured
The XENON1T detector is mainly used to detect dark matter particles deep underground. But a research team led by Zurich physicists, among others, has now managed to observe an extremely rare process using the detector - the decay of the Xenon-124 atom, which has an enormously long half-life of 1.8 x 10^22 years.

Physics - 19.04.2019
Thermodynamic Magic Enables Cooling without Energy Consumption
Thermodynamic Magic Enables Cooling without Energy Consumption
Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed an amazingly simple device that allows heat to flow temporarily from a cold to a warm object without an external power supply. Intriguingly, the process initially appears to contradict the fundamental laws of physics. If you put a teapot of boiling water on the kitchen table, it will gradually cool down.

Physics - 04.04.2019
Detecting pollution with a compact laser source
Detecting pollution with a compact laser source
Researchers at EPFL have developed a simple mid-infrared laser source that can be used to detect pollution in the air or molecules in someone's breath. Their system takes up considerably less space than the large ones typically used for such tasks. Researchers at EPFL have come up with a new middle infrared light source that can detect greenhouse and other gases, as well as molecules in a person's breath.

Physics - Health - 02.04.2019
Harnessing photonics for at-home disease detection
Harnessing photonics for at-home disease detection
With nothing more than a photonic chip and an ordinary camera, EPFL researchers have managed to count biomolecules one by one in a small sample and determine their position. Their tiny device - a marriage of optics and smart image analysis - is even able to detect a graphene sheet only a single atom thick.

Chemistry - Physics - 01.04.2019
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