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Physics - 22.05.2024 - Today
Gamma-ray method monitors nuclear reactors safely and quickly
Gamma-ray method monitors nuclear reactors safely and quickly
Scientists at EPFL have devised and tested out a new, gamma-noise method for monitoring nuclear reactors non-invasively and from a distance. The new method, tested out on EPFL's CROCUS nuclear reactor, can improve nuclear safety and treaty compliance. Monitoring nuclear reactors around the world to ensure that they comply with international treaties is essential for safety.

Physics - Innovation - 16.05.2024
Artificial intelligence calculates phase diagrams
Artificial intelligence calculates phase diagrams
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a new method for calculating phase diagrams of physical systems that works similarly to ChatGPT. This artificial intelligence could even automate scientific experiments in the future. A year and a half ago, ChatGPT was released, and ever since, there has been hardly anything that cannot be created with this new form of artificial intelligence: texts, images, videos, and even music.

Physics - Computer Science - 15.05.2024
A new, low-cost, high-efficiency photonic integrated circuit
A new, low-cost, high-efficiency photonic integrated circuit
Researchers at EPFL have developed scalable photonic integrated circuits, based on lithium tantalate, marking a significant advancement in optical technologies with potential to widespread commercial applications. The rapid advancement in photonic integrated circuits (PICs), whichcombine multiple optical devices and functionalities on a single chip, has revolutionized optical communications and computing systems.

Health - Physics - 13.05.2024
New gel breaks down alcohol in the body
New gel breaks down alcohol in the body
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a protein-based gel that breaks down alcohol in the gastrointestinal tract without harming the body. In the future, people who take the gel could reduce the harmful and intoxicating effects of alcohol. Most alcohol enters the bloodstream via the mucous membrane layer of the stomach and the intestines.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.05.2024
Electron vortices in graphene detected
Electron vortices in graphene detected
Researchers at ETH Zurich have, for the first time, made visible how electrons form vortices in a material at room temperature. Their experiment used a quantum sensing microscope with an extremely high resolution. When an ordinary electrical conductor - such as a metal wire - is connected to a battery, the electrons in the conductor are accelerated by the electric field created by the battery.

Physics - Materials Science - 08.05.2024
Solving physics puzzles with coloured dots
Solving physics puzzles with coloured dots
By analysing images made of coloured dots created by quantum simulators, researchers have studied a special kind of magnetism. In the future this method could also be used to solve other physics puzzles, for instance in superconductivity. Up close it looks like lots of coloured dots, but from a distance one sees a complex picture rich in detail: Using the technique of pointillism, in 1886 George Seurat created the masterpiece ,,A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte".

Physics - 06.05.2024
Experiment opens door for millions of qubits on one chip
Experiment opens door for millions of qubits on one chip
Researchers from the University of Basel and the NCCR SPIN have achieved the first controllable interaction between two hole spin qubits in a conventional silicon transistor. The breakthrough opens up the possibility of integrating millions of these qubits on a single chip using mature manufacturing processes.

Physics - Electroengineering - 26.04.2024
Scientists capture X-rays from upward positive lightning
Scientists capture X-rays from upward positive lightning
Researchers have for the first time recorded X-rays being produced at the beginning of upward positive lightning flashes; an observation that gives important insight into the origins of this rare - and particularly dangerous - form of lightning. Globally, lightning is responsible for over 4,000 fatalities and billions of dollars in damage every year; Switzerland itself weathers up to 150,000 strikes annually.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 24.04.2024
Eruption of mega-magnetic star lights up nearby galaxy
Eruption of mega-magnetic star lights up nearby galaxy
Thanks to ESA satellites, an international team including researchers has detected a giant eruption coming from a magnetar, an extremely magnetic neutron star. While ESA's satellite INTEGRAL was observing the sky, it spotted a burst of gamma-rays - high-energy photons - coming from the nearby galaxy M82.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.04.2024
Energy scientists unravel the mystery of gold's glow
Energy scientists unravel the mystery of gold's glow
Researchers have developed the first comprehensive model of the quantum-mechanical effects behind photoluminescence in thin gold films; a discovery that could drive the development of solar fuels and batteries. Luminescence, or the emission of photons by a substance exposed to light, has been known to occur in semiconductor materials like silicon for hundreds of years.

Physics - 18.04.2024
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Researchers at ETH Zurich have studied topological effects in an artificial solid, making surprising observations. The new insights into topological pumping could be used for quantum technologies in the future. In principle, one shouldn't compare apples to oranges. However, in topology, which is a branch of mathematics, one has to do just that.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.04.2024
Gaia spots a large dormant black hole in our Galaxy
Gaia spots a large dormant black hole in our Galaxy
A high-mass stellar black hole has been discovered in preliminary data from the Gaia satellite by an international team led by astronomers from the University of Geneva. Wading through the inestimable wealth of data from ESA's Gaia mission, a team of scientists, including astronomers from the University of Geneva , uncovered a ''sleeping'' giant.

Physics - Environment - 04.04.2024
Nanodevices can produce energy from evaporating tap or seawater
Nanodevices can produce energy from evaporating tap or seawater
Researchers have discovered that nanoscale devices harnessing the hydroelectric effect can harvest electricity from the evaporation of fluids with higher ion concentrations than purified water, revealing a vast untapped energy potential. Evaporation is a natural process so ubiquitous that most of us take it for granted.

Innovation - Physics - 27.03.2024
New process for the production of semiconductors
New process for the production of semiconductors
The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Finnish company PiBond to collaborate in the commercialization of advanced EUV semiconductor lithography products.

Chemistry - Physics - 27.03.2024
Deciphering a dance of electrons and water molecules
Deciphering a dance of electrons and water molecules
A research project at EPFL succeeded in decoding the complex dance of electrons in water, a major step in understanding a critical process of many chemical phenomena, and that might be the first step to improving energy conversion technologies. Water, the cradle of life on Earth, is not just a passive backdrop but actively participates in the chemical ballet of life.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 15.03.2024
The baritone of Red Giants refines cosmic distance measurements
The baritone of Red Giants refines cosmic distance measurements
A fresh look at red giant stars offers key insights into cosmic distance measurements and a way to measure the Universe's expansion with the highest accuracy. In a constantly expanding universe, measuring cosmic distances is like trying to find a reliable ruler in a vast, ever-stretching fabric. One tool that astrophysicists use is the Hubble constant, (H0), which measures how fast the Universe is expanding and sets the age and observable size of the Universe.

Physics - Electroengineering - 13.03.2024
A new ion trap for larger quantum computers
A new ion trap for larger quantum computers
Researchers at ETH have managed to trap ions using static electric and magnetic fields and to perform quantum operations on them. In the future such traps could be used to realize quantum computers with far more quantum bits than have been possible up to now. The energy states of electrons in an atom follow the laws of quantum mechanics: they are not continuously distributed but restricted to certain well-defined values - this is also called quantisation.

Physics - Chemistry - 05.03.2024
A new theoretical development clarifies water's electronic structure
A new theoretical development clarifies water's electronic structure
Scientists at EPFL have decoded the electronic structure of water, opening up new perspectives for technological and environmental applications. There is no doubt that water is significant. Without it, life would never have begun, let alone continue today - not to mention its role in the environment itself, with oceans covering over 70% of Earth.

Physics - 04.03.2024
DIY structured-illumination microscope
DIY structured-illumination microscope
Scientists at EPFL have published a guide to building an add-on that turns a standard optical microscope into an instrument capable of producing super resolution, 3D images of cells, organoids, and embryos. For hundreds of years, the optical microscope was the only tool available to scientists wanting to study the movement of cells, bacteria and yeast.

Physics - Pharmacology - 29.02.2024
Cause of clogged hypodermic needles discovered
Cause of clogged hypodermic needles discovered
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the ANAXAM technology transfer center have used neutron and synchrotron imaging to determine the conditions under which pre-filled syringes become blocked. In very rare cases, the needles of prefilled syringes may become blocked. This can have potentially detrimental consequences for patients if their medication does not enter the body or the dosage is too low.
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