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Physics - Chemistry - 17.09.2020
Lighting the way to infrared detection
Lighting the way to infrared detection
Physicists propose a new path to detect infrared radiation with outstanding sensitivity, allowing detection of signals as low as that of a single quantum of light. When using our webcam or cell phone camera, we experience the tremendous capabilities of cheap and compact sensors developed in the past decades for the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 17.09.2020
Detaching and uplifting, not bulldozing
Detaching and uplifting, not bulldozing
Researchers have used a computer model to test a new hypothesis about the formation of the Alps while simulating seismic activity in Switzerland. This will help improve current earthquake risk models. For a long time, geoscientists have assumed that the Alps were formed when the Adriatic plate from the south collided with the Eurasian plate in the north.

Computer Science - Physics - 09.09.2020
Artificial intelligence explains hydrogen's behavior on giant planets
Artificial intelligence explains hydrogen's behavior on giant planets
Using computer simulations powered by machine-learning algorithms EPFL scientists have made an important breakthrough in understanding how hydrogen behaves on Saturn and Jupiter. The giant planets in our solar system are made mainly of hydrogen, mostly in a liquid state. Near the planets- surface, hydrogen exists in an insulating, molecular form - H2 - but closer to the center, it takes on a metallic form where individual atoms can move around freely.

Physics - Electroengineering - 07.09.2020
A tiny instrument to measure the faintest magnetic fields
A tiny instrument to measure the faintest magnetic fields
Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a minuscule instrument able to detect extremely faint magnetic fields. At the heart of the superconducting quantum interference device are two atomically thin layers of graphene, which the researchers combined with boron nitride. Instruments like this one have applications in areas such as medicine, besides being used to research new materials.

Physics - Electroengineering - 07.09.2020
Reconfiguring microwave photonic filters without an external device
Reconfiguring microwave photonic filters without an external device
Researchers from EPFL's Photonics Systems Lab have come up with a way of reconfiguring microwave photonic filters without the need for an external device. This paves the way for more compact, environmentally friendly filters that will be more practical and cheaper to use. Potential applications include detection and communications systems.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 04.09.2020
Surprise on Mars
Surprise on Mars
NASA's InSight mission provides data from the surface of Mars. Its seismometer, equipped with electronics built at ETH Zurich, not only records marsquakes, but unexpectedly reacts to solar eclipses as well. When the Martian moon, Phobos moves directly in front of the sun, the instrument tips slightly to one side.

Physics - Chemistry - 04.09.2020
A step towards a better understanding of molecular dynamics
A step towards a better understanding of molecular dynamics
Researchers, working at the boundary between classical and quantum physics, have developed a method for quickly spotting molecules with particularly interesting electron properties. Laser technology is giving scientists an ever-closer look into molecular structures, and this sometimes leads to very interesting surprises.

Life Sciences - Physics - 31.08.2020
A universal structural deformation in all heme proteins
Chemists and physicists from Switzerland and Germany have shown that the typical deformation of respiratory heme proteins also occurs in heme proteins not involved in the respiratory function. Image: A model of heme, which is an organic ring molecule surrounding an atom of iron and is a major component of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.08.2020
Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting
Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting
An international research team led by the University of Bern has succeeded in developing an electrocatalyst for hydrogen fuel cells which, in contrast to the catalysts commonly used today, does not require a carbon carrier and is therefore much more stable. The new process is industrially applicable and can be used to further optimize fuel cell powered vehicles without CO2 emissions.

Chemistry - Physics - 20.08.2020
Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion
Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion
Electrons are able to move within molecules, for example when they are excited from outside or in the course of a chemical reaction. For the first time, scientists have now succeeded in studying the first few dozen attoseconds of this electron movement in a liquid. To understand how chemical reactions begin, chemists have been using super-slow motion experiments for years to study the very first moments of a reaction.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 20.08.2020

The discovery of the first galaxy emitting "extreme" ultraviolet radiation could help to better understand how the cosmic era known as the "Dark Ages" came to an end more than 13 billion years ago. Thanks to the Indian satellite AstroSat, an international team, including astronomers from the University of Geneva, has detected the first galaxy, called AUDFs01, emitting "extreme" ultraviolet radiation, i.e. highly energetic (with a wavelength of about 60 nanometres, or billionths of a metre).

Chemistry - Physics - 18.08.2020
Unraveling the initial molecular events of respiration
Unraveling the initial molecular events of respiration
Physicists from Switzerland, Japan and Germany have unveiled the mechanism by which the first event of respiration takes place in heme proteins. Respiration is a fundamental process of all living things, allowing them to produce energy, stay healthy, and survive. In cells, respiration involves what are known as "respiratory proteins", e.g. hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in muscles.

Physics - Electroengineering - 18.08.2020
Artificial materials for more efficient electronics
Artificial materials for more efficient electronics
The discovery of an unprecedented physical effect in a new artificial material marks a significant milestone in the lengthy process of developing "made-to-order" materials and more energy-efficient electronics. We are surrounded by electronic devices. Transistors are used to power telephones, computers, televisions, hi-fi systems and game consoles as well as cars, airplanes and the like.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.08.2020
Uranium reveals its true nature
Uranium reveals its true nature
Scientists have made a significant discovery in how nanoscale minerals form naturally, including the way in which they transition from a soluble to a solid state. Their findings could be used to inform radioactive waste management. Most people are familiar with uranium as a fuel for nuclear power plants.

Physics - 11.08.2020
Using air to amplify light
In a promising breakthrough for the future of communications, EPFL researchers have developed a technology that can amplify light in the latest hollow-core optical fibers. "The idea had been going around my head for about 15 years, but I never had the time or the resources to do anything about it." But now Luc Thévenaz, the head of the Fiber Optics Group in EPFL's School of Engineering, has finally made it happen: his lab has developed a technology to amplify light inside the latest hollow-core optical fibers.

Physics - Computer Science - 10.08.2020
Deep learning and metamaterials make the invisible visible
Deep learning and metamaterials make the invisible visible
By combining purpose-built materials and neural networks, researchers at EPFL have shown that sound can be used in high-resolution imagery. Imaging allows us to depict an object through far-field analysis of the lightand sound-waves that it transmits or radiates. The shorter the wave, the higher the image's resolution.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.08.2020
"Simulation microscope" examines transistors of the future
Since the discovery of graphene, two-dimensional materials have been the focus of materials research. Among other things, they could be used to build tiny, high-performance transistors. Researchers at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne have now simulated and evaluated one hundred possible materials for this purpose and discovered 13 promising candidates.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.08.2020
A highly light-absorbent and tunable material
A highly light-absorbent and tunable material
By layering different two-dimensional materials, physicists at the University of Basel have created a novel structure with the ability to absorb almost all light of a selected wavelength. The achievement relies on a double layer of molybdenum disulfide. The new structure's particular properties make it a candidate for applications in optical components or as a source of individual photons, which play a key role in quantum research.

Physics - Electroengineering - 06.08.2020
Efficient valves for electron spins
Efficient valves for electron spins
Researchers at the University of Basel in collaboration with colleagues from Pisa have developed a new concept that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current. In addition to fundamental research, such spin valves are also the key elements in spintronics - a type of electronics that exploits the spin instead of the charge of electrons.

Physics - 03.08.2020
CERN experiments announce first indications of a rare Higgs boson process
CERN experiments announce first indications of a rare Higgs boson process
Geneva. At the 40th ICHEP conference , the ATLAS and CMS experiments announced new results which show that the Higgs boson decays into two muons. The muon is a heavier copy of the electron, one of the elementary particles that constitute the matter content of the Universe. While electrons are classified as a first-generation particle, muons belong to the second generation.
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