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Physics - 07.12.2022
Unexpected speed-dependent friction
Unexpected speed-dependent friction
In the macro world, friction doesn't depend on the speed at which two surfaces move past one another, but researchers from Basel and Tel Aviv have now observed precisely this effect in special graphene structures on a platinum surface. December 2022 Due to their low-friction properties, materials consisting of single atomic layers are of great interest for applications where the aim is to reduce friction — such as hard disks or moving components for satellites or space telescopes.

Physics - Innovation - 01.12.2022
Photonics chip allows light amplification
Photonics chip allows light amplification
Scientists at EPFL have developed photonic integrated circuits that demonstrated a new principle of light amplification on a silicon chip. It can be employed for optical signals like those used in Lidar, trans-oceanic fiber amplifiers or in data center telecommunications. The ability to achieve quantum-limited amplification of optical signals contained in optical fibers is arguably among the most important technological advances that are underlying our modern information society.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.11.2022
Small asteroids are probably young
Small asteroids are probably young
The impact experiment conducted on the asteroid Ryugu by the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission which took place two years ago resulted in an unexpectedly large crater. With the use of simulations, a team led by the University of Bern and the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS has recently succeeded in gaining new insights from the experiment regarding the formation and development of asteroids.

Physics - Electroengineering - 23.11.2022
Spin correlation between paired electrons demonstrated
Spin correlation between paired electrons demonstrated
Physicists at the University of Basel have experimentally demonstrated for the first time that there is a negative correlation between the two spins of an entangled pair of electrons from a superconductor. For their study, the researchers used spin filters made of nanomagnets and quantum dots, as they report in the scientific journal Nature.

Physics - Electroengineering - 21.11.2022
A twin pack of cooled nanoparticles
A twin pack of cooled nanoparticles
Researchers at ETH have developed a technique to cool several nanoparticles simultaneously to temperatures of just a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. This new method can be used to study quantum effects of several nanoparticles and to build highly sensitive sensors. Over the past forty years, physicists have learned to cool increasingly large objects down to temperatures close to the absolute zero: atoms, molecules and, more recently, also nanoparticles consisting of billions of atoms.

Health - Physics - 11.11.2022
Researchers open door to stain-free labeling of cellular components
Researchers open door to stain-free labeling of cellular components
Scientists at EPFL and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the University Federico II, and CEINGE-Biotecnologie avanzate in Naples, Italy, have developed a new method to screen individual cells quickly and reliably without fluorescence labeling. Their work, published in the journal Nature Photonics, opens new avenues in early tumor diagnosis and drug development.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 09.11.2022
Searching for traces of dark matter with neutron spin clocks
Searching for traces of dark matter with neutron spin clocks
With the use of a precision experiment developed at the University of Bern, an international research team has succeeded in significantly narrowing the scope for the existence of dark matter. The experiment was carried out at the European Research Neutron Source at the Institute Laue-Langevin in France, and makes an important contribution to the search for these particles, of which little remains known.

Physics - Materials Science - 03.11.2022
A new quantum component made from graphene
A new quantum component made from graphene
For the first time, researchers have been able to make a superconducting component from graphene that is quantum coherent and sensitive to magnetic fields. This step opens up interesting prospects for fundamental research. Less than 20 years ago, Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim first created two-dimensional crystals consisting of just one layer of carbon atoms.

Life Sciences - Physics - 24.10.2022
A revolutionary method to observe cell transport
A revolutionary method to observe cell transport
A team from the UNIGE, in collaboration with the UZH, has developed an innovative strategy for studying membrane proteins, the targets of many drugs. Membrane proteins are key targets for many drugs. They are located between the outside and inside of our cells. Some of them, called ''transporters'', move certain substances in and out of the cellular environment.

Physics - Innovation - 24.10.2022
Miniaturized infrared detectors
Miniaturized infrared detectors
Extreme miniaturization of infrared (IR) detectors is critical for their integration into next-generation consumer electronics, wearables and ultra-small satellites. Thus far, however, IR detectors have relied on bulky (and expensive) materials and technologies. A team of scientists lead by Empa researcher Ivan Shorubalko now succeeded in developing a cost-effective miniaturization process for IR spectrometers based on a quantum dot photodetector, which can be integrated on a single chip, as they report in Nature Photonics.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.10.2022
Nanomaterial from the Middle Ages
Nanomaterial from the Middle Ages
To gild sculptures in the late Middle Ages, artists often applied ultra-thin gold foil supported by a silver base layer. For the first time, scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have managed to produce nanoscale 3D images of this material, known as Zwischgold. The pictures show this was a highly sophisticated mediaeval production technique and demonstrate why restoring such precious gilded artefacts is so difficult.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.10.2022
Stabilizing polarons opens up new physics
Stabilizing polarons opens up new physics
Physicists at EPFL have developed a formulation to solve the longstanding problem of electron self-interaction when studying polarons - quasiparticles produced by electron-phonon interactions in materials. The work can lead to unprecedented calculations of polarons in large systems, systematic studies of large sets of materials, and molecular dynamics evolving over long time periods.

Physics - Mathematics - 30.09.2022
Computational shortcut for neural networks
Computational shortcut for neural networks
Neural networks are learning algorithms that approximate the solution to a task by training with available data. However, it is usually unclear how exactly they accomplish this. Two young Basel physicists have now derived mathematical expressions that allow one to calculate the optimal solution without training a network.

Physics - Electroengineering - 22.09.2022
Ultracold circuits
Ultracold circuits
Cooling materials to extremely low temperatures is important for basic physics research as well as for technological applications. By improving a special refrigerator and a low-temperature thermometer, Basel scientists have now managed to cool an electric circuit on a chip down to 220 microkelvin - close to absolute zero.

Physics - Innovation - 21.09.2022
Time-reversal methods can make power transformers more reliable
Time-reversal methods can make power transformers more reliable
Engineers at EPFL's Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory have developed a revolutionary method for detecting and locating partial discharges, which disrupt the functioning of power transformers. Transformers play a central role in power distribution systems, making it possible to carry electric power over long distances with minimal risk and losses.

Life Sciences - Physics - 16.09.2022
Nanotubes illuminate the way to living photovoltaics
Nanotubes illuminate the way to living photovoltaics
Scientists at EPFL have gotten bacteria to spontaneously take up fluorescent carbon nanotubes for the first time. The breakthrough unlocks new biotechnology applications for prokaryotes, such as near-infrared bacteria tracking and "living photovoltaics" - devices that generate energy using light-harvesting bacteria.

Physics - Innovation - 24.08.2022
New quantum technology combines free electrons and photons
New quantum technology combines free electrons and photons
Scientists from EPFL, the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences and the University of Göttingen have successfully created electron-photon pairs for the first time in a controlled way, using integrated photonic circuits on a chip. Using a new technique, they could precisely detect the involved particles.

Health - Physics - 23.08.2022
Cell receptors: of voids and void fillers
Cell receptors: of voids and void fillers
Nearly all vital functions in the human body are regulated by so-called G protein-coupled receptors on the cell surface. These receptors thus serve as attractive drug targets to treat various diseases. Researchers have now discovered that empty spaces inside these receptors are important for their activation and thus for relaying messages to the inner cell.

Physics - 19.08.2022
Strong adhesion thanks to cavitation bubbles
Strong adhesion thanks to cavitation bubbles
Canadian researchers have discovered that they can stick hydrogel plasters to the skin very effectively using ultrasound. ETH Zurich professor Outi Supponen has now explained the underlying mechanism: imploding bubbles that form within the adhesive located between the plaster and the skin anchor the one on the other.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.08.2022
In control of chaos
In control of chaos
Crystals consisting of wildly mixed ingredients - so-called high-entropy materials - are currently attracting growing scientific interest. Their advantage is that they are particularly stable at extremely high temperatures and could be used, for example, for energy storage and chemical production processes.
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