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Materials Science - Physics - 12.05.2022
Black holes as noise traps
Black holes as noise traps
Anyone who lives in an old building with wooden floors knows the problem: Even if the neighbors from above glide across the floor with graceful elegance, it sounds as if you were living under a bowling alley. Impact sound is a challenge even for the most modern wooden buildings. Scientists at Empa are now tinkering with a solution.

Physics - Innovation - 12.05.2022
Quantum one-way street in topological insulator nanowires
Quantum one-way street in topological insulator nanowires
Very thin wires made of a topological insulator could enable highly stable qubits, the building blocks of future quantum computers. Scientists see a new result in topological insulator devices as an important step towards realizing the technology's potential. An international group of scientists have demonstrated that wires more than 100 times thinner than a human hair can act like a quantum one-way street for electrons when made of a peculiar material known as a topological insulator.

Physics - Innovation - 05.05.2022
Single photon emitter takes a step closer to quantum tech
Single photon emitter takes a step closer to quantum tech
To get closer to quantum technology we need to develop non-classical light sources that can emit a single photon at a time and do so on demand.

Physics - Materials Science - 05.05.2022
Glowing glass droplets on the ISS
Glowing glass droplets on the ISS
Together with researchers from Ulm and Neuchâtel, Empa will soon be studying material samples on the ISS. The material in question are super-hard and corrosion-resistant alloys of palladium, nickel, copper and phosphorus - also known as "metallic glasses". A high-tech company from La Chaux-de-Fonds, which produces materials for the watch industry, is also involved.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.05.2022
Imaging chemical kinetics at liquid-liquid interfaces
Imaging chemical kinetics at liquid-liquid interfaces
Scientists led by EPFL have developed a new method to measure chemical kinetics by imaging progress of a reaction at a liquid-liquid interface embedded in a laminar-flow liquid microjet. This method is ideal for studies of dynamics on the sub-millisecond timescale, which is very difficult to do with current applications.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.04.2022
Revolutionary images of the birth of crystals
Revolutionary images of the birth of crystals
A team from the UNIGE has succeeded in visualizing crystal nucleation - the stage that precedes crystallization - that was invisible until now. At the interface between chemistry and physics, the process of crystallization is omnipresent in nature and industry. It is the basis for the formation of snowflakes but also of certain active ingredients used in pharmacology.

Health - Physics - 15.04.2022
From cell fat to cell fate
From cell fat to cell fate
A cell's production of fat molecules can be a key factor in determining what that cell will become, show scientists at EPFL. How does a cell -decide- what type of cell to become? The question of -cell fate- has been explored for decades now, especially in the context of stem cell biology, but there are still gaps in our understanding.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.04.2022
Golden wedding for molecules
Golden wedding for molecules
Chemical syntheses in liquids and gases take place in three-dimensional space. Random collisions between molecules have to result in something new in an extremely short time. But there is another way: on a gold surface under ultrahigh vacuum conditions, molecules lying still next to each other can be made to combine - even those that would never want to react with each other in a liquid.

Physics - Health - 12.04.2022
Solar nanowire-nanotube filter offers easy access to clean water
Solar nanowire-nanotube filter offers easy access to clean water
Scientists at EPFL have developed a highly efficient water purification filter that uses only solar power. The prototype can supply clean drinking water even at remote places to small populations and can be easily scaled-up. Even today, clean water is a privilege for many people across the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 1.8 billion people consume water contaminated with feces, and by 2040, a large portion of the world will endure water stress because of insufficient resources of drinking water.

Physics - 04.04.2022
A look into the magnetic future
Researchers at PSI have observed for the first time how tiny magnets in a special layout align themselves solely as a result of temperature changes. This view into processes that take place within so-called artificial spin ice could play an important role in the development of novel high-performance computers.

Physics - Computer Science - 25.03.2022
'Hot' spin quantum bits in silicon transistors
’Hot’ spin quantum bits in silicon transistors
Quantum bits (qubits) are the smallest units of information in a quantum computer. Currently, one of the biggest challenges in developing this kind of powerful computer is scalability. A research group at the University of Basel, working with the IBM Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon, has made a breakthrough in this area.

Physics - 22.03.2022
New world record for qubit storage
New world record for qubit storage
A team from the University of Geneva has succeeded in storing a quantum bit for 20 milliseconds. A duration that had never before been achieved by a solid-state quantum memory. Computers, smartphones, GPS: quantum physics has enabled many technological advances. It is now opening up new fields of research in cryptography (the art of coding messages) with the aim of developing ultra-secure ecommunications networks.

Physics - Materials Science - 14.03.2022
Novel X-ray lens facilitates glimpse into the nanoworld
Novel X-ray lens facilitates glimpse into the nanoworld
PSI scientists have developed a ground-breaking achromatic lens for X-rays. This allows the X-ray beams to be accurately focused on a single point even if they have different wavelengths. The new lens will make it much easier to study nanostructures using X-rays, according to a paper just published by the researchers in the scientific.

Life Sciences - Physics - 07.03.2022
Physics and biology explore together the mechanisms of life
Physics and biology explore together the mechanisms of life
Researchers created a model to disentangle how proteins are unevenly distributed in cells, a process at the very basis of the development of living beings. Each of our cells contains about 40 million proteins that together perform all the tasks the cell needs to survive. For a smooth action, the right proteins must be concentrated in specific amounts, at a specific time and at a specific location.

Physics - 02.03.2022
Ring my string: Building silicon nano-strings
Ring my string: Building silicon nano-strings
A team of scientists engineer nanoscale guitar strings that vibrate tens of billions of times when plucked at cryogenic temperatures, with a material originally developed for electronic transistors. Tightening a string, e.g. when tuning a guitar, makes it vibrate faster. But when strings are nano-sized, increased tension also reduces, or -dilutes-, the loss of the string's vibrational modes.

Physics - Innovation - 16.02.2022
EPFL and DeepMind use AI to control plasmas for nuclear fusion
EPFL and DeepMind use AI to control plasmas for nuclear fusion
Scientists at EPFL's Swiss Plasma Center and DeepMind have jointly developed a new method for controlling plasma configurations for use in nuclear fusion research. EPFL's Swiss Plasma Center (SPC) has decades of experience in plasma physics and plasma control methods. DeepMind is a scientific discovery company acquired by Google in 2014 that's committed to 'solving intelligence to advance science and humanity.

Life Sciences - Physics - 10.02.2022
Cellular tornadoes sculpt our organs
Cellular tornadoes sculpt our organs
A team from the UNIGE has demonstrated that cells self-organise to generate forces that model the shapes of our tissues. How are the different shapes of our organs and tissues generated? To answer this question, a team from the University of Geneva , Switzerland, forced muscle cells to spontaneously reproduce simple shapes in vitro .

Physics - Materials Science - 02.02.2022
Cooling matter from a distance
Cooling matter from a distance
Researchers from the University of Basel have succeeded in forming a control loop consisting of two quantum systems separated by a distance of one meter. Within this loop, one quantum system - a vibrating membrane - is cooled by the other - a cloud of atoms, and the two systems are coupled to one another by laser light.

Life Sciences - Physics - 31.01.2022
Safeguarding the cell nucleus
Safeguarding the cell nucleus
The nucleus is guarded by a highly secure door, the so-called nuclear pore, that controls the transport of substances from the cytoplasm to the cell nucleus and back. A research group at the University of Basel has now shown that different shuttle proteins occupy the nuclear pore to prevent unsolicited leakage of molecules.

Mathematics - Physics - 27.01.2022
A mathematical secret of lizard camouflage
A mathematical secret of lizard camouflage
A multidisciplinary team at the University of Geneva has succeeded in explaining the complex distribution of scales in the ocellated lizard by means of a simple equation. The shape-shifting clouds of starling birds, the organization of neural networks or the structure of an anthill: nature is full of complex systems whose behaviors can be modeled using mathematical tools.
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