Physics

Non-learner: the white-tipped plantcutter. (Courtesy: Allan Drewitt/ CC BY 2.5) The characteristics of the white-tipped plantcutter’s song are directly linked to its body size, a new study shows. A team of physicists and ornithologists in Argentina and Germany, including Gonzalo Uribarri at the University of Buenos Aires, discovered the relationship through a detailed analysis of
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The future of clothing is electronic. Along with color and size, you’ll probably be able to choose clothes based on what they do—as determined by the sensors, indicators, and power sources embedded within them. Many researchers expect that such “smart clothing” will revolutionize at least some aspects of medicine and fashion. But in the age
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Pengfei Song, an assistant professor at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, used ultrasound localization microscopy to visualize oxygen levels in tumours. (Courtesy: Doris Dahl, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) The centres of tumours often experience oxygen deprivation as the blood supply struggles to keep up
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The novel coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic has only been known for a few months but scientists have already gained a vast amount of information about it. Some of this knowledge has been gained by structural biologists who use techniques first developed by physicists. In this podcast episode, the science journalist Jon Cartwright explains
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Taken from the March 2020 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. Is “biodynamic wine” is stuff or nonsense? In this article (originally published in Lateral Thoughts, Physics World’s regular column of humorous and offbeat essays, puzzles, crosswords, quizzes and comics, which
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Caught in a trap: Honeywell says it will soon be releasing a powerful new quantum computer. (Courtesy: Honeywell) Honeywell says that it will release the world’s most powerful commercial quantum computer by mid-2020. The US-based manufacturer of scientific and commercial equipment says that the device is based on trapped ions, which is a different technology
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Dressing up: physicists have studied “The Portrait of FP Makerovsky in a Masquerade Costume” by Dmitry Levitsky (Courtesy: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) Physicists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology along with colleagues at the Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry and the Tretyakov Gallery have solved a longstanding mystery surrounding
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© AuntMinnieEurope.com An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm can provide fully automated quantification of emphysema, offering potential as a tool for image-based diagnosis and quantification of emphysema severity, according to research published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR 10.2214/AJR.19.21572). After testing prototype AI software on over 140 patients, a multinational team of researchers found that
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Sensing from the inside. A mock-up of an ingestible pill containing the wireless transceiver. (Courtesy: Imec) Researchers at Imec, a Leuven, Belgium-based centre for nanoelectronics and digital technologies, have developed a wireless receiver and transmitter small enough to fit inside a millimetre-scale capsule. The transceiver, which was presented at the International Solid-State Circuits conference in
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Left, a tissue sample dyed by traditional methods. Centre, a computed stain created from infrared–optical hybrid imaging. Right, tissue types identified with infrared data; the pink in this image signifies malignant cancer. (Courtesy: Rohit Bhargava, University of Illinois) A novel hybrid microscope delivers the same information as standard optical microscopy without the need for detrimental
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[embedded content] The stiffness of the human foot is strongly influenced by an arch that spans its width, a new study suggests. An international research team, led by Madhusudhan Venkadesan at Yale University in the US, came to this conclusion by doing simulations and experiments of the physical mechanisms underlying the foot’s transverse tarsal arch
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First author Hannah Behrens at the University of Oxford is investigating how a novel toxin is imported into bacteria. (Courtesy: Hannah Behrens, University of Oxford). Using a combination of methods, including X-ray crystallography, small-angle scattering and live-cell imaging, an international research team has probed the structure of a potent new antibacterial agent: PyoS5. By analysing
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Micro-lens machinists: Polina Medvedskaya and Ivan Lyatun. (Courtesy: Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University) An international team of researchers has produced a stack of diamond micro-lenses precise enough to be compatible with the latest generation of X-ray sources. Physicists led by Polina Medvedskaya at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Russia developed the intricate structures using
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An artist’s impression of the ExoMars rover on the surface of Mars. (Courtesy: ESA/ATG medialab) Europe’s Rosalind Franklin rover, which was set to begin its journey to Mars this summer, has had its launch postponed until 2022 amid parachute and electronics difficulties and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The joint mission between the European
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Salad days: Astronaut Steve Swanson harvests some of the first crop of space lettuce in June 2014 (Courtesy: NASA) Some readers may be secretly pleased that conference cancellations have spared them the arduous task of presenting their results at a scientific meeting. Many of us have finished talks feeling like we’ve spent a few rounds
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A snapshot of the reconstructed 3D magnetic structure. Credit: Claire Donnelly Vortices, domain walls and other magnetic phenomena behave in complex and dynamic ways, but limitations in imaging technology have so far kept researchers from observing them in more than two dimensions. Scientists in the UK and Switzerland have now found a way around this
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(Image courtesy: Shutterstock/orhan-cam) The American Physical Society’s April Meeting has become the latest event in the scientific calendar to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual particle-physics gathering, which was scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, on 18-21 April, has been called off, with organizers working to set up an online “virtual”
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Singing in the iron rain: a fanciful illustration of WASP-76b. (Courtesy: Frederik Peeters/ESO) It could be raining molten iron on some exoplanets, according to David Ehrenreich at the University of Geneva and an international team of astronomers. The team discovered evidence for the metallic precipitation in atmospheric spectra of the giant, ultra-hot planet WASP-76b that
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Optical micrograph of the inside of a luminescent substrate. Image: Cecile Chazot Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new dark-field imaging technique that does not require specialized microscope components. The technique, dubbed “substrate luminescence-enabled dark-field imaging” (SLED), involves adding a mirrored substrate to the sample stage of a standard optical
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Taken from the March 2020 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. The terahertz range has been barely exploited compared to the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum. But as Sidney Perkowitz argues, our ability to detect radiation at these wavelengths has proved
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Lucy and her Tesla Junior High classmates take a trip from Indiana to LIGO in Hanford, WA. Due to an unforeseen event, the laser goes offline right before the birth of a supernova. Follow spectra as she doubles up to undergo her biggest mission yet to collect gravitational waves from a rare exploding star. Spectra
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Magnetic particle imaging with functionalized iron-oxide nanoparticles can help identify aggressive prostate cancers. (Courtesy: iStock/Dr_Microbe) Recent work has suggested that prostate tumours with high nerve densities are more likely to grow and spread than those with low nerve densities. Now, a team in China and the US has shown that such high-risk cases can be
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Condensate collaborators: left to right are Shiva Safaei, David Mazziotti, and LeeAnn Sager. (Courtesy: Eddie Quinones/University of Chicago) It should be possible to create materials that conduct both electric current and exciton excitation energy with 100% efficiency and at relatively high temperatures – according to theoretical chemists in the US. They have calculated that such
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Taken from the March 2020 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. The Hayden Planetarium’s new space show has high production values and a strikingly earthy flavour, finds Robert P Crease Spectacular science: The “Worlds beyond Earth” show is now on at
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© AuntMinnieEurope.com Abbreviated breast MRI identifies more invasive cancers in women with dense tissue than digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) does, according to a study by German and US researchers (JAMA 10.1001/jama.2020.0572). The results suggest that abbreviated breast MRI could be a powerful breast cancer screening tool in a clinical environment increasingly dominated by DBT, for
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In the latest episode of the Physics World Stories podcast, Andrew Glester learns about the acoustic design of public spaces, through conversations with acousticians and architects. He visits the Bristol Old Vic – the oldest continuously running theatre in the English-speaking world – which has recently undergone a refurbishment. Glester also visits Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall,
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Fields of gently sloping sand dunes may look quiet and passive in photographs, but the serene patterns may be defined by turbulent negotiations. That’s the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Cambridge in the UK who have spent the last few years studying how dunes interact with one another. The findings, published in
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Light tights: photographs of images created by light-emitting devices on pantyhose. (Courtesy: Carmichael Lab) “Smart” textiles are a hot topic in materials science right now, with researchers in various organizations striving to combine light-emitting displays with flexible substrates. One approach is to sew diodes, wires, and optical fibres into textiles, but the resulting garments lack
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The big physics news this week is the cancellation of the March Meeting of the American Physical Society because of concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast we hear from conference delegates who had travelled to Denver Colorado, only to find that the March Meeting
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Paul Davids holding the photovoltaic conversion device. Courtesy: Sandia National Laboratories A new type of photovoltaic device can generate useful amounts of electrical power from sources that radiate heat at moderate temperatures. So say researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in the US, who succeeded in recovering power densities between 27–61 μW/cm2 from thermal sources at
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Ark Teacher Training wants to attract more physics graduates to support its mission of delivering better educational outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities Specialist insight: Ark Teacher Training believes that specialist physics teachers will inspire children to pursue further study, and ultimately careers, in science and engineering. (Courtesy: Ark Teacher Training) Physics graduates, it seems,
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Messenger network: new approach calculates the speed of disease spread. (Courtesy: Shutterstock/aelitta) Two UK-based mathematicians have developed an analytical technique that can be used to calculate how fast an infectious disease can spread on a global level. Sam Moore and Tim Rogers at the University of Bath have shown that their calculations are better than
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This video highlights the MeasureReady M91 FastHall, a revolutionary, all‑in-one Hall analysis instrument that delivers significantly higher levels of precision, speed and convenience to researchers involved in the study of electronic materials. The M91 FastHall measurement controller combines all of the necessary HMS functions into a single instrument, automating and optimizing the measurement process, and
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