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'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

23-04-2014

Researchers from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate (LaNiO3), from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick. Ever-shrinking electronic devices could get down to ...

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Flipping the switch

Physicists design quantum switches which can be activated by single photons

23-04-2014

Harvard researchers have succeeded in creating quantum switches that can be turned on and off using a single photon, a technological achievement that could pave the way for the creation of highly secure quantum networks. Built from single atoms, the first-of-their-kind switches could one day be ...

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MRI, on a molecular scale

Researchers develop system that could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules

23-04-2014

For decades, scientists have used techniques like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) to gain invaluable insight into the atomic structure of molecules, but such efforts have long been hampered by the fact that they demand large quantities of a specific molecule and ...

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Doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

23-04-2014

Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The findings by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team of researchers cast doubt on whether corn ...

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Understanding of valley-wide stream chemistry

Analysis reveals unexpected patterns in chemical components

23-04-2014

A geostatistical approach for studying environmental conditions in stream networks and landscapes has been successfully applied at a valley-wide scale to assess headwater stream chemistry at high resolution, revealing unexpected patterns in natural chemical components. "Headwater streams make up ...

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Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

22-04-2014

Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. They report their results in Nature. High-quality quantum switches are essential for the development of ...

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Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking

Special algorithm coupled with commercial X-ray scanners may enable detection of small amounts of fissile materials in luggage

17-04-2014

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the greatest danger to nuclear security comes from terrorists acquiring sufficient quantities of plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU) to construct a crude nuclear explosive device. The IAEA also notes that most cases of illicit ...

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New materials for hydrogen storage

17-04-2014

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. The researchers have created for the first time compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. They also have ...

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Repeated self-healing now possible in composite materials

17-04-2014

Internal damage in fiber-reinforced composites, materials used in structures of modern airplanes and automobiles, is difficult to detect and nearly impossible to repair by conventional methods. A small, internal crack can quickly develop into irreversible damage from delamination, a process in ...

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'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas

16-04-2014

High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental ...

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