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Atomic blasting creates new devices to measure nanoparticles

18-Dec-2017

Like sandblasting at the nanometer scale, focused beams of ions ablate hard materials to form intricate three-dimensional patterns. The beams can create tiny features in the lateral dimensions--length and width, but to create the next generation of nanometer-scale devices, the energetic ions must ...

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Channeling graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

12-Dec-2017

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells. ...

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Color me purple, or red, or green, or ...

10-Nov-2017

Imagine a miniature device that suffuses each room in your house with a different hue of the rainbow--purple for the living room, perhaps, blue for the bedroom, green for the kitchen. A team led by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has, for the first time, ...

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Need entangled atoms?

Get 'Em FAST! with NIST's new patent-pending method

09-Nov-2017

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have come up with a way to link a group of atoms' quantum mechanical properties among themselves far more quickly than is currently possible, potentially providing a tool for highly precise sensing and quantum computer ...

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3-D quantum gas atomic clock offers new dimensions in measurement

09-Oct-2017

JILA physicists have created an entirely new design for an atomic clock, in which strontium atoms are packed into a tiny three-dimensional (3-D) cube at 1,000 times the density of previous one-dimensional (1-D) clocks. In doing so, they are the first to harness the ultra-controlled behavior of a ...

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New method for identifying carbon compounds derived from fossil fuels

15-Sep-2017

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a laboratory instrument that can measure how much of the carbon in many carbon-containing materials was derived from fossil fuels. This will open the way for new methods in the biofuels and bioplastics ...

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'Noise thermometry' yields accurate new measurements of Boltzmann constant

03-Jul-2017

By measuring the random jiggling motion of electrons in a resistor, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have contributed to accurate new measurements of the Boltzmann constant, a fundamental scientific value that relates the energy of a system to its ...

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Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

26-Jun-2017

In an arranged marriage of optics and mechanics, physicists have created microscopic structural beams that have a variety of powerful uses when light strikes them. Able to operate in ordinary, room-temperature environments, yet exploiting some of the deepest principles of quantum physics, these ...

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Magnetic switch to turn on and off a strange quantum property developed

26-May-2017

When a ballerina pirouettes, twirling a full revolution, she looks just as she did when she started. But for electrons and other subatomic particles, which follow the rules of quantum theory, that's not necessarily so. When an electron moves around a closed path, ending up where it began, its ...

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X-rays from copper source set new gold standard for measuring industrial materials

17-May-2017

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have produced and precisely measured a spectrum of X-rays using a new, state-of-the-art machine. The instrument they used to measure the X-rays took 20 years to develop, and will help scientists working at the agency make ...

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