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A burst of ”synchronous” light

Sandwich structure of nanocrystals as quantum light source

09-Nov-2018

Excited photo-emitters can cooperate and radiate simultaneously, a phenomenon called superfluorescence. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich, together with colleagues from IBM Research Zurich, have recently been able to create this effect with long-range ordered nanocrystal superlattices. This ...

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Perfect inversion

29-Aug-2018

Perfectly inverting complex structures is of great technical importance. Researchers at ETH have now succeeded in turning the magnetic and electric structure of materials into their opposites using a single magnetic field pulse. Whenever it gets unpleasantly loud, active noise reduction has been ...

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Uncovering atomic movements in crystal

28-Aug-2018

Scientists can spend a long time in heated debates over tiny details – for example, how and whether atoms in a crystal move when heated, thereby altering the symmetry. Using computer simulations for the mineral lead telluride on the CSCS supercomputer “Piz Daint”, ETH researchers have resolved a ...

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Soil bugs munch on plastics

27-Jul-2018

Thin mulch films made of polyethylene are used in agriculture in numerous countries, where they cause extensive soil contamination. Researchers at ETH Zurich and Eawag have now identified an alternative: films made of the polymer PBAT biodegrade in soils. Our world is drowning in a flood of ...

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Putting a quantum gas through its phases

04-Jul-2018

As a physical system undergoes a phase transition, it typically becomes more --- or, less --- ordered. For instance, when a piece of iron is heated to above the Curie temperature, the strong ferromagnetic alignment of the elementary magnetic dipole moments gives way to much weaker paramagnetic ...

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It all comes down to roughness

How the surface characteristics of microspheres affect rapid increases in the viscosity of suspensions

04-May-2018

Lucio Isa and his team of researchers have explained how the surface characteristics of microspheres affect rapid increases in the viscosity of suspensions, thus laying the groundwork for applications such as smoothly flowing cement. The internet is full of videos of people having fun running ...

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New materials for sustainable, low-cost batteries

02-May-2018

A new conductor material and a new electrode material could pave the way for inexpensive batteries and therefore the large-scale storage of renewable energies. The energy transition depends on technologies that allow the inexpensive temporary storage of electricity from renewable sources. A ...

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When nuclei catch up with electrons

18-Apr-2018

Understanding the dynamics of quantum-mechanical systems on their natural time scale is the main goal in attosecond science. Among the most interesting systems to investigate are molecules, which have a very high degree of complexity, in particular when compared to atomic systems. So far, the few ...

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Mastering metastable matter

13-Mar-2018

Be it snow on a slope that can sit there for days before being sent descending by an overambitious skier or bonds in macromolecules that change dramatically upon appropriate activation -- systems that reside for extended periods of times in one state before switching rapidly to another, ...

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Quantum cocktail provides insights on memory control

29-Jan-2018

The speed of writing and reading out magnetic information from storage devices is limited by the time that it takes to manipulate the data carrier. To speed up these processes, researchers have recently started to explore the use of ultrashort laser pulses that can switch magnetic domains in ...

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