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New Microscope Chemically Identifies Micron-Sized Particles

09-Jan-2017

Researchers have developed a microscope that can chemically identify individual micron-sized particles. The new approach could one day be used in airports or other high-security venues as a highly sensitive and low-cost way to rapidly screen people for microscopic amounts of potentially dangerous ...

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Movable microplatform floats on a sea of droplets

16-Dec-2016

Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are tiny machines fabricated using equipment and processes developed for the production of electronic chips and devices. They've found a wide variety of applications in today's consumer electronics, but their moving parts can wear out over time as a result ...

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Inside tiny tubes, water turns solid when it should be boiling

30-Nov-2016

It's a well-known fact that water, at sea level, starts to boil at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius. And scientists have long observed that when water is confined in very small spaces, its boiling and freezing points can change a bit, usually dropping by around 10 C ...

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New method for analyzing crystal structure

Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method

28-Nov-2016

A new technique developed by MIT researchers reveals the inner details of photonic crystals, synthetic materials whose exotic optical properties are the subject of widespread research. Photonic crystals are generally made by drilling millions of closely spaced, minuscule holes in a slab of ...

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The science of friction on graphene

Sliding on flexible graphene surfaces has been uncharted territory until now

24-Nov-2016

Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon in sheets just one atom in thick, has been the subject of widespread research, in large part because of its unique combination of strength, electrical conductivity, and chemical stability. But despite many years of study, some of graphene’s fundamental ...

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Scientists shrink electron gun to matchbox size

Terahertz technology has the potential to enable new applications

23-Nov-2016

In a multi-national effort, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from DESY and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has built a new kind of electron gun that is just about the size of a matchbox. Electron guns are used in science to generate high-quality beams of electrons for the ...

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Entanglement bonanza

Relatively simple quantum computers could be much more powerful than previously realized.

21-Nov-2016

Quantum computers promise huge speedups on some computational problems because they harness a strange physical property called entanglement, in which the physical state of one tiny particle depends on measurements made of another. In quantum computers, entanglement is a computational resource, ...

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Synthetic cells to isolate genetic circuits created

16-Nov-2016

Synthetic biology allows scientists to design genetic circuits that can be placed in cells, giving them new functions such as producing drugs or other useful molecules. However, as these circuits become more complex, the genetic components can interfere with each other, making it difficult to ...

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Scientists set traps for atoms with single-particle precision

Technique may enable large-scale atom arrays for quantum computing.

08-Nov-2016

Atoms, photons, and other quantum particles are often capricious and finicky by nature; very rarely at a standstill, they often collide with others of their kind. But if such particles can be individually corralled and controlled in large numbers, they may be harnessed as quantum bits, or qubits ...

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Nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives

After sensing dangerous chemicals, the carbon-nanotube-enhanced plants send an alert.

01-Nov-2016

Spinach is no longer just a superfood: By embedding leaves with carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers have transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives and wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a smartphone. This is one of the first demonstrations of ...

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