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New metamaterial brings us nearer to the dream of invisibility

A group of researchers from the Department of Physics at UAB have designed a device, called a dc metamaterial, which makes objects invisible under certain light by making the inside of the magnetic field zero but not altering the exterior field. The device, which up to date has only been studied in theoretical works, thus acts as an invisibility cloak, making the object completely undetectable to these waves.

Posted: Jul 7th, 2009

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Q is for quantum and "Q-life"

Features in the July issue of Physics World include a close look at how physics is informing our understanding of cells and of the brain, while Paul Davies, a physicist, astrobiologist and director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University, suggests there are tentative signs that life itself may have arisen as a result of physicists' long-cherished theory of quantum mechanics.

Posted: Jul 7th, 2009

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Environmental Working Group releases their 2009 Sunscreen Report

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a United States-based non-governmental organization that works to expose threats to health and the environment, has released their 2009 Sunscreen Report. The investigators expected to recommend against the use of micronized and nano-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreen, but after months of research and analysis of nearly 400 peer-reviewed studies, they found themselves recommending some sunscreens that may contain nanoparticles.

Posted: Jul 7th, 2009

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Physicists control individual bits in quantum computers

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have overcome a hurdle in quantum computer development, having devised a viable way to manipulate a single 'bit' in a quantum processor without disturbing the information stored in its neighbors

Posted: Jul 7th, 2009

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Tiny sensor measures real-time water stress in living plants

The device is an embedded microsensor capable of measuring real-time water stress in living plants. In theory, the sensor will help vintners strike the precise balance between drought and overwatering - both of which diminish the quality of wine grapes.

Posted: Jul 7th, 2009

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Light-absorbing nanowires may make better solar panels

A century after German physicist Gustav Mie derived the math to explain why the colors in some stained glass windows look especially resplendent in the sunlight, a team of Stanford engineers has built upon his work to potentially improve a means of harvesting energy from the sun.

Posted: Jul 7th, 2009

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Physicists make electron gas visible

X-rays can be used to image hidden structures such as bones of the human body. But now, a team of physicists has succeeded in demonstrating the electronic structure of an interface in a solid for the first time

Posted: Jul 6th, 2009

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Computer simulations shed light on nanosized minerals

The red and blue images appear ghostly, like a fleeting glimpse of something that's never been seen before - which is true. Using computer simulations, Berkeley Lab scientists have developed the first predicted images of water molecules surrounding a nanoparticle, in this case an iron-oxide mineral called hematite.

Posted: Jul 6th, 2009

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New research accelerates development of high capacity hydrogen storage materials

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory have created a reversible route to generate aluminum hydride, a high capacity hydrogen storage material. This achievement is not only expected to accelerate the development of a whole class of storage materials, but also has far reaching applications in areas spanning energy technology and synthetic chemistry.

Posted: Jul 6th, 2009

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