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Molecular levers may make materials better

In a forced game of molecular tug-of war, some strings of atoms can act like a lever, accelerating reactions 1000 times faster than other molecules. The discovery suggests that scientists could use these molecular levers to drive chemical and mechanical reactivity among atoms and ultimately engineer more efficient materials.

Posted: Dec 23rd, 2012

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Forget solid, liquid, and gas: there are in fact more than 500 phases of matter

Using modern mathematics, scientists reveal a new system which can, at last, successfully classify symmetry-protected phases of matter. Their new classification system will provide insight about these quantum phases of matter, which may in turn increase our ability to design states of matter for use in superconductors or quantum computers.

Posted: Dec 22nd, 2012

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Suspend the crystals, and they grow better

The idea is so simple you wonder why no one thought of it before. Crystals growing near the bottom of a beaker are subject to convection, but it is much quieter near the top of the beaker. In that case, why not just let them grow hanging in the beaker?

Posted: Dec 21st, 2012

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May the force be with the atomic probe

New models suggest devising means of probing a surface at a sub-micrometric level as this will help us understand how electrons' diffusion affects long-range attractive forces.

Posted: Dec 21st, 2012

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Biological accumulation of engineered nanomaterials

A new report comprehensively reviews over 65 papers on the biological accumulation of engineered nanomaterials under a range of ecologically relevant exposure conditions in water, soil or sediment with the focus on quantitative comparison among these existing studies.

Posted: Dec 21st, 2012

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On-demand synaptic electronics: Circuits that learn and forget

Researchers in Japan and the US propose a nanoionic device with a range of neuromorphic and electrical multifunctions that may allow the fabrication of on-demand configurable circuits, analog memories and digital-neural fused networks in one device architecture.

Posted: Dec 20th, 2012

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