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Physicists develop new insight into how disordered solids deform

In solid materials with regular atomic structures, figuring out weak points where the material will break under stress is relatively easy. But for disordered solids, like glass or sand, their disordered nature makes such predictions much more daunting tasks. Now, a collaboration combining a theoretical model with a first-of-its kind experiment has demonstrated a novel method for identifying "soft spots" in such materials.

Posted: Aug 31st, 2011

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Ion armageddon: Measuring the impact energy of highly charged ions

Much like a meteor impacting a planet, highly charged ions hit really hard and can do a lot of damage, albeit on a much smaller scale. And much like geologists determine the size and speed of the meteor by looking at the hole it left, physicists can learn a lot about a highly charged ion's energy by looking at the divots it makes in thin films.

Posted: Aug 31st, 2011

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Inexpensive technique for making high quality nanowire solar cells

Solar or photovoltaic cells represent one of the best possible technologies for providing an absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible source of energy to power our civilization. However, for this dream to be realized, solar cells need to be made from inexpensive elements using low-cost, less energy-intensive processing chemistry, and they need to efficiently and cost-competitively convert sunlight into electricity. A team of researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has now demonstrated two out of three of these requirements with a promising start on the third.

Posted: Aug 31st, 2011

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New chemical reagent turns biological tissue transparent

Researchers at RIKEN have developed a ground-breaking new aqueous reagent which literally turns biological tissue transparent. Experiments using fluorescence microscopy on samples treated with the reagent have produced vivid 3D images of neurons and blood vessels deep inside the mouse brain.

Posted: Aug 31st, 2011

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Researchers expand capabilities of miniature analyzer for complex samples

Researchers at NIST significantly extended the reach of their novel microfluidic system for analyzing the chemical components of complex samples. The new work shows how the system, meant to analyze real-world, crude mixtures such as dirt or whole blood, can work for negatively charged components as well as it has in the past for positively charged ones.

Posted: Aug 31st, 2011

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Iron 'veins' are secret of promising new hydrogen storage material

With a nod to biology, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen in future fuel-cell-powered cars. Their idea: molecular scale 'veins' of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries.

Posted: Aug 31st, 2011

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GLOBALFOUNDRIES announces winners of inaugural "Leading in Innovation" awards

At today's second annual Global Technology Conference (GTC 2011), GLOBALFOUNDRIES announced the winners of its new "Leading in Innovation" awards. Presented to customers who have demonstrated innovative solutions on products ranging from 0.35um non-volatile memories to leading-edge 28nm smartphone processors, the awards showcase the company's collaborative approach to enabling chip designers to deliver a superior end-user experience.

Posted: Aug 30th, 2011

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