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Molecules which flip into their own mirror image

During their experiments the Empa scientists observed that the excited molecules began to hop about and move around, rotating about their own axes. They also underwent very rapid 'inversion', that is, flipping over into their mirror image shape.

Posted: May 29th, 2009

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Cellular circuits that 'remember' events

MIT and Boston University engineers have designed cells that can count and "remember" cellular events, using simple circuits in which a series of genes are activated in a specific order.

Posted: May 29th, 2009

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Improving the catalytic converters of motor vehicles

The chemical mechanism that occurs on the surface of an automotive catalytic converter has been deciphered thanks to an observation speed record established by Frederic Thibault-Strarzyk at the Laboratoire Catalyse et Spectrochimie in Caen.

Posted: May 28th, 2009

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Scientists demonstrate all-fibre quantum logic

A team of physicists and engineers have demonstrated all-fibre quantum logic, where single photons are generated and used to perform the contolled-NOT quantum logic gate in optical fibres with high fidelity.

Posted: May 28th, 2009

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The impossible crystal: crystallization at the molecular level

Molecules with five-fold symmetry arrange themselves on a surface as a two-dimensional crystal, although theoretically this ought not to be possible. Recently researchers at Empa and the University of Zurich have taken the first steps to a better understanding of this 'impossible' behavior by monitoring the complicated crystallization process with a scanning tunnel microscope.

Posted: May 28th, 2009

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Superconducting chips to become reality

Most chemical elements become superconducting at low temperatures or high pressures, but until now, copper, silver, gold, and the semiconductor germanium, for example, have all refused superconductivity. Scientists were now able to produce superconducting germanium for the first time.

Posted: May 28th, 2009

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Particle physics is not just black holes and antimatter

While the perils associated with particle physics, from Earth-gobbling black holes to Vatican-destroying amounts of antimatter, gain news headlines, it?s easy to overlook the large economic and societal benefits of particle physics research.

Posted: May 28th, 2009

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