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New study shows the dynamics of active swarms in alternating fields

Researchers have studied the dynamics of active swarms using computer simulations and experiments on unicellular algae. The team not only found full analogy of the active motion in a field to magnetic hysteresis but also managed to quantify the controllability of the swarm and identify the signatures of collective behavior of the active agents.

Jun 5th, 2015

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The future for antiferromagnetic memories

A new review compiles the approaches that have been employed for reading and storing information in antiferromagnets and answers the question about how to write on antiferromagnetics successfully.

Jun 5th, 2015

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A universal transition

Organic molecules reveal a universal behavior that governs the transition of many materials from an insulator to a conductor.

Jun 5th, 2015

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A microscopic approach to the magnetic sensitivity of animals

Researchers have succeeded in developing a new microscope capable of observing the magnetic sensitivity of photochemical reactions believed to be responsible for the ability of some animals to navigate in the Earth's magnetic field, on a scale small enough to follow these reactions taking place inside sub-cellular structures.

Jun 4th, 2015

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Engineers show how 'perfect' materials begin to fail at the nanoscale

Crystalline materials have atoms that are neatly lined up in a repeating pattern. When they break, that failure tends to start at a defect, or a place where the pattern is disrupted. But how do defect-free materials break? Until recently, the question was purely theoretical; making a defect-free material was impossible. Now that nanotechnological advances have made such materials a reality, however, researchers have shown how these defects first form on the road to failure.

Jun 4th, 2015

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How to cut a vortex into slices

A group of physicists came up with a way to stir up a liquid in the microchannel. Physicists managed to find a sophisticated solution to the problem based on the use of superhydrophobic surfaces.

Jun 3rd, 2015

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