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Metamaterials experts show a way to reduce electrons' effective mass to nearly zero

The field of metamaterials involves augmenting materials with specially designed patterns, enabling those materials to manipulate electromagnetic waves and fields in previously impossible ways. Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have come up with a theory for moving this phenomenon onto the quantum scale, laying out blueprints for materials where electrons have nearly zero effective mass.

Posted: Dec 18th, 2012

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Highly efficient nanoparticle electrocatalyst inspired by breakwater

Researchers have introduced a novel material for electrodes based on affordable melamine foam and carbon black. The high porosity significantly facilitates fast mass transport and a high number of catalytically active centers drastically increase the oxygen-reducing activity of cathodes for fuel cells and metal-air batteries.

Posted: Dec 18th, 2012

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Researchers use quantum physics to observe delicate systems

Researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) have shown that groups of photons organized in certain quantum states can gently explore the properties of objects in a non-invasive way. The results overcome for the first time a limit imposed by quantum mechanics, and may permit the observation of unknown properties of ultra-sensitive objects such as individual atoms or living cells.

Posted: Dec 18th, 2012

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Sandwich chips combining the best of two technologies

Two Leibniz institutes broke new technological ground and successfully combined their - up to now separate - technology worlds. Due to their high performance the novel chips developed within the HiTeK project shall open up new applications.

Posted: Dec 18th, 2012

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Nanofibers clean sulfur from fuel

University of Illinois researchers developed mats of metal oxide nanofibers that scrub sulfur from petroleum-based fuels much more effectively than traditional materials. Such efficiency could lower costs and improve performance for fuel-based catalysis, advanced energy applications and toxic gas removal.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2012

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Nanoscale impulse radar measures depth of snow and ice

Snow is the be-all and end-all for alpine ski resorts. Now a tiny sensor has been developed to determine how much cold gold there is on the slopes and how much more should be produced. The sensor is based on Norwegian radar technology and is no larger than a match head.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2012

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Measuring flow using a tiny wobbling tube

One milligram per hour: fluid flow can be measured with great precision using a tiny 'wobbling' tube with a diameter of only 40 micrometres. Thanks to a new technique, the sensor, which makes use of the 'Coriolis effect', can be made even more compact.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2012

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