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Looking at and into the ultra-small

NIST is taking a huge step into the ultra-small with the Precision Imaging Facility (PIF) now being outfitted in new Precision Measurement Laboratory on the Boulder campus.

Posted: Jun 12th, 2012

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Tiny 'speed bump' device could sort cancer cells (w/video)

In life, we sort soiled laundry from clean; ripe fruit from rotten. Two Johns Hopkins engineers say they have found an easy way to use gravity or simple forces to similarly sort microscopic particles and bits of biological matter - including circulating tumor cells.

Posted: Jun 12th, 2012

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Taking aim at electrons: an atomic-scale shooting gallery

In experiments resembling an atomic-scale shooting gallery, researchers are pioneering a new method for chemical analysis by zapping the innermost electrons out of atoms with powerful X-ray laser pulses from SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).

Posted: Jun 12th, 2012

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Spin currents in topological insulators

Once again, Würzburg physicists provide new insights into spintronics: In ultra-thin topological insulators, they have identified spin-polarized currents, which were first theoretically predicted six years ago. They also present a method of application for the development of new computers.

Posted: Jun 12th, 2012

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Helices of light: dark helices with a bright future

Laser beams can be made to form dark as well as bright intensity helices, or corkscrews of light. Researchers have now shown that forming dark helices can have considerable advantages over employing their commonly considered bright cousins.

Posted: Jun 12th, 2012

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A new spin on antifreeze

A team of researchers from Harvard University have invented a way to keep any metal surface free of ice and frost. The treated surfaces quickly shed even tiny, incipient condensation droplets or frost simply through gravity. The technology prevents ice sheets from developing on surfaces - and any ice that does form, slides off effortlessly.

Posted: Jun 11th, 2012

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Theorem unifies superfluids and other weird materials

In the past 100 years, 11 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to nearly two dozen people for the discovery or theoretical explanation of such cold materials - superconductors and Bose-Einstein condensates, to name two - yet a unifying theory of these extreme behaviors has eluded theorists. Physicists have now discovered a commonality among these materials that can be used to predict or even design new materials that will exhibit such unusual behavior.

Posted: Jun 11th, 2012

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