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713 articles from PhysOrg

Traces of ancient life tell story of early diversity in marine ecosystems

If you could dive down to the ocean floor nearly 540 million years ago just past the point where waves begin to break, you would find an explosion of life—scores of worm-like animals and other sea creatures tunneling complex holes and structures in the mud and sand—where before the environment had been mostly barren.

Native trees thrive in teak plantations and may protect the Panama Canal

Native to India, teak is the go-to species for reforestation in Central America. But teak often underperforms in the nutrient poor soils that dominate tropical landscapes. To discover if the timber value of teak plantations grown on poor soils can be increased, scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute interplanted rosewood and amarillo, both economically valuable native tree...

Aurora mysteries unlocked with NASA's THEMIS mission

A special type of aurora, draped east-west across the night sky like a glowing pearl necklace, is helping scientists better understand the science of auroras and their powerful drivers out in space. Known as auroral beads, these lights often show up just before large auroral displays, which are caused by electrical storms in space called substorms. Previously, scientists weren't sure if auroral...

A light bright and tiny: Scientists build a better nanoscale LED

A new design for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) developed by a team including scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) may hold the key to overcoming a long-standing limitation in the light sources' efficiency. The concept, demonstrated with microscopic LEDs in the lab, achieves a dramatic increase in brightness as well as the ability to create laser light—all...

Space bricks for lunar habitation

In what could be a significant step forward in space exploration, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed a sustainable process for making brick-like structures on the moon. It exploits lunar soil, and uses bacteria and guar beans to consolidate the soil into possible load-bearing structures. These 'space...

Monolayer transition metal dichalcogenide lens for high resolution imaging

An ultrathin optical lens made from a monolayer of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) could pave the way for next-generation imaging devices. An international team of researchers, led by Prof. Baohua Jia from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, used femtosecond laser writing to pattern nanoparticles on TMDC crystals. The lens has a sub-wavelength resolution and a...

Nanoparticles to immunize plants against heat stress

Civil and Environmental Engineering's Greg Lowry and his team are creating nanoparticles (NP) and NP coatings that will revolutionize the agricultural industry. Already, his research has demonstrated that NPs that are coated with the right polymers can be applied to plant leaves with 99 percent uptake—orders of magnitude more efficient than current agrochemical delivery methods. Their NP's are...

Stabilizing monolayer nitrides with silicon

In a new report published in Science, Yi-Lun Hong and a group of research scientists in materials science, engineering, and advanced technology in China and the U.K. investigated two-dimensional (2-D) materials to discover new phenomena and unusual properties. The team introduced elemental silicon during chemical vapor deposition-based growth of molybdenum nitride to passivate its surface and...

Investigation of five-layered cuprate reveals Fermi pockets

A team of researchers affiliated with a host of institutions in Japan and one in the U.K has observed Fermi pockets during experiments with a five-layered cuprate, confirming theories. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of the cuprate Ba2Ca4Cu5O10(F,O)2 and what they learned about superconductivity. Inna Vishik with the University of California Davis,...

Searching for Heavy Higgs bosons decaying into two tau leptons with the ATLAS detector

In particle physics, three out of the four known fundamental forces in the universe, namely electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions, are described by a theory known as the standard model (SM). One extension of this model is supersymmetry (SUSY), a theoretical construct that points to a possible relationship between two classes of particles: bosons and fermions.

The search for molecular glue in targeted disease control

In cells, there are proteins that do the work and proteins that regulate them. The latter inhibit or enhance activity, depending on the need. However, in many diseases—for example cancer—there is so much overactivity in the cell that the regulator proteins can no longer keep up with it. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology therefore developed a kind of molecular "glue" in 2019...

Q&A: Global methane emissions soaring, but how much was due to wetlands?

Last month, an international team of scientists, including Berkeley Lab's William Riley and Qing Zhu, published an update on the global methane budget as part of the Global Carbon Project. They estimated annual global methane emissions at nearly 570 million tons for the 2008 to 2017 decade, which is 5% higher than emissions recorded for the early 2000s and the equivalent of 189 million more cars...

How to teach teachers amidst the pandemic

In a new study published this week in The Learning Professional, a University of Colorado Denver researcher looked at best practices for educating teachers in an online environment. Known as professional learning, this type of learning is different from professional development in the sense that it is typically interactive, sustained, and customized to teachers' needs—not a one-size-fits-all...

Practical solution for preventing corrosive buildup in nuclear systems

When clogs and corrosion threaten residential water and heating systems, homeowners can simply call a plumber to snake a drain or replace a pipe. Operators of nuclear power plants aren't nearly so lucky. Metallic oxide particles, collectively known as CRUD in the nuclear energy world, build up directly on reactor fuel rods, impeding the plant's ability to generate heat. These foulants cost the...

A superelastic alloy with a nearly limitless temperature window

A team of researchers at Tohoku University has developed a new kind of superelastic alloy with a nearly limitless superelastic window. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes the new alloy's properties and possible uses for it. Paulo La Roca and Marcos Sade with Universidad Nacional de Cuyo–CNEA have published a Perspective piece in the same journal issue outlining...