Category Archives: Physics

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

A popcorn kernel is a cereal grain seed. It is made up of four major physical structures: 1 The Pericarp seed coat or outer hull: a hard outer thin covering. 2 The Endosperm: starchy part that forms the bulk of the kernel and consists almost entirely of starch along with smaller amounts of protein, fat,… Read More »

Theoretical Element 115 Exists, Study Confirms

Researchers confirm the existence of this synthetic element in a new accelerator study. Will it be enough to give ununpentium official recognition and a new name?At the bottom right corner of the periodic table of elements, there are a handful of boxes that illustrators often color gray. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry… Read More »

Astronomic news: the universe may not be expanding after all

… Every now and again, cosmologists decide that the universe needs a rethink. For example, for the past century, they have likened it to an inflating balloon, decorated with galaxies. Now one theoretical physicist has pricked this textbook idea by coming up with an heretical suggestion — namely, that the universe is not expanding at… Read More »

NSA paid British spy agency $150 mln in secret funds — new leak

The NSA has made hush-hush payments of at least $150 million to Britain's GCHQ spying agency over the past three years to influence British intelligence gathering operations. The payouts were revealed in new Snowden leaks published by The Guardian. The documents illustrate that the NSA expects the UK's Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, to… Read More »

See-Through Solar Film Gets Big Efficiency Boost

A novel, transparent, two-layer solar film — possessing an impressive efficiency conversion of 7.3% — has been created by researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles. This is about double the transparent solar cell efficiency the researchers had previously achieved. The solar film can be placed on windows, buildings, sunroofs, electronics displays, etc; harvesting energy… Read More »

Light completely stopped for a record-breaking minute

The fastest thing in the universe has come to a complete stop for a record-breaking minute. At full pelt, light would travel about 18 million kilometres in that time – that’s more than 20 round trips to the moon. “One minute is extremely, extremely long,” says Thomas Krauss at the University of St Andrews, UK.… Read More »

Swedish researchers create “an impossible material” by mistake

… Called upsalite in honor of the university where it was discovered, the material features a surface area of 800 square meters per gram. It’s got the highest surface area measured for a synthesized alkali metal carbonate. And in addition, upsalite is filled with empty pores all having a diameter smaller than 10 nanometers. This… Read More »

Light-emitting nanotubes get brighter with zero-dimensional states

Carbon nanotubes have the potential to function as light-emitting devices, which could lead to a variety of nanophotonics applications. However, nanotubes currently have a low luminescence quantum yield, typically around 1%, which is restricted by their one-dimensional nature. In a new study, scientists have demonstrated that artificially modifying the dimensionality of carbon nanotubes by doping… Read More »

King Midas in space? Rare star collision produces gold.

King Midas in Brides and grooms have stars not only in their eyes, but also in their wedding bands, scientists have found. Researchers at Harvard University say they have observed an unusual astronomical event that sends gold flying into space. A similar event could have been responsible for the glittering metal’s presence on Earth. Most… Read More »

Quantum-Tunneling Computers: Answers faster than light?

… Nerval’s Lobster writes “The powerful, reliable combination of transistors and semiconductors in computer processors could give way to systems built on the way electrons misbehave, all of it contained in circuits that warp even the most basic rules of physics. Rather than relying on a predictable flow of electrons that appear to know whether… Read More »

How to fit 1,000TB of data onto a 12cm optical disc

Just before the weekend I read about a new technique which can be used to shoehorn around 1,000TB of data onto a “DVD disc”. This is quite a feat and it was achieved by circumnavigating some laws of physics with a technique which uses two different coloured light beams to selectively cancel each other out… Read More »

Video: Chladni Figures: Amazing Resonance Experiment

Warning: Turn your volume way down during this entire video. The sound that produces the patterns is loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage. … This demonstration is by a prolific YouTube user who goes by the handle brusspup. I’ve been enjoying his amazing visual illusions for a few years – and I’m not the… Read More »

First-ever high-resolution images of a molecule as it breaks and reforms chemical bonds

When Felix Fischer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) set out to develop nanostructures made of graphene using a new, controlled approach to chemical reactions, the first result was a surprise: spectacular images of individual carbon atoms and the bonds between them. “We weren’t thinking about making beautiful images;… Read More »

Scientists transform cement into liquid metal

It’s not the same as turning lead into gold, but scientists at the Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory and the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute/SPring-8 have developed a method for turning cement into a liquid metal semiconductor. The process sounds like a mad scientist’s invention. It involves equipment like an aerodynamic levitator and a carbon dioxide… Read More »

“Quantum microscope” peers into the hydrogen atom

The first direct observation of the orbital structure of an excited hydrogen atom has been made by an international team of researchers. The observation was made using a newly developed “quantum microscope”, which uses photoionization microscopy to visualize the structure directly. The team’s demonstration proves that “photoionization microscopy”, which was first proposed more than 30… Read More »

Video: Learn the Periodic Table of Elements song

Whether you need to brush up on your chemistry, or just love it when someone sets the Periodic Table to music, AsapSCIENCE’s The NEW Periodic Table Song is for you. This rundown of the elements in numerical order is set to Jacques Offenbach’s Infernal Galop, but was otherwise written, produced, and performed by Mitchell Moffit.… Read More »

Stacking 2-D materials produces surprising results

Graphene has dazzled scientists, ever since its discovery more than a decade ago, with its unequalled electronic properties, its strength and its light weight. But one long-sought goal has proved elusive: how to engineer into graphene a property called a band gap, which would be necessary to use the material to make transistors and other… Read More »