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  • April 17, 2015
  • 11:15 AM
  • 21 views

The downfall of coal: job trends in a changing energy landscape

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Coal jobs have decreased dramatically in the past seven years, but are renewable energy and natural gas jobs compensating? New policy work reveals the geographical patterns in job changes that do not bode well for coal-producing states.... Read more »

  • April 15, 2015
  • 08:20 AM
  • 44 views

Eyes on Environment: the organic side of fracking

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Little research to date has looked into the organic chemicals from fracking fluid that get into surrounding groundwater - here's how science can help!... Read more »

  • April 11, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 75 views

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Light is an extremely useful tool for quantum communication, but it has one major disadvantage: it usually travels at the speed of light and cannot be kept in place. A team of scientists at the Vienna University of Technology has now demonstrated that this problem can be solved – not only in strange, unusual quantum systems, but in the glass fiber networks we are already using today.... Read more »

Sayrin, C., Clausen, C., Albrecht, B., Schneeweiss, P., & Rauschenbeutel, A. (2015) Storage of fiber-guided light in a nanofiber-trapped ensemble of cold atoms. Optica, 2(4), 353. DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000353  

  • April 10, 2015
  • 08:06 PM
  • 91 views

The universe is expanding, but how fast?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We are expanding, well more accurately the universe is expanding. However researchers have found certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say.... Read more »

  • April 8, 2015
  • 03:48 PM
  • 78 views

The heat is magnon at magnetic/non-magnetic interfaces

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

A magnon is a quantised spin wave, i.e. a collective excitation of the spin angular momentum that is associated with electrons in a crystal structure. ...
The post The heat is magnon at magnetic/non-magnetic interfaces appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Scott A. Bender and Yaroslav Tserkovnyak. (2015) Interfacial spin and heat transfer between metals and magnetic insulators. Physical Review B, 140402. info:/

  • April 7, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 86 views

Star Trek Shields For Tanks

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Star Trek deflectors absorbed or deflected energy beams, but would they work against bullets or asteroids? Scientists are on working on armors and plasma systems that can stop projectiles. In some cases we use explosions to stop explosions. In others, tanks are turned into electrical pulse generators that zap incoming rockets. But the most amazing is the wall of exploding plasma that will be the first true defensive energy shield.... Read more »

Mayseless, M. (2011) Effectiveness of Explosive Reactive Armor. Journal of Applied Mechanics, 78(5), 51006. DOI: 10.1115/1.4004398  

Yoo, Y., Zheng, H., Kim, Y., Rhee, J., Kang, J., Kim, K., Cheong, H., Kim, Y., & Lee, Y. (2014) Flexible and elastic metamaterial absorber for low frequency, based on small-size unit cell. Applied Physics Letters, 105(4), 41902. DOI: 10.1063/1.4885095  

  • April 5, 2015
  • 03:32 PM
  • 101 views

That Higgs is trivial!

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

Notwithstanding LHC has seen the particle, the Higgs sector of the Standard Model has some serious problems. This fact yielded more than one headache to physicists. One of these difficulties is called technically “triviality“. The scalar field theory, that is so well defined classically, does not exist as a quantum field theory unless is non-interacting. […]... Read more »

Renata Jora. (2015) $Φ^4$ theory is trivial. arXiv. arXiv: 1503.07298v1

Marco Frasca. (2006) Proof of triviality of $λφ^4$ theory. Int.J.Mod.Phys.A22:2433-2439,2007. arXiv: hep-th/0611276v5

I. L. Bogolubsky, E. -M. Ilgenfritz, M. Müller-Preussker, & A. Sternbeck. (2009) Lattice gluodynamics computation of Landau-gauge Green's functions in the deep infrared. Phys.Lett.B676:69-73,2009. arXiv: 0901.0736v3

  • April 1, 2015
  • 06:36 PM
  • 72 views

Drifting towards spintronic polarimeters

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

In electronics, a drift current is one where the motion of charge carriers is dictated by an applied electric field. In contrast, a diffusive current...
The post Drifting towards spintronic polarimeters appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Nádvorník, L., Haigh, J., Olejník, K., Irvine, A., Novák, V., Jungwirth, T., & Wunderlich, J. (2015) Efficient conversion of light to charge and spin in Hall-bar microdevices. Physical Review B, 91(12). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.125205  

  • March 31, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 110 views

Shields Up! Lay In A Course For Mars

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Deflector shields allowed Star Trek and other sci-fi franchises to have long space battles. Without them, one good strike and everyone was dead – that wouldn’t lend itself to sequels.

We don’t need shields for space battles yet, but we do need them to get to Mars. Cosmic radiation will kill or injure every astronaut unless we can deflect the radiation away from the spacecraft. We’re just about to build real deflectors, and our teachers are the magnetic fields we find ........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2015
  • 10:42 AM
  • 106 views

Accelerated loss: western Antarctice ice shelf melting at faster pace within last decade

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New satellite measurements have given unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution to Antarctice melting. The data indicates the Western shelf is melting faster than thought and the Eastern shelf is no longer gaining thickness. Important information to predict future sea level rises!... Read more »

  • March 24, 2015
  • 06:47 PM
  • 78 views

The cool car: electric vehicles show possible benefit to combat climate change

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Electric vehicles are touted as environmentally friendly, but they actually pollute more than conventional vehicles during manufacturing. However, a new report argues that, because electric vehicles are cooler, they can reduce heat and temperature increases in urban environments, leading to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.... Read more »

Li C, Cao Y, Zhang M, Wang J, Liu J, Shi H, & Geng Y. (2015) Hidden benefits of electric vehicles for addressing climate change. Scientific reports, 9213. PMID: 25790439  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 12:08 PM
  • 133 views

Gliding Ant Flies like a Backward Superman

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Travel to the Amazon and flick an ant off a leaf, and you might be surprised what you see. Certain rainforest ant species can control their falls and glide back onto the trunks of the trees they came from. Unlike Superman, though, they're only flying to rescue themselves.

An ant is light enough that a drop to the forest floor might not hurt it. But the other animals cruising the ground for snacks will cause trouble for that ant soon enough. That's why many rainforest ants have evolved to ... Read more »

Munk Y, Yanoviak SP, Koehl MA, & Dudley R. (2015) The descent of ant: field-measured performance of gliding ants. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25788722  

  • March 19, 2015
  • 11:39 AM
  • 83 views

Heusler alloys: A hot topic

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

A-Heusler there matey Heusler materials are becoming increasingly interesting for use in spintronics.  These materials have X2YZ stoichiometry (where Y is a magnetic ion) and...
The post Heusler alloys: A hot topic appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Kento Yamasaki1, Soichiro Oki1, Shinya Yamada1, Takeshi Kanashima1, and Kohei Hamaya1. (2015) Spin-related thermoelectric conversion in lateral spin-valve devices with single-crystalline Co2FeSi electrodes . Applied Physics Express, 43003. info:/

  • March 17, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 164 views

I See, Said The Blind Man

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

I can’t stand it when I get dust in my eye. Can you imagine having a neural implant in your eye? Star Trek’s Geordi LaForge had implanted electrodes that, along with his visor, let him see. Visual neural prostheses are no longer a thing of science fiction, making the blind see is science fact. The only difference is that he saw in all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. But there’s no reason we can’t do that as well. ... Read more »

Jung, J., Aloni, D., Yitzhaky, Y., & Peli, E. (2014) Active confocal imaging for visual prostheses. Vision Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2014.10.023  

Nirenberg, S., & Pandarinath, C. (2012) Retinal prosthetic strategy with the capacity to restore normal vision. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(37), 15012-15017. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1207035109  

Stingl, K., Bartz-Schmidt, K., Gekeler, F., Kusnyerik, A., Sachs, H., & Zrenner, E. (2013) Functional Outcome in Subretinal Electronic Implants Depends on Foveal Eccentricity. Investigative Ophthalmology , 54(12), 7658-7665. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.13-12835  

  • March 14, 2015
  • 10:31 AM
  • 143 views

Is Higgs alone?

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

I am back after the announcement by CERN of the restart of LHC. On May this year we will have also the first collisions. This is great news and we hope for the best and the best here is just the breaking of the Standard Model. The Higgs in the title is not Professor Higgs […]... Read more »

Marco Frasca. (2009) Exact solutions of classical scalar field equations. J.Nonlin.Math.Phys.18:291-297,2011. arXiv: 0907.4053v2

Marco Frasca. (2013) Scalar field theory in the strong self-interaction limit. Eur. Phys. J. C (2014) 74:2929. arXiv: 1306.6530v5

Marco Frasca. (2014) Exact solutions for classical Yang-Mills fields. arXiv. arXiv: 1409.2351v2

Biagio Lucini, & Marco Panero. (2012) SU(N) gauge theories at large N. Physics Reports 526 (2013) 93-163. arXiv: 1210.4997v2

  • March 13, 2015
  • 02:20 AM
  • 175 views

How photosynthesis is inspiring solar power research

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: To meet humanity’s growing energy demands, scientists are taking lessons from plants, which perfected the process of capturing the sun’s rays and transforming that into starch. Might scientists be able to adapt the photosynthetic process pioneered by plants and adapt it to meet human demands? ... Read more »

Barber James. (2007) Biological solar energy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 1007-1023. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2006.1962  

Porter G. (1966) Studies of Triplet Chlorophyll by Microbeam Flash Photolysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 295(1440), 1-12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.1966.0222  

Porter G. (1978) The Bakerian Lecture, 1977: In Vitro Models for Photosynthesis. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 362(1710), 281-303. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.1978.0134  

Cogdell R. J., P. I. Molina, & L. Cronin. (2013) The use and misuse of photosynthesis in the quest for novel methods to harness solar energy to make fuel. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 371(1996), 20110603-20110603. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2011.0603  

  • March 12, 2015
  • 11:55 AM
  • 134 views

Interface time: Finding the source of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

As touched upon in last week’s Pick of the Week, perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) may be important for spin transfer torque MRAM (STT-MRAM) as it...
The post Interface time: Finding the source of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • March 10, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 126 views

Pulling Us Toward Tractor Beams

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Tractor beams pulling space ships are things of science fiction, but tractor beams pulling small objects on Earth are science fact. Beams usually push things away with their force, but we have learned to manipulate them so that they push things back to the source – we can do it with water, sound and even laser light.... Read more »

Shvedov, V., Davoyan, A., Hnatovsky, C., Engheta, N., & Krolikowski, W. (2014) A long-range polarization-controlled optical tractor beam. Nature Photonics, 8(11), 846-850. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.242  

Mo Li, W. H. P. Pernice, & H. X. Tang. (2009) Tunable bipolar optical interactions between guided lightwaves. Nature Photonics. arXiv: 0903.5117v1

Démoré CE, Dahl PM, Yang Z, Glynne-Jones P, Melzer A, Cochran S, MacDonald MP, & Spalding GC. (2014) Acoustic tractor beam. Physical review letters, 112(17), 174302. PMID: 24836252  

Punzmann, H., Francois, N., Xia, H., Falkovich, G., & Shats, M. (2014) Generation and reversal of surface flows by propagating waves. Nature Physics, 10(9), 658-663. DOI: 10.1038/nphys3041  

Ruffner DB, & Grier DG. (2012) Optical conveyors: a class of active tractor beams. Physical review letters, 109(16), 163903. PMID: 23215079  

  • March 9, 2015
  • 05:00 AM
  • 55 views

Hall Effect of Fame

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

The Hall Effect is beloved of condensed matter physicists the world over for its use in characterisation of materials and sensing of magnetic fields. Now...
The post Hall Effect of Fame appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • March 7, 2015
  • 10:17 AM
  • 164 views

How radiation from space affects the Earth's climate

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Convergent cross-mapping analysis finds 'modest causal effect' of cosmic rays on global temperatures over short timescales, but rules out effect on long-term global warming.... Read more »

Tsonis, A., Deyle, E., May, R., Sugihara, G., Swanson, K., Verbeten, J., & Wang, G. (2015) Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420291. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420291112  

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