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  • March 13, 2015
  • 02:20 AM
  • 1,227 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
  • 1,022 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
  • 1,598 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
  • 585 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
  • 1,402 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  

  • March 6, 2015
  • 11:27 AM
  • 895 views

MRAM catches an STT

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

After a month long absence, Pick of the Week returns with a look at a fantastic commentary article on spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory...
The post MRAM catches an STT appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Kent, A., & Worledge, D. (2015) A new spin on magnetic memories. Nature Nanotechnology, 10(3), 187-191. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2015.24  

  • March 3, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,599 views

Star Trek Phasers, Coming To Us Sooner or Laser

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Can we make a Star Trek phaser? In a classic example of life imitating art, the militaries of many countries are actively pursuing such directed energy weapons. So far, we’ve developed high-energy lasers and masers, particle beams, and something that looks a lot like an aimed lightning bolt. But our versions are huge, what must be overcome to make hand-held versions?... Read more »

Shao, L., Cline, D., Ding, X., Ho, Y., Kong, Q., Xu, J., Pogorelsky, I., Yakimenko, V., & Kusche, K. (2013) Simulation prediction and experiment setup of vacuum laser acceleration at Brookhaven National Lab-Accelerator Test Facility. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 25-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2012.09.053  

Bartal, T., Foord, M., Bellei, C., Key, M., Flippo, K., Gaillard, S., Offermann, D., Patel, P., Jarrott, L., Higginson, D.... (2011) Focusing of short-pulse high-intensity laser-accelerated proton beams. Nature Physics, 8(2), 139-142. DOI: 10.1038/nphys2153  

Oxborrow, M., Breeze, J., & Alford, N. (2012) Room-temperature solid-state maser. Nature, 488(7411), 353-356. DOI: 10.1038/nature11339  

Peralta, E., Soong, K., England, R., Colby, E., Wu, Z., Montazeri, B., McGuinness, C., McNeur, J., Leedle, K., Walz, D.... (2013) Demonstration of electron acceleration in a laser-driven dielectric microstructure. Nature, 503(7474), 91-94. DOI: 10.1038/nature12664  

  • March 2, 2015
  • 03:46 AM
  • 578 views

Take the Strain – Joule Magnetostriction

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Transformer Hum Whether you realise it or not you have probably already encountered magnetostriction at some point in your life. The characteristic ‘transformer hum‘ is...
The post Take the Strain – Joule Magnetostriction appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 02:51 PM
  • 405 views

How Reproductive is Your Professor?

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Few of us will be surprised to hear that the academic job market is hugely competitive. What is surprising is how this paper uses techniques...
The post How Reproductive is Your Professor? appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,409 views

Seeing Our Way to Invisibility

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Is it possible to hide in plain sight? Star Trek had cloaking devices, and Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins had their magic cloaks. In real life, we can make things disappear too. Cloaking devices are quickly becoming reality, and we bend light to make them work.... Read more »

Choi, J., & Howell, J. (2014) Paraxial ray optics cloaking. Optics Express, 22(24), 29465. DOI: 10.1364/OE.22.029465  

Fan, P., Chettiar, U., Cao, L., Afshinmanesh, F., Engheta, N., & Brongersma, M. (2012) An invisible metal–semiconductor photodetector. Nature Photonics, 6(6), 380-385. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.108  

  • February 22, 2015
  • 12:29 PM
  • 820 views

Maxwell’s Equations – Let There Be Light!

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Maxwell’s Equations Maxwell’s equations, just like spintronics itself, involve understanding and combining electricity and magnetism. Unsurprisingly then, Maxwell’s equations come up in spintronics research time...
The post Maxwell’s Equations – Let There Be Light! appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Maxwell J.C. (2010) On physical lines of force. Philosophical Magazine, 90(sup1), 11-23. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786431003659180  

Maxwell James Clerk. (2009) A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field. The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, 526-597. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511698095.028  

  • February 22, 2015
  • 11:13 AM
  • 855 views

Of tree rings and rain: drought predicted to worsen in southwestern United States

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Droughts have been severe in California and surrounding states, but will they be any worse than previous droughts in Earth's history? A combination of climate models and tree ring analysis provides an answer.... Read more »

Benjamin I. Cook, Toby R. Ault, Jason E. Smerdon. (2015) Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains. Science Advances. info:/

  • February 19, 2015
  • 02:16 PM
  • 519 views

What Place for Spintronics in the Future of Computing?

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

How sure is the future of spintronics? In field of spintronics, we can often be very sure of ourselves about what role we play in...
The post What Place for Spintronics in the Future of Computing? appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 06:17 PM
  • 730 views

The biofuel controversy

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Many countries are adding biofuels to their mandates for carbon-free, renewable energy? But does biofuel truly fit the bill? Not so much, contrary to what popular culture hopes to believe. Find out the details here.... Read more »

  • February 17, 2015
  • 07:05 AM
  • 1,554 views

I'll Beam Right Over

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Star Trek’s 50th anniversary is next year. Wouldn’t transporting a person to the ISS be a great way to celebrate? Well, there are a couple of problems to overcome, but we’re on our way. We have recently learned how to transport information and light from one place to another, without it ever existing anywhere in between! And this will help us make quantum computers that will be able to transport all the information contained in every atom of your body.... Read more »

Ma, X., Herbst, T., Scheidl, T., Wang, D., Kropatschek, S., Naylor, W., Wittmann, B., Mech, A., Kofler, J., Anisimova, E.... (2012) Quantum teleportation over 143 kilometres using active feed-forward. Nature, 489(7415), 269-273. DOI: 10.1038/nature11472  

Yokoyama, S., Ukai, R., Armstrong, S., Sornphiphatphong, C., Kaji, T., Suzuki, S., Yoshikawa, J., Yonezawa, H., Menicucci, N., & Furusawa, A. (2013) Ultra-large-scale continuous-variable cluster states multiplexed in the time domain. Nature Photonics, 7(12), 982-986. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.287  

  • February 16, 2015
  • 04:00 AM
  • 599 views

AMR – The Start of Something Special

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

William Thomson – The Father of Spintronics? This paper from 1856 helped trigger the entire field of spintronics – but you’d be forgiven for not...
The post AMR – The Start of Something Special appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • February 14, 2015
  • 06:36 PM
  • 973 views

A very Sciencey Valentine’s day

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happy valentines day! Okay maybe it’s turned into more of a reason to spend money on chocolate and flowers than it is about showing affection — which is probably why some people hate it — but it can still be a somewhat special day. Unfortunately I’ve been struggling on what I could do for my wife on valentines day. So I thought I would work it out here and maybe even help a few of you who are stuck as well.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 792 views

Interstellar helps physicists research spinning black holes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a saying that life imitates art and while people like to disagree with the meaning of it, sometimes art can imitate life. For instance the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes.... Read more »

Oliver James, Eugenie von Tunzelmann, Paul Franklin, & Kip S. Thorne. (2015) Gravitational Lensing by Spinning Black Holes in Astrophysics, and in the Movie Interstellar. Classical and Quantum Gravity. arXiv: 1502.03808v1

  • February 10, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 1,793 views

Sometimes Warped Thinking Is A Good Thing

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

As Star Trek’s 50th anniversary approaches, are we getting closer to traveling at light speed? Believe it or not – yes, we are. We have begun to understand and harness the power of antimatter, and the plasma bubble-driven warp drive has moved from silly idea to serious consideration – so much so that NASA has designed a warp drive ship, the IXS Enterprise, of course.... Read more »

S. Beghella-Bartoli, P.M. Bhujbal, A. Nas. (2015) Confirmation of Santilli's detection of antimatter galaxies via a telescope with concave lens. America Journal of Modern Physics, 4(1), 34. info:/

Ganiev, Y., Gordeev, V., Krasilnikov, A., Lagutin, V., Otmennikov, V., & Panasenko, A. (2000) Aerodynamic Drag Reduction by Plasma and Hot-Gas Injection. Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, 14(1), 10-17. DOI: 10.2514/2.6504  

Ronan Keane, & Wei-Ming Zhang. (2012) Beamed Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization. J.Br.Interplanet.Soc. arXiv: 1205.2281v2

  • February 4, 2015
  • 07:04 PM
  • 618 views

How to keep the lights on when the fossil fuels are gone

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

My second guest post at the Eyes on Environment blog at Nature's Scitable network. Check out how policy and technology will help integrate renewables into the electrical grid.... Read more »

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