American Institute of Physics

Extracting energy from bacteria

Most of us wouldn't consider bacteria a promising energy source of the future. That would be shortsighted, says Leonard Tender, a microbial-electrochemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., who believes ...

dateOct 29, 2013 in Materials Science
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Measuring blood sugar with light

One of the keys to healthful living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is monitoring blood glucose (sugar) levels to ensure they remain at stable levels. People can easily and reliably do this at home using electronic devices ...

dateOct 25, 2013 in Analytical Chemistry
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Birthing a new breed of materials

Where two different materials meet on the atomic level, a new material can be born that is neither one nor the other. The two parent materials do not mix – they remain distinct from one another – but their marriage begets ...

dateOct 23, 2013 in Condensed Matter
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TopoChip reveals the Braille code of cells

Cells in the human body change shape as they crawl, split, or cling to other surfaces, but while the scientific literature is filled with examples of how cell shapes shift in response to things they touch, little is known ...

dateOct 23, 2013 in Analytical Chemistry
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Shifting winds in turbine arrays

Researchers modeling how changes in air flow patterns affect wind turbines' output power have found that the wind can supply energy from an unexpected direction: below.

dateOct 22, 2013 in General Physics
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Low-priced plastic photovoltaics

Photovoltaic devices, which tap the power of the sun and convert it to electricity, offer a green—and potentially unlimited—alternative to fossil fuel use. So why haven't solar technologies been more ...

dateOct 22, 2013 in General Physics
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Wrangling flow to quiet cars and aircraft

Plasmas are a soup of charged particles in an electric field, and are normally found in stars and lightning bolts. With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid ...

dateOct 18, 2013 in Plasma Physics
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How Earth's rotation affects vortices in nature

What do smoke rings, tornadoes and the Great Red Spot of Jupiter have in common? They are all examples of vortices, regions within a fluid (liquid, gas or plasma) where the flow spins around an imaginary straight or curved ...

dateOct 15, 2013 in General Physics
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