American Institute of Physics

Simulating flow from volcanoes and oil spills

Some time around 37,000 BCE a massive volcano erupted in the Campanian region of Italy, blanketing much of Europe with ash, stunting plant growth and possibly dooming the Neanderthals. While our prehistoric relatives had ...

dateAug 12, 2013 in Soft Matter
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What water looks like to DNA

A team of biochemists and mathematicians have developed a sophisticated geometric model to predict how a biological molecule will interact with water molecules, computing the results up to 20 times faster ...

dateNov 19, 2013 in Materials Science
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Disorder + disorder = more disorder?

If you took the junk from the back of your closet and combined it with the dirty laundry already on your floor, you would have an even bigger mess. While this principle will likely always hold true for our ...

dateNov 04, 2014 in General Physics
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Return of the vacuum tube

Vacuum tubes have been retro for decades. They almost completely disappeared from the electronics scene when consumers exchanged their old cathode ray tube monitors for flat screen TVs. Their replacement – the semiconductor ...

dateMay 18, 2012 in General Physics
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What makes flying snakes such gifted gliders?

Animal flight behavior is an exciting frontier for engineers to both apply knowledge of aerodynamics and to learn from nature's solutions to operating in the air. Flying snakes are particularly intriguing ...

dateMar 04, 2014 in Soft Matter
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New view of supernova death throes

A powerful, new three-dimensional model provides fresh insight into the turbulent death throes of supernovas, whose final explosions outshine entire galaxies and populate the universe with elements that make ...

dateMar 18, 2014 in Astronomy
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New aluminum alloy stores hydrogen

We use aluminum to make planes lightweight, store sodas in recyclable containers, keep the walls of our homes energy efficient and ensure that the Thanksgiving turkey is cooked to perfection. Now, thanks ...

dateNov 05, 2013 in Materials Science
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A better device to detect ultraviolet light

Researchers in Japan have developed a new photodiode that can detect in just milliseconds a certain type of high-energy ultraviolet light, called UVC, which is powerful enough to break the bonds of DNA and ...

dateOct 04, 2013 in General Physics
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Scientists twist sound with metamaterials

A Chinese-U.S. research team is exploring the use of metamaterials—artificial materials engineered to have exotic properties not found in nature—to create devices that manipulate sound in versatile and ...

dateFeb 25, 2014 in General Physics
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