American Institute of Physics

Seeing in the dark

Thermal infrared (IR) energy is emitted from all things that have a temperature greater than absolute zero. Human eyes, primarily sensitive to shorter wavelength visible light, are unable to detect or differentiate ...

dateOct 29, 2013 in General Physics
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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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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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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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