American Institute of Physics

Next-generation semiconductors synthesis

Although silicon semiconductors are nearly universal in modern electronics, devices made from silicon have limitations—including that they cease to function properly at very high temperatures. One promising alternative ...

Nov 08, 2013
4.6 / 5 (16) 0 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Nov 05, 2013
4.5 / 5 (12) 1 | with audio podcast

Designing an acoustic diode

Most people know about ultrasound through its role in prenatal imaging: those grainy, grey outlines of junior constructed from reflected sound waves. A new technology called an "acoustic diode," envisioned ...

Nov 01, 2013
4.4 / 5 (20) 0 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Oct 29, 2013
5 / 5 (8) 0 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Oct 23, 2013
5 / 5 (7) 0 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Oct 22, 2013
4.5 / 5 (11) 2 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Oct 18, 2013
5 / 5 (11) 1 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Oct 15, 2013
3.4 / 5 (7) 4 | with audio podcast

Newly discovered mechanism propels micromotors

Scientists studying the behavior of platinum particles immersed in hydrogen peroxide may have discovered a new way to propel microscopic machines. The new mechanism is described in The Journal of Chemical Ph ...

Oct 15, 2013
4.8 / 5 (6) 1 | with audio podcast