American Institute of Physics

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

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 ...

Oct 04, 2013
4.7 / 5 (6) 0 | with audio podcast

Bright, laser-based lighting devices

As a modern culture, we crave artificial white lights—the brighter the better, and ideally using less energy than ever before. To meet the ever-escalating demand for more lighting in more places and to ...

Sep 27, 2013
4.7 / 5 (16) 2 | with audio podcast