Curiosity rover's laser instrument zaps first martian rock
(Phys.org) -- Today, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity fired its laser for the first time on Mars, using the beam from a science instrument to interrogate a fist-size rock called "Coronation."
Exotic metamaterials will change optics
Duke University engineers believe that continued advances in creating ever-more exotic and sophisticated man-made materials will greatly improve their ability to control light at will.
Super-hurricane-force winds on Venus are getting stronger
(Phys.org) —As the closest planet to Earth, Venus is a relatively easy object to observe. However, many mysteries remain, not least the super-rotation of Venus' atmosphere, which enables high altitude winds ...
New laser shows what substances are made of, could be new eyes for military (w/ video)
A new laser that can show what objects are made of could help military aircraft identify hidden dangers such as weapons arsenals far below.
Herschel finds hot gas on menu for Milky Way's black hole
(Phys.org) —ESA's Herschel space observatory has made detailed observations of surprisingly hot molecular gas that may be orbiting or falling towards the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of ...
Research finds numerous unknown jets from young stars and planetary nebulae
For many years astronomers have known that young 'protostars' drive supersonic jets of gas from their north and south poles. However, this is the first time that so many of them have been detected at once.
Scientists measure near-field behavior of semiconductor plasmonic microparticles
(Phys.org) —Recent progress in the engineering of plasmonic structures has enabled new kinds of nanometer-scale optoelectronic devices as well as high-resolution optical sensing. But until now, there has ...
Infrared Nanotube Films Offer Advantages for Solar Cells and More
Researchers show short laser pulses selectively heat gold nanoparticles
(Phys.org)—Plasmonic gold nanoparticles make pinpoint heating on demand possible. Now Rice University researchers have found a way to selectively heat diverse nanoparticles that could advance their use ...
Scientists first to observe plasmons on graphene
With a beam of infrared light, scientists have sent ripples of electrons along the surface of graphene and demonstrated that they can control the length and height of these oscillations, called plasmons, using ...
New technique for visualizing blood flow involves carbon nanotubes and lasers
(Phys.org)—Stanford scientists have developed a fluorescence imaging technique that allows them to view the pulsing blood vessels of living animals with unprecedented clarity. Compared with conventional ...
Quantum dots as midinfrared emitters
MESSENGER finds new evidence for water ice, organic material at Mercury's poles
(Phys.org)—New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide compelling support for the long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently ...
As cool as the human body: Wise mission discovers coolest class of stars
(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have discovered the coldest class of star-like bodies, with temperatures as cool as the human body.