Researchers develop microscopic theory of polymer gel

Russian scientists have proposed a theory of phase transformation in polymer gels. It explains the mechanisms of the dramatic reduction in volume of zwitterionic hydrogels when they are cooled. The results are published in ...

Bottom trawling harms the ocean—and the climate

The destructive effects of ocean-bottom trawling are easy enough to imagine from any basic description of the practice. Heavy nets 100 yards wide, equipped with weighted rollers and steel doors, are dragged across the seafloor ...

NASA rocket to survey the solar system's windshield

Eleven billion miles away—more than four times the distance from us to Pluto—lies the boundary of our solar system's magnetic bubble, the heliopause. Here the Sun's magnetic field, stretching through space like an invisible ...

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits

Encoding information into light, and transmitting it through optical fibers lies at the core of optical communications. With an incredibly low loss of 0.2 dB/km, optical fibers made from silica have laid the foundations of ...

Oxygen migration enables ferroelectricity on nanoscale

Hafnium-based thin films, with a thickness of only a few nanometres, exhibit an unconventional form of ferroelectricity. This allows the construction of nanometre-sized memories or logic devices. However, it was not clear ...

Surprise twist suggests stars grow competitively

A survey of star formation activity in the Orion Nebula Cluster found similar mass distributions for newborn stars and dense gas cores, which may evolve into stars. Counterintuitively, this means that the amount of gas a ...

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