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Massive photons in an artificial magnetic field

An international research collaboration from Poland, the UK and Russia has created a two-dimensional system—a thin optical cavity filled with liquid crystal—in which they trapped photons. As the properties of the cavity ...

Scientists probe the limits of ice

How small is the smallest possible particle of ice? It's not a snowflake, measuring at a whopping fraction of an inch. According to new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the smallest nanodroplet ...

Nuclear—Out of this world

If humankind reaches Mars this century, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed experiment testing advanced materials for spacecraft may play a key role.

Chemists observe 'spooky' quantum tunneling

A molecule of ammonia, NH3, typically exists as an umbrella shape, with three hydrogen atoms fanned out in a nonplanar arrangement around a central nitrogen atom. This umbrella structure is very stable and would normally ...

Scientists spy unstable semiconductors

Scientists from Cardiff University have, for the first time, spotted previously unseen "instabilities" on the surface of a common compound semiconductor material.

Determining the shapes of atomic clusters

Too large to be classed as molecules, but too small to be bulk solids, atomic clusters can range in size from a few dozen to several hundred atoms. The structures can be used for a diverse range of applications, which requires ...

Insulating antiferromagnetic materials for future computers

Future computer technology based on insulating antiferromagnets is progressing. Electrically insulating antiferromagnets such as iron oxide and nickel oxide consist of microscopic magnets with opposite orientations. Researchers ...

Scientists discover fractal patterns in a quantum material

A fractal is any geometric pattern that occurs again and again, at different sizes and scales, within the same object. This "self-similarity" can be seen throughout nature, for example in a snowflake's edge, a river network, ...

How to control friction in topological insulators

Topological insulators are innovative materials that conduct electricity on the surface, but act as insulators on the inside. Physicists at the University of Basel and the Istanbul Technical University have begun investigating ...

Unlocking a 140-year-old secret in physics

Semiconductors are the basic building blocks of digital devices. Improvements in semiconductor functionality and performance are likewise enabling next-generation applications of semiconductors for computing, sensing and ...

The lifespan of an evaporating liquid drop

The lifespan of a liquid droplet which is transforming into vapour can now be predicted thanks to a theory developed at the University of Warwick. The new understanding can now be exploited in a myriad of natural and industrial ...

Simple materials offer a peek into the quantum realm

As reported in Nature Physics, a Berkeley Lab-led team of physicists and materials scientists was the first to unambiguously observe and document the unique optical phenomena that occur in certain types of synthetic materials ...

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