Measuring forces of living cells and microorganisms

Forces exerted by a living cell or a microorganism are tiny, often no larger than a few nanonewtons. For comparison, one nanonewton is the weight of one part in a billion of a typical chocolate bar. Yet, for biological cells ...

A new way to measure energy in microscopic machines

What drives cells to live and engines to move? It all comes down to a quantity that scientists call "free energy," essentially the energy that can be extracted from any system to perform useful work. Without this available ...

Curiosity tests a new way to drill on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted the first test of a new drilling technique on the Red Planet since its drill stopped working reliably.

Method to significantly enhance optical force

Light consists of a flow of photons. If two waveguides – cables for light – are side by side, they attract or repel each other. The interaction is due to the optical force, but the effect is usually extremely small. Physicists ...

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