An ultrafast microscope for the quantum world

The operation of components for future computers can now be filmed in HD quality, so to speak. Manish Garg and Klaus Kern, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, have developed a microscope ...

Pulsed electron beams shed light on plastics production

Plastics are all around us—they make up our water bottles, trash bags, packing materials, toys, containers, and more. About 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year, yet the details of what goes on at ...

The physics of extracting gas from shale formations

Extracting gas from new sources is vital in order to supplement dwindling conventional supplies. Shale reservoirs host gas trapped in the pores of mudstone, which consists of a mixture of silt mineral particles ranging from ...

Strange things happen when a crystal is split in two

The remarkable strength of ionic crystals is easily explained at the atomic scale: Positively and negatively charged atoms sit side by side in a repeating periodic arrangement. The strong electrostatic force in between keeps ...

How to separate linear and ring-shaped molecules

What is the difference between linear chains and rings composed of the same material? The molecular building blocks are identical, but from a mathematical point of view, the two structures have distinct topologies, ring and ...

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