'Digital alchemy' to reverse-engineer new materials

In work that upends materials design, researchers have demonstrated with computer simulations that they can design a crystal and work backward to the particle shape that will self-assemble to create it.

Assembly in the air: Using sound to defy gravity

Scientists at the University of Bath have levitated particles using sound in an experiment which could have applications in so-called "soft robotics" and help reveal how planets start to form.

Machine learning reveals hidden turtle pattern in quantum fireworks

Two years ago, physicists at the University of Chicago were greeted with fireworks—atoms shooting out in jets—when they discovered a new form of quantum behavior. But the patterns underlying the bright jets were difficult ...

A splash of detergent makes catalytic compounds more powerful

Researcher David Rosenberg examines images of a white powder under a powerful scanning electron microscope. Up close, the powder looks like coarse gravel, a heap of similar but irregular chunks. Then he looks at a second ...

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