Tiny magnets mimic steam, water and ice

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) created a synthetic material out of 1 billion tiny magnets. Astonishingly, it now appears that the magnetic properties of this so-called metamaterial change with the temperature, ...

Collapse of the universe is closer than ever before

Maybe it happens tomorrow. Maybe in a billion years. Physicists have long predicted that the universe may one day collapse, and that everything in it will be compressed to a small hard ball. New calculations from physicists ...

Quantum phase transition observed for the first time

A group of scientists led by Johannes Fink from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) reported the first experimental observation of a first-order phase transition in a dissipative quantum system. ...

Quantum Criticality in life's proteins (Update)

(Phys.org)—Stuart Kauffman, from the University of Calgary, and several of his colleagues have recently published a paper on the Arxiv server titled 'Quantum Criticality at the Origins of Life'. The idea of a quantum criticality, ...

Just seven photons can act like billions

A system made of just a handful of particles acts just like larger systems, allowing scientists to study quantum behaviour more easily.

Butterfly emerges from quantum simulation

Quantum simulators, which are special-purpose quantum computers, will help researchers identify materials with new and useful properties. This enticing future has just taken a step forward thanks to a collaboration between ...

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Phase transition

A phase transition is a natural physical process. It has the characteristic of taking a given medium with given properties and transforming some or all of that medium, into a new medium with new properties. Phase transitions occur frequently and are found everywhere in the natural world. Some engineering techniques exploit certain types of phase transition.

In thermodynamics, a phase transition is the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase to another.

At a phase transition point, physical properties may undergo abrupt change: for instance, the volume of the two phases may be vastly different as is illustrated by the boiling of liquid water to form steam.

The term is most commonly used to describe transitions between solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter, in rare cases including plasma.

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