How to pop open soft nanoparticles using sound waves

Ultrasound has long been an important tool for medical imaging. Recently, medical researchers have demonstrated that focused ultrasound waves can also improve the delivery of therapeutic agents such as drugs and genetic material. ...

Pressure makes best cooling

Phase transitions take place as heat (i.e., entropy) is exchanged between materials and the environment. When such processes are driven by pressure, the induced cooling effect is called the barocaloric effect, which is a ...

A fascinating phase transition from one liquid state to another

A team at the University of Tokyo has described in unprecedented detail the rare phenomenon of liquid-to-liquid phase transitions in a pure substance. By showing how a liquid made of just one type of molecule can switch between ...

In a new quantum simulator, light behaves like a magnet

Physicists at EPFL propose a new "quantum simulator": a laser-based device that can be used to study a wide range of quantum systems. Studying it, the researchers have found that photons can behave like magnetic dipoles at ...

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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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