Physical Sciences

Unravelling the mysteries of deep-blue luminescence

Some molecules glow as brilliantly as fireflies through a process known as luminescence. Different molecules can emit different colours of light, including red, green, and blue. However, not all colours are as easy to generate as others. Dr Masahito Oh-e at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, together with his collaborator Dr Akira Nagasawa, Professor Emeritus of Saitama University in Japan, […]

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Physical Sciences

Keplerian nest of polyhedral structures in different symmetry groups

Research being carried out by Professor Di Sun, from Shandong University, and Professor Stan Schein, from UCLA, unites two research streams. In the first, they synthesized Ag90, a Keplerian nest with one icosahedral and two octahedral shells. In the second, they realized that the nesting maximized the number of shared axes of rotation, just how the late mathematician John Conway […]

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Physical Sciences

‘Oumuamua: Unpacking the mystery of our interstellar visitor

For the time being, the idea of building a spacecraft which can carry us to other stars is a goal reserved for the future – but that doesn’t stop interstellar visitors from coming to us. In 2017, a small, mysterious object named ‘Oumuamua became the first body in the Solar System ever confirmed to originate from a star system beyond […]

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Physical Sciences

Dealing with diminishing returns in quantum perturbations

Perturbations to quantum field theory are valuable tools for physicists as they approximate the properties of complex systems. However, limits in available computing power mean that the capabilities of their calculations are inherently limited. Recently, in a U.S. American-French-Italian collaboration, novel mathematical techniques have been used to circumvent this problem. The team’s approach could soon lead to long-awaited solutions to […]

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Physical Sciences

Interferometry with antimatter

For nearly a century, physicists have struggled to understand why the universe contains so much more matter than antimatter. In a new experiment, Dr Marco Giammarchi and colleagues at the QUPLAS collaboration have demonstrated a technique which could help in their search for an answer. For the first time, the team have demonstrated interferometry with a single antiparticle – an […]

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Physical Sciences

New, exotic materials: Getting oxygen into yttrium hydrides

The modern world is constantly hungry for new materials with properties optimised for their applications. Designing them is no trivial task and often relies on computational modelling to test whether new material structures are feasible. Dr Aleksandr Pishtshev and Evgenii Strugovshchikov from the University of Tartu, Estonia and Dr Smagul Karazhanov from the Institute for Energy Technology, Norway have been […]

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Physical Sciences

High performing monomers and polymers from plant oils

We often think of fossils fuels as a source of energy, but one of the key uses of fossil fuels is as a starting point for the synthesis of new chemical compounds. These range from plastics to pharmaceutical products. In recent years, there has been a push to move to more sustainable chemical feedstocks. Professor Andriy Voronov at North Dakota […]

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Physical Sciences

Twinkle, twinkle: How astronomers investigate alien planets

The NASA Kepler Space Telescope revolutionised our understanding of the universe. By continuously observing over half a million stars during its four-year mission, Kepler discovered thousands of exoplanets. Many hundreds of these are Earth-like in size and composition, and tens of them reside in the habitable ‘Goldilocks’ zone. Kepler and similar space-based telescopes like TESS discover planets purely by inference, […]

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Physical Sciences

Maths and honeycombs: Searching for the materials of the future

The nanotechnology revolution is fuelled by the versatility of nanomaterials. Changing a nanomaterial’s composition and structure alters its properties, rendering nanomaterials tailor-made for specific applications. Mathematical modelling guides researchers towards predicting desired behaviour prior to experimentation. Titus Masese of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Godwill Kanyolo of the University of Electro-Communications (UEC), in Japan, […]

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Physical Sciences

Using thermal imaging to prevent and forecast particulate emissions from mine tailings

Fugitive dust emissions from dry mine tailings surfaces is an environmental concern that undermines the mining industry’s social acceptability. Aluminium refining waste material management involves intensive mud farming activities intended to accelerate drying prior to the residue’s permanent storage and site remediation. Throughout this process surface evaporation occurs much faster, requiring continuous and in-situ monitoring of mine tailings’ drying state […]

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