Physical Sciences

Creating a unified theory for the fundamental physical interactions

The search for a theory which unifies the Universe’s four known fundamental forces has now endured for over a century. Recently, Dr Joachim Herrmann at the Max-Born Institute, Germany, revisited the geometrisation programme of unified field theory from the 20th century, in combination with the modern theory of elementary particles. He has shown that a possible solution may be found […]

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Physical Sciences

Multifunctional roles of water in the ozonolysis of limonene aerosols

Aerosols are suspensions of tiny solid particles or liquid droplets, which significantly impact Earth’s atmosphere by influencing the planet’s energy balance, global climate, and public health. Secondary organic aerosols can be formed due to various physicochemical processes involving natural and human-made aerosols, or their gas-phase precursors. Limonene, a type of monoterpene, often found in citrus peel oils and many household and […]

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Physical Sciences

Nanosafety: Looking at the toxicology of nanomaterials

Nanomaterials are small particles that can be found everywhere, including in the air we breathe. Nanosafety is an emerging area of research dealing with the effect of nanomaterials on health and environment. Dr Ernesto Alfaro-Moreno of the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, Portugal, has been involved in continued research on the toxicology of nanomaterials. For his latest study, he […]

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Physical Sciences

Exploring transitions to chaos in complex systems

Previously, Dr Alberto Robledo of Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) showed how transitions to chaos in nonlinear systems can be expressed in the language of statistical mechanics. Additionally, in his studies he shows how the same mathematical laws can link these transitions to the behaviours of different types of complex systems. His results may lead to […]

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Physical Sciences

Obtaining Tsallis entropy at the onset of chaos

Tsallis entropy aims to extend traditional statistical mechanics, but some physicists believe the theory is incompatible with the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. Dr Alberto Robledo of Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) shows for the first time how Tsallis entropy can explain natural phenomena that turn out to be surprisingly linked to the transitions from regular to […]

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Physical Sciences

Building acoustic computers with tuneable phononic crystals

For more than two decades, physicists have been investigating wave propagation in phononic crystals, a metamaterial designed to control sound waves. A recent consideration involves using phononic crystals in acoustic computing. Acoustic computers execute basic Boolean algebra computations using acoustic waves. Dirac cones make this possible but achieving them is both very difficult and rare. Professor Sourav Banerjee and his […]

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Physical Sciences

Recycling refinery final molasses with ionic membranes

Refinery final molasses is one of the key products in the industrial production of sugar from sugarcane, and its global annual output reaches 55 million tonnes. Although molasses is rich in nutrition, it contains colloids, pigments, and toxic substances, and only a small fraction of it is traded internationally. Using a new technology involving purification with ionic membranes and fermentation, […]

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Physical Sciences

Metamaterials and the new rules of refraction

Waves are amazing things. We use light waves for telecommunications applications and make use of mechanical waves for everything from musical instruments to sensing. Being able to control and use waves, though, relies on components to manipulate their properties. Drs Simone Zanotto and Alessandro Pitanti at the CNR – Istituto di Nanoscienze in Pisa, Italy, are now developing a new […]

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Physical Sciences

The cold, dark secrets of the Universe in few-body physics

Understanding fundamental processes in physics, particularly physics beyond the Standard Model, is no easy task. Experiments and theories looking for new general theories to describe many of the phenomena that are missing in the Standard Model focus on particle physics experiments at places like CERN. Professor Jesús Pérez Ríos of the atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics group at Stony […]

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Physical Sciences

Solving the black hole information paradox

The black hole information paradox poses a dilemma for physicists. When a black hole evaporates, it destroys the information that’s fallen into it. Yet quantum theory says information cannot be destroyed. In his pursuit of innovative connotations of existing physical theories, independent researcher Dr Łukaszyk offers a solution to the black hole information paradox. His study reveals the concept of […]

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