Physical Sciences

Forecasting Tsunamis using Ship Navigation Records

In recent years, the Earth has been rocked by devastating Tsunamis. The ability to predict how intense they will be is crucial in deciding how to mitigate their effects. This is what makes the work of Daisuke Inazu at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and fellow researchers so important. Their pioneering work in using the Automatic Identification Systems […]

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Physical Sciences

Stripping paintings of their secrets with hyperspectral imaging

What lies beneath hundreds of years of paint? Professor Costas Balas at the Technical University of Crete, Greece is privy to some of the secrets of the great Renaissance masters with his hyperspectral imaging devices. Such devices can be used to identify not just what chemicals are present in pigments on the surface layers of paintings, but also what lies underneath. Art restoration is […]

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Physical Sciences

The power of light: Production of solar fuels

Harnessing the power of the sun as a source of energy is highly appealing for many reasons, but primarily because it is a renewable, clean source of energy. Plants are already incredibly proficient at not just converting light to useable energy but also at storing that energy in the form of glucose, which can be considered a solar fuel. Professor Michael […]

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Physical Sciences

The Dressed Photon: Shining light on the unknown using the unconventional area of off-shell science

The seas of science are unrelenting: researchers have spent lifetimes trying to attain the unattainable – and fallen overboard into obscurity when they were unsuccessful. In the disciplines of Quantum Field Theory and Materials Science, the ability to create light emitting devices from silicon has long been seen as a perpetual white whale. But, as Professor Motoichi Ohtsu, of Research […]

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Physical Sciences

Laser ablation in liquid: A powerful route to new nanoparticle catalysts

Dr Katharine Tibbetts (Virginia Commonwealth University) has been developing a novel approach for the synthesis of metal nanoparticles, based on a reactive laser ablation in liquid technique. She uses ultra-short laser pulses to ionise water molecules and generate a highly energetic plasma of electrons capable of reducing soluble metal ions to neutral atoms, which then coalesce to generate a nanoparticle […]

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Physical Sciences

Evaluating students’ perceptions of the roles of mathematics in society

Toshikazu Ikeda, Professor of Mathematics Education at Yokohama National University, has found that while mathematical modelling is often evaluated with respect to mathematical attributes, little academic consideration has been given to the non-mathematical viewpoint. To fill this knowledge void, he has developed an analytical tool to evaluate the changes in students’ perceptions of the roles of mathematics in society following […]

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Physical Sciences

Setting new horizons in electroplating of zinc die castings

Our supply of zinc, a metal abundant in our planet’s crust, could run out by 2100 unless we begin to change the way we use it. Collini Holding AG creates a step change in uncovering and addressing the core causes of common faults of plating on zinc die cast by investigating this material and the ways of it surface finishing […]

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Physical Sciences

Peering inside: 3D imaging in materials

  New strong materials are in demand in many sectors, leading to the development of different hybrid structures. These can be made from dissimilar light materials such as aluminium alloys, which are joined by incorporating reinforcing fillers into the weld, or self-compacting fibre-reinforced concrete, which is reinforced using fibres. However, creating new materials is not without its problems. The process […]

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Physical Sciences

Black hole binaries and gravitational waves: Unlocking the secrets of our universe in unexpected ways

When Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves over one hundred years ago, nobody could foresee what the implications could possibly be – but, as they make the move from predicted theory to proven fact, researchers like Professor Zoltan Haiman, of Columbia University, are devising ways of using them to study binary systems of colliding black holes and the […]

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Physical Sciences

Dynamic versus static: Evolving mechanical characterisation

Materials used for aerospace applications have to be incredibly robust. For commercial airlines, the materials used to build the aircraft need to be capable of withstanding temperatures from -45 to 45 °C and windspeeds of over 400 kilometres per hour. All materials must undergo stringent testing, designed to replicate the real dynamic conditions encountered during use. Dr Meysam Rahmat, in his research […]

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