Physicists have discovered a highly sensitive magnetic material that could transform computer hard drives and energy storage devices. The metal bilayer needs only a small shift in temperature to dramatically alter its magnetism - a tremendously useful property in electronic engineering.
"No other material known to man can do this. It's a huge effect. And we can engineer it," Ivan Schuller, professor of physics, told BBC News. Read more.
Like an enormous backlight, remnant radiation from the Big Bang shines through the whole universe. This ancient light, the cosmic microwave background, has cooled and stretched since then. Darcy Barron, a graduate student in physics who works on POLARBEAR, tells ABC Radio why they go to such extremes to measure these faint signals. Listen.
Light can trigger coordinated, wavelike motions of atoms in atom-thin layers of crystal, scientists have shown. The waves, called phonon polaritons, are far shorter than light waves and can be "tuned" to particular frequencies and amplitudes by varying the number of layers of crystal.
These properties - observed in this class of material for the first time - open the possibility of using polaritons to convey information in tight spaces, create images at far finer resolution than is possible with light, and manage the flow of heat in nanoscale devices. Read more.
The surface of the sea takes up nitrogen oxides that build up in polluted air at night, new measurements on the coast of southern California have shown. The ocean removes about 15 percent of these chemicals overnight along the coast, atmospheric chemists report the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The sea has a salty, rich, organic surface with the potential for a variety of chemical reactions,” says Tim Betram, an assistant professor of chemistry who led the project. It’s part of his group’s mission, to “embrace the complexity to study real systems in their native states and the coupling of the natural world with our influence,” he adds.
Sheila Kennedy, safety coordinator for chemistry, and Joanna Boval director of the university's office for students with disabilities will receive the American Chemical Society's Howard Fawcett Award for their "contributions, innovations and creativity in assisting students with disabilities who are taking chemistry and other laboratory courses."
"Your efforts have enabled students with disabilities to better experience, learn and appreciate laboratory chemistry," Douglas Walters, chair of the awards committee for the society's division of chemical health and safety, wrote.
An astrophysicist who for a decade directed the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the UC San Diego and achieved widespread recognition for his discoveries about star formation and the early universe, Wolfe died February 17 following a battle with cancer. He was 74.
“Art Wolfe was a big thinker,” said Mark Thiemens, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences. “He wrestled with understanding how galaxies were formed and evolved. And he peered back in time 10 to 15 billion years to develop new ideas about the early universe. He was a leading force at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences. All of us on campus benefited from his presence, research and leadership.”
Read more about Wolfe's life and work on the campus news page.
A remembrance and celebration of his life and work will be held at the UC San Diego Faculty Club on March 30th from 1 to 4 pm. Please contact Joan Grohman at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.