News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Physics



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Physics - Innovation / Technology - 09.10.2019
Physicists couple key components of quantum technologies
Physicists couple key components of quantum technologies
Quantum effects are genuinely found in the world of nanostructures and allow a wide variety of new technological applications. For example, a quantum computer could in the future solve problems, which conventional computers need a lot of time to handle. All over the world, researchers are engaged in intensive work on the individual components of quantum technologies - these include circuits that process information using single photons instead of electricity, as well as light sources producing such individual quanta of light.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 27.09.2019
More accurate than expected
More accurate than expected
Despite their extremely small mass, neutrinos play a key role in cosmology and particle physics. After evaluation of the first measurement results in the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), it is now clear: The previously unknown mass of the neutrinos must be less than 1 electron volt. This result is more accurate than previous measurements and raises hopes of discovering new neutrino properties.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.09.2019
New method for the measurement of nano-structured light fields
New method for the measurement of nano-structured light fields
Münster researchers combine nano-optics and organic chemistry to measure complex light landscapes in the tight focus of a laser beam / Study published in "Nature Communications" Structured laser light has already opened up various different applications: it allows for precise material machining, trapping, manipulating or defined movement of small particles or cell compartments, as well as increasing the bandwidth for next-generation intelligent computing.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 16.09.2019
New results for the mass of neutrinos
New results for the mass of neutrinos
Apart from photons, the fundamental quanta of light, neutrinos are the most abundant elementary particles in the universe. As they possess a small non-zero mass, these “light-weights of the universe” play a key role in cosmology and particle physics. The most precise scale for neutrinos in the world is the international experiment "KATRIN" at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, in which scientists of the University of Münster are also involved.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 05.09.2019
Closing in on elusive particles
Closing in on elusive particles
In the quest to prove that matter can be produced without antimatter, the GERDA experiment at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory is looking for signs of neutrinoless double beta decay. The experiment has the greatest sensitivity worldwide for detecting the decay in question. To further improve the chances of success, a follow-up project, LEGEND, uses an even more refined decay experiment.

Physics - Computer Science / Telecom - 05.09.2019
Artificial Intelligence for Physics Research
Artificial Intelligence for Physics Research
Scientists at Freie Universität Berlin develop a deep learning method to solve a fundamental problem in statistical physics No 255/2019 from Sep 05, 2019 A team of scientists at Freie Universität Berlin has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) method that provides a fundamentally new solution of the "sampling problem" in statistical physics.

Physics - Life Sciences - 04.09.2019
Structural Changes in a Photosynthetic Protein Demonstrated in Four Dimensions
Biophysics researchers used a free-electron laser to detect light-induced structural changes with the utmost in temporal and spatial precision No 250/2019 from Sep 04, 2019 The process by which light energy translates into a change in protein structure plays a crucial role in many areas of life, from vision to photosynthesis.

Life Sciences - Physics - 27.08.2019
New biosensor provides insight into the stress behaviour of plants
New biosensor provides insight into the stress behaviour of plants
They are tiny signalling molecules that play important roles in many processes in living organisms. However, the exact function of these substances is often still unknown, which is why scientists are constantly on the lookout for new methods with which they can further investigate them. Researchers at the Universities of Münster and Nanjing (China) have developed such a method for an important messenger substance in plants, called phosphatidic acid.

Physics - Materials Science - 14.08.2019
Physicists Develop "Time Machine" for Materials Science
Physics experiments are often time-consuming and expensive. Sometimes scientists do not realize until the very end that they have been using the wrong calibration for measurements the whole time. What if there were a way to go back in time to the start of the experiment and re-examine the data? Researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Freie Universität Berlin, and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) hope to create a machine that would make that possible.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 17.07.2019
Hunting for
Hunting for "ghost particles": Neutrino observatory at the South Pole will be extended
For almost ten years, scientists from all over the world have been using the large-scale experiment "IceCube" to search for neutrinos in the permanent ice of the South Pole. Neutrinos are the smallest particles that reach Earth as cosmic rays. Now the participating researchers, among them Prof. Alexander Kappes from the University of Münster, are pleased about a huge upgrade of the laboratory, which should contribute to measuring the properties of neutrinos much more accurately than before.

Physics - 12.07.2019
Which is the perfect quantum theory?
Which is the perfect quantum theory?
Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking for patterns that are characteristic of specific objects. Provided the system has learned such patterns, it is able to recognize dogs or cats on any picture.

Chemistry - Physics - 03.07.2019
Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled
Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled
Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus electricity from wind power plants. However, the platinum used in fuel cells is rare and extremely expensive, which has been a limiting factor in applications up to now.

Physics - 14.06.2019
Immortal quantum particles
Immortal quantum particles
As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. The laws of physics confirm this: on our planet, all processes increase entropy, thus molecular disorder. For example, a broken glass would never put itself back together again. Theoretical physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems have discovered that things which seem inconceivable in the everyday world are possible on a microscopic level.

Physics - Electroengineering - 05.06.2019
Magnetism discovered in the Earth's mantle: New findings on the Earth's magnetic field
Magnetism discovered in the Earth’s mantle: New findings on the Earth’s magnetic field
New findings on the Earth's magnetic field: researchers show that the iron oxide hematite remains magnetic deep within the Earth's mantle / Study published in "Nature" journal The huge magnetic field which surrounds the Earth, protecting it from radiation and charged particles from space - and which many animals even use for orientation purposes - is changing constantly, which is why geoscientists keep it constantly under surveillance.

Physics - Materials Science - 23.05.2019
New Boost for ToCoTronics
New Boost for ToCoTronics
05/23/2019 A great success for Würzburg's physics department: its Collaborative Research Centre was rated as excellent and is now entering its second funding phase. The German Research Foundation is providing 12 million euros for this purpose. In 2015, physicists at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, succeeded in establishing a new Collaborative Research Centre in Würzburg.

Physics - 09.05.2019
Computing faster with quasi-particles
Computing faster with quasi-particles
In collaboration with researchers from Harvard University, researchers from the University of Würzburg have made an important step on the road to topological quantum computers. Now, they present their findings in the renowned scientific journal Nature. Majorana particles are very peculiar members of the family of elementary particles.

Life Sciences - Physics - 07.05.2019
Trigger for directed cell motion
When an individual cell is placed on a level surface, it does not keep still, but starts moving. This phenomenon was observed by the British cell biologist Michael Abercrombie as long ago as 1967. Since then, researchers have been thriving to understand how cells accomplish this feat. This much is known: cells form so-called lamellipodia - cellular protrusions that continuously grow and contract - to propel themselves towards signalling cues such as chemical attractants produced and secreted by other cells.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 24.04.2019
Astroparticle physicists observe the longest half-life ever directly measured
Astroparticle physicists observe the longest half-life ever directly measured
The universe is almost 14 billion years old. An inconceivable length of time by human standards - yet compared to some physical processes, it is but a moment. There are radioactive nuclei that decay on much longer time scales. An international team of scientists has now directly measured the rarest decay process ever recorded in a detector.

Health - Physics - 04.04.2019
Black nanoparticles slow the growth of tumors
Black nanoparticles slow the growth of tumors
The dark skin pigment melanin protects us from the sun's damaging rays by absorbing light energy and converting it to heat. This could make it a very effective tool in tumor diagnosis and treatment, as demonstrated by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Physics - Computer Science / Telecom - 03.04.2019
Novel nanophotonic chips for encrypted data transfer: Quantum communication
Novel nanophotonic chips for encrypted data transfer: Quantum communication
A giant cylindrical refrigerator, an electron-beam pattern generator, a cleanroom, etching equipment. Sometimes it takes a lot of big things to make something very small. The nanoscientists at the University of Münster headed by Prof. Wolfram Pernice and Prof. Carsten Schuck know this only too well: they use these and other devices to produce nanophotonic chips the size of a one-cent piece.
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