Technology News

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 06:39

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for the theory of how particles acqire mass. In 2012, their ideas were confirmed by the discovery of the Higgs particle, also called Higgs boson or the God particle, at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva in Switzerland. In 1964, they had proposed the theory independently of each other (Englert together with his now deceased colleague Robert Brout). The Higgs particle is a particle with mass very close to zero. 

Friday, October 4, 2013 - 12:09

Researchers at MIT, working with partners at NASA, have developed a new concept for a microscope that would use neutrons — subatomic particles with no electrical charge — instead of beams of light or electrons to create high-resolution images.


Friday, October 4, 2013 - 11:28

When you heat a tiny droplet of liquid tin with a laser, plasma forms on the surface of the droplet and produces extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light, which has a higher frequency and greater energy than normal ultraviolet.


Friday, October 4, 2013 - 10:23

In future, it could be easier to break down wood, as a source of raw materials, into its constituent parts. Chemists at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr have found an efficient way of making the components of the biopolymer lignin easier to use. Lignin stabilises plant cells and contains organic compounds, which are valuable to the chemicals industry for the production of biofuels, for example. The compounds in lignin are, however, difficult to access. The chemists in Mülheim can now chemically convert these building blocks so that they are more readily available.


Monday, September 23, 2013 - 09:40

Using low-frequency laser pulses, a team of researchers has carried out the first measurements that reveal the detailed characteristics of a unique kind of magnetism found in a mineral called herbertsmithite. In this material, the magnetic elements constantly fluctuate, leading to an exotic state of fluid magnetism called a “quantum spin liquid.” This is in contrast to conventional magnetism, found in materials called ferromagnets — where all of the magnetic forces align in the same direction, reinforcing each other — or antiferromagnets, where adjacent magnetic elements align in opposite directions, leading to complete cancellation of the material’s overall magnetic field.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 19:51

Researchers have made the first experimental determination of the weak charge of the proton in research carried out at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The results, accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters, also include the determinations of the weak charge of the neutron, and of the up quark and down quark. These determinations were made by combining the new data with published data from other experiments. Although these preliminary figures are the most precise determinations to date, they were obtained from an analysis of just 4 percent of the total data taken by the experiment, with the full data analysis expected to take another year to complete.