Tag Archives: electron

Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?

Electrons are elementary particles — indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron’s quantum state — the electron wave function — can be separated into many parts. That has some strange implications for the theory of quantum mechanics.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — New research by physicists from Brown University puts the profound strangeness of quantum mechanics in a nutshell — or, more accurately, in a helium bubble. (more…)

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New boron nanomaterial may be possible

Graphene, a sheet of carbon one atom thick, may soon have a new nanomaterial partner. In the lab and on supercomputers, chemists have determined that a unique arrangement of 36 boron atoms in a flat disc with a hexagonal hole in the middle may be the preferred building blocks for “borophene.” Findings are reported in Nature Communications.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Researchers from Brown University have shown experimentally that a boron-based competitor to graphene is a very real possibility. (more…)

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New Spectroscopic Technique Could Accelerate the Push for Better Batteries

Method developed at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source measures electronic changes in a working battery electrode

A new technique developed at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source could help scientists better understand and improve the materials required for high-performance lithium-ion batteries that power EVs and other applications.

The technique, which uses soft X-ray spectroscopy, measures something never seen before: the migration of ions and electrons in an integrated, operating battery electrode. (more…)

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New Results from Daya Bay – Tracking the Disappearance of Ghostlike Neutrinos

Daya Bay neutrino experiment releases high-precision measurement of subatomic shape shifting and new result on differences among neutrino masses

The international Daya Bay Collaboration has announced new results about the transformations of neutrinos – elusive, ghostlike particles that carry invaluable clues about the makeup of the early universe.  The latest findings include the collaboration’s first data on how neutrino oscillation – in which neutrinos mix and change into other “flavors,” or types, as they travel – varies with neutrino energy, allowing the measurement of a key difference in neutrino masses known as mass splitting.

“Understanding the subtle details of neutrino oscillations and other properties of these shape-shifting particles may help resolve some of the deepest mysteries of our universe,” said Jim Siegrist, Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the primary funder of U.S. participation in Daya Bay. (more…)

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Morphing manganese

UD researchers report new discovery in ‘Science’ about manganese in aquatic environments

An often-overlooked form of manganese, an element critical to many life processes, is far more prevalent in ocean environments than previously known, according to a study led by University of Delaware researchers that was published this week in Science.

The discovery alters understanding of the chemistry that moves manganese and other elements, like oxygen and carbon, through the natural world. Manganese is an essential nutrient for most organisms and helps plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis. (more…)

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Berkeley Lab Researchers Use Metamaterials to Observe Giant Photonic Spin Hall Effect

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have once again demonstrated the incredible capabilities of metamaterials – artificial nanoconstructs whose optical properties arise from their physical structure rather than their chemical composition. Engineering a unique two-dimensional sheet of gold nanoantennas, the researchers were able to obtain the strongest signal yet of the photonic spin Hall effect, an optical phenomenon of quantum mechanics that could play a prominent role in the future of computing.

“With metamaterial, we were able to greatly enhance a naturally weak effect to the point where it was directly observable with simple detection techniques,” said Xiang Zhang,  a faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division who led this research. “We also demonstrated that metamaterials not only allow us to control the propagation of light but also allows control of circular polarization. This could have profound consequences for information encoding and processing.” (more…)

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Engineering Bacterial Live Wires

Berkeley Lab scientists discover the balance that allows electricity to flow between cells and electronics

Just like electronics, living cells use electrons for energy and information transfer. Despite electrons being a common “language” of the living and electronic worlds, living cells cannot speak to our largely technological realm. Cell membranes are largely to blame for this inability to plug cells into our computers: they form a greasy barrier that tightly controls charge balance in a cell.  Thus, giving a cell the ability to communicate directly with an electrode would lead to enormous opportunities in the development of new energy conversion techniques, fuel production, biological reporters, or new forms of bioelectronic systems. (more…)

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Physicists Demonstrate the Acceleration of Electrons by a Laser in a Vacuum

Accelerating a free electron with a laser has been a longtime goal of solid-state physicists.

David Cline, a distinguished professor in the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Xiaoping Ding, an assistant researcher at UCLA, have conducted research at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and have established that an electron beam can be accelerated by a laser in free space.

This has never been done before at high energies and represents a significant breakthrough, Cline said, adding that it also may have implications for fusion as a new energy source. (more…)

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