Researchers have developed a process to create wires only 50 nanometers (billionths of a meter) thick. Made from silica, the same mineral found in quartz, the wires carry light in an unusual way. Because the wires are thinner than the wavelengths of light they transport, the material serves as a guide around which light waves flow. In addition, because the researchers can fabricate the wires with a uniform diameter and smooth surfaces down to the atomic level, the light waves remain coherent as they travel.
The smaller fibers will allow devices to transmit more information while using less space. The new material may have applications in ever-shrinking medical products and tiny photonics equipment such as nanoscale laser systems, tools for communications and sensors. Size is of critical importance to sensing--with more, smaller-diameter fibers packed into the same area, sensors could detect many toxins, for example, at once and with greater precision and accuracy.
Researchers at Harvard University led by Eric Mazur and Limin Tong (also of Zhejiang University in China), along with colleagues from Tohoku University in Japan, report their findings in the Dec. 18, 2003, issue of the journal Nature.
Josh Chamot | NSF
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Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
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What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
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The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
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Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
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