The behavior of air bubbles in ordinary breakfast syrup demonstrates how scientists might be able to make vanishingly thin tubes and fibers for biomedical and other applications.
Previous experiments conducted in Sidney Nagels laboratory at the University of Chicago showed how to make liquid threads that measure only 10 microns in diameter (approximately one-fifth the diameter of a human hair). Now his Chicago colleague Wendy Zhang reports in the current issue of Physical Review Letters that it is theoretically possible to make much thinner threads by slightly altering experimental procedures. If proven in the laboratory, the technique has potential use in fiber optics, electronics and other industries. "There are many people who are trying to use this idea, or ideas like this, to make very thin wires," said Zhang, an Assistant Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. "Theyre very interested to know whats the smallest size that they can achieve."
The calculation that Zhang devised to answer that question indicates there is no theoretical limit to the thinness of a thread produced via fluid flow. But the calculation doesnt account for the microscopic building blocks of matter. In reality, she said, a thread cannot be thinner than the molecules of which it is made. "In my opinion, this great work will open wide new avenues for the controlled production of extremely thin and long holes in materials like polymers, glasses and ceramics," said Alfonso Gañán-Calvo of the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. He added that the work could have "an enormous impact in fields from biomedicine and biotechnology to the hot nanotech industry."
Steve Koppes | EurekAlert!
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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