Achieved by Hebrew University, UCLA scientists
Illustration shows how the “molecular motor” is composed of a molecule made up of two spheres, rotating on a common axis between them. In the double-sphered molecule at right, two carbon atoms (grey) are shown on the left-hand side of both spheres of the molecule. In the molecule at left, the upper sphere of the molecule has rotated counter-clockwise by 144 degrees and locked in position, the result being that the carbon atoms can now be seen in the top sphere on the right-hand side. The other atoms in the illustration are nickel (blue) and hydrogen (pink). The straight bars connecting the atoms represent chemical bonds
A step towards building tiny motors on the scale of a molecule has been demonstrated by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
In an article appearing in the current issue of Science magazine, the researchers from the two institutions described how they were able – through light or electrical stimulation – to cause a molecule to rotate on an axis in a controlled fashion, similar to the action of a motor.
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
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The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.
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Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.
Inspired by insects
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In cooperation with the Center for Nano-Optics of Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA), scientists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität have made simulations of the processes that happen when a layer of carbon atoms is irradiated with strong laser light.
Electrons hit by strong laser pulses change their location on ultrashort timescales, i.e. within a couple of attoseconds (1 as = 10 to the minus 18 sec). In...
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