A key technological breakthrough led by the University of Edinburgh suggests that a futuristic world where people can move objects about ‘remotely’ with laser pointers could be closer than we think. Chemists working on the nanoscale (80,000 times smaller than a hair’s breadth) have managed to move a tiny droplet of liquid across a surface – and even up a slope – by transporting it along a layer of light-sensitive molecules.
Scientists at Edinburgh, Groningen and Bologna are the first to manipulate tiny nanoscale machines (two millionths of a millimetre high) so that they can move an object that is visible to the naked eye. The team has shifted microlitre drops of diiodomethane not just across a flat surface, but also up a one millimetre, 12 degree slope against the force of gravity. It may be the tiniest of movements, but, in the emerging discipline of nanotechnology, it represents a giant technological leap forward.
Although many scientists are working with so-called ‘molecular machines’ – a process which involves making the parts of molecules move in a controlled fashion – the Edinburgh-led team is the first to make these machines interact with ‘real world’ objects. Until now, molecular machines have operated in isolation within the laboratory, but this latest piece of research brings them into contact with the everyday world around us.
Ronald Kerr | alfa
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
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17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses