Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Nov 29, 2023

A fullerene-like molecule made entirely of metal atoms

Posted by in category: particle physics

A small team of chemists from Nankai University, Nanjing Tech University and Shanxi University, all in China, working with a colleague from Universidad San Sebastián, in Chile, has, for the first time, created a fullerene-like molecule made entirely of metal atoms.

In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes how they created the molecule by accident while they were conducting research experiments with antimony, potassium and gold atoms.

A fullerene is a form of carbon where its are connected by single and which result in the formation of a closed cage-like structure. It was first realized in 1985 and since that time analogous inorganic fullerenes have been created using a variety of compounds. But until now, none of them have been purely metal.

Nov 29, 2023

Scientists propose new method to search for deviations from the Standard Model of physics

Posted by in category: particle physics

In the search for new particles and forces in nature, physicists are on the hunt for behaviors within atoms and molecules that are forbidden by the tried-and-true Standard Model of particle physics. Any deviations from this model could indicate what physicists affectionately refer to as “new physics.”

Caltech assistant professor of physics Nick Hutzler and his group are in pursuit of specific kinds of deviations that would help solve the mystery of why there is so much matter in our universe. When our universe was born about 14 billion years ago, matter and its partner, antimatter, are believed to have existed in equal measure.

Typically, matter and antimatter cancel each other out, but some kind of asymmetry existed between the different types of particles to cause matter to win out over antimatter. Hutzler’s group uses tabletop experiments to look for symmetry violations—the deviant particle behaviors that led to our lopsided matter-dominated universe.

Nov 29, 2023

ChatGPT for chemistry: AI and robots join forces to build new materials

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, robotics/AI

Over centuries of painstaking laboratory work, chemists have synthesized several hundred thousand inorganic compounds — generally speaking, materials not based on the chains of carbon atoms that are characteristic of organic chemistry. Yet studies suggest that billions of relatively simple inorganic materials are still waiting to be discovered3. So where to start looking?

Many projects have tried to cut down on time spent in the lab tinkering with various materials by computationally simulating new inorganic materials and calculating properties such as how their atoms would pack together in a crystal. These efforts — including the Materials Project based at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California — have collectively come up with about 48,000 materials that they predict will be stable.

Google DeepMind has now supersized this approach with an AI system called graph networks for materials exploration (GNoME). After training on data scraped from the Materials Project and similar databases, GNoME tweaked the composition of known materials to come up with 2.2 million potential compounds. After calculating whether these materials would be stable, and predicting their crystal structures, the system produced a final tally of 381,000 new inorganic compounds to add to the Materials Project database1.

Nov 29, 2023

Inverted Perovskite Solar Cell Breaks 25% Efficiency Record

Posted by in categories: particle physics, solar power, sustainability

Northwestern University researchers have raised the standards again for perovskite solar cells with a new development that helped the emerging technology hit new records for efficiency.

The findings, published today (Nov. 17) in the journal Science, describe a dual-molecule solution to overcoming losses in efficiency as sunlight is converted to energy. By incorporating first, a molecule to address something called surface recombination, in which electrons are lost when they are trapped by defects—missing atoms on the surface, and a second molecule to disrupt recombination at the interface between layers, the team achieved a National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) certified efficiency of 25.1% where earlier approaches reached efficiencies of just 24.09%.

“Perovskite solar technology is moving fast, and the emphasis of research and development is shifting from the bulk absorber to the interfaces,” said Northwestern professor Ted Sargent. “This is the critical point to further improve efficiency and stability and bring us closer to this promising route to ever-more-efficient solar harvesting.”

Nov 29, 2023

Dark Matter Detective Work: A Revolutionary Approach at the Large Hadron Collider

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Researchers investigate whether dark matter particles actually are produced inside a jet of standard model particles.

The existence of dark matter is a long-standing puzzle in our universe. Dark matter makes up about a quarter of our universe, yet it does not interact significantly with ordinary matter. The existence of dark matter has been confirmed by a series of astrophysical and cosmological observations, including in the stunning recent pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope. However, up to date, no experimental observation of dark matter has been reported. The existence of dark matter has been a question that high energy and astrophysicists around the world have been investigating for decades.

Advancements in Dark Matter Research.

Nov 28, 2023

Black Holes Could Be Used As Batteries Or Nuclear Reactors

Posted by in categories: cosmology, nuclear energy, particle physics

Now that’s forward thinking but it’ll be a long while. But that’s science!

Nothing escapes black holes, but over the decades researchers have worked out ways to get some energy out of them. Some happen naturally, and some energy can be stolen in clever ways. Now, researchers have worked out novel approaches to use black holes as power sources, suggesting that they can be used as either batteries or nuclear reactors.

The assumption of this study is a Schwarzschild black hole – one that has no electric charge or angular momentum. So, it’s neutral and it doesn’t spin. By dropping charged particles on it, the black holes can be made to have a static electric field – and suddenly, you have the makings of a battery.

Continue reading “Black Holes Could Be Used As Batteries Or Nuclear Reactors” »

Nov 28, 2023

Understanding charged particles helps physicists simulate element creation in stars

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

New research from North Carolina State University and Michigan State University opens a new avenue for modeling low-energy nuclear reactions, which are key to the formation of elements within stars. The research lays the groundwork for calculating how nucleons interact when the particles are electrically charged.

The work appears in Physical Review Letters.

Predicting the ways that —clusters of protons and neutrons, together referred to as nucleons—combine to form larger compound nuclei is an important step toward understanding how elements are formed within stars.

Nov 27, 2023

‘First Ever’ Experiments to Measure Theoretical ‘Quantum Flickering’ in an Empty Vacuum Slated for 2024

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

German researchers hoping to be the first to successfully measure quantum flickering directly in a completely empty vacuum are setting their sights on 2024.

If successful, the first-of-their-kind experiments are expected to either confirm the existence of quantum energy in the vacuum, a core concept of quantum electrodynamics (QED), or potentially result in the discovery of previously unknown laws of nature.

Quantum Flickering, Ghost Particles, and Energy in the Vacuum.

Nov 27, 2023

Using the world’s three most powerful particle accelerators to reveal the space-time geometry of quark matter

Posted by in categories: climatology, cosmology, finance, mapping, particle physics, sustainability

Physicists from the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) have been conducting research on the matter constituting the atomic nucleus utilizing the world’s three most powerful particle accelerators. Their focus has been on mapping the “primordial soup” that filled the universe in the first millionth of a second following its inception.

Intriguingly, their measurements showed that the movement of observed particles bears resemblance to the search for prey of marine predators, the patterns of climate change, and the fluctuations of stock market.

In the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang, temperatures were so extreme that atomic nuclei could not exists, nor could nucleons, their building blocks. Hence, in this first instance the universe was filled with a “” of quarks and gluons.

Nov 27, 2023

New study shows how heat can be used in computing

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Central South University in China have demonstrated that, combining specific materials, heat in technical devices can be used in computing. Their discovery is based on extensive calculations and simulations. The new approach demonstrates how heat signals can be steered and amplified for use in energy-efficient data processing.

The team’s research findings have been published in the journal Advanced Electronic Materials (“PT-Symmetry Enabled Spintronic Thermal Diodes and Logic Gates.”).

Information signals are encoded as thermal spin waves (red arrows). Logical operations are realized with two magnetic strips (signal conductors) and precisely controlled with current pulses in a spacer (platinum). (Image: Berakdar group)

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