Novel technique developed by NUS scientists opens door to better solar cells

A team of scientists, led by Assistant Professor Andrivo Rusydi from the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of Science, has successfully developed a technique to study the interface between materials, shedding light on the new properties that arise when two materials are put together.

Achieving data transmission in the terabit range

The amount of data generated and transmitted worldwide is growing continuously. With the help of light, data can be transmitted rapidly and efficiently. Optical communication is based on glass fibers, through which optical signals can be transmitted over large distances with hardly any losses.

Saturn's hexagon: An amazing phenomenon

n 1980 and 1981 NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 space probes passed for the first time over the planet Saturn, located 1,500 million km from the Sun. Among their numerous discoveries they observed a strange, hexagon-shaped structure in the planet's uppermost clouds surrounding its north pole.

Scientists study genetically modified tobacco plants as an alternative for producing bioethanol

Researchers at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and the IdAB-Institute of Agrobiotechnology have conducted a study into genetically modified tobacco plants from which it is possible to produce between 20 and 40 per cent more ethanol; this would increase their viability as a raw material for producing biofuels.

A molecular approach to solar power

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine. Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround — a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store that energy in chemical form, ready to be released again on demand.

Report: Nutrient-rich forests absorb more carbon

The ability of forests to sequester carbon from the atmosphere depends on nutrients available in the forest soils, shows new research from an international team of researchers, including IIASA.

Does germ plasm accelerate evolution?

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have published research in the leading academic journal Science that challenges a long held belief about the way certain species of vertebrates evolved.

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells

A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy. Their project demonstrates that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.

How the brain pays attention

Picking out a face in the crowd is a complicated task: Your brain has to retrieve the memory of the face you’re seeking, then hold it in place while scanning the crowd, paying special attention to finding a match.

Bringing extinct plants to life

Jeff Benca is an admitted über-geek when it comes to prehistoric plants, so it was no surprise that, when he submitted a paper describing a new species of long-extinct lycopod for publication, he ditched the standard line drawing and insisted on a detailed and beautifully rendered color reconstruction of the plant.

Testing boundaries of 'new physics' with discovery of 4-quark hadron

hysicists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have helped confirm the existence of exotic hadrons—a type of matter that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model.

Veggie experiment will expand fresh food production on Space Station

A plant growth chamber bound for the International Space Station inside the Dragon capsule on the SpaceX-3 resupply mission may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities in more ways than one, and offer astronauts something they don’t take for granted, fresh food.

BOSS quasars track the expanding universe

The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), pioneered the use of quasars to map density variations in intergalactic gas at high redshifts, tracing the structure of the young universe.

Greenland ice cores show industrial record of acid rain

The rise and fall of acid rain is a global experiment whose results are preserved in the geologic record.

Odds that global warming is due to natural factors? Slim to none

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

Researchers bolster development of programmable quantum computers

University of Chicago researchers and their colleagues at University College London have performed a proof-of-concept experiment that will aid the future development of programmable quantum computers.

Construction to begin on NASA spacecraft set to visit asteroid in 2018

NASA's team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.

Faraway moon or faint star? NASA says possible exomoon found

Titan, Europa, Io and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system's pantheon of moons. Are there are other moons out there, orbiting planets beyond our sun?

NASA's Hubble extends stellar tape measure 10x farther into space

Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers now can precisely measure the distance of stars up to 10,000 light-years away -- 10 times farther than previously possible.

SU plays key role in search for elusive dark matter

Physicist Richard Schnee hopes to find traces of dark matter by studying particles with low masses and interaction rates, some of which have never been probed before. The ongoing search for invisible dark matter is the subject of a recent article involving physicists from Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences.