Applied Physics

Daniel Bernoulli was never a mom. He might have been a father, a fantastic one at that, I don't actually know. But that's not why I know of him. Bernoulli was a mathematician and scientist from the 1700's, and I was introduced to him during my fluid dynamics class in college.

"Green" laundry detergents have taken the leading role in a new effort by retailers and industry to market mainstream, environmentally friendly consumer products, according to an article scheduled for the Jan. 29 issue of ACS' weekly newsmagazine, Chemical & Engineering News.

In the article, assistant managing editor Michael McCoy describes how the cleaning products industry has embraced sustainability, with a variety of innovations. One, for instance, is an energy-efficient laundry detergent that cleans without hot water. Others are laundry detergents that cause less water pollution after they go down the drain.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has been a major catalyst in the green detergent revolution, the article states.

Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineers have devised a new process that can improve the efficiency of ethanol production, a major component in making biofuels a significant part of the U.S. energy supply.

Carnegie Mellon researchers have used advanced process design methods combined with mathematical optimization techniques to reduce the operating costs of corn-based bio-ethanol plants by more than 60 percent.

The key to the Carnegie Mellon strategy involves redesigning the distillation process by using a multi-column system together with a network for energy recovery that ultimately reduces the consumption of steam, a major energy component in the production of corn-based ethanol.

A research team, led by UC Riverside’s Ludwig Bartels, is the first to design a molecule that can move in a straight line on a flat surface. It achieves this by closely mimicking human walking. The “nano-walker” offers a new approach for storing large amounts of information on a tiny chip and demonstrates that concepts from the world we live in can be duplicated at the nanometer scale – the scale of atoms and molecules,


An illustration from the lab of Ludwig Bartels of the walking molecule as it carries molecular packages. (Image courtesy of University of California - Riverside)

University of California, Riverside Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Jiayu Liao played a pivotal role in the discovery of a small molecule that has been shown to control diabetes in mice and may pave the way to the development of easier treatment for adult-onset diabetes. This key molecule, identified as Boc5, can stimulate insulin function in response to high levels of glucose as well as reduce body weight by 20 percent. The discovery of this molecule that stimulates the production of the intestinal hormone glucagon-like peptide1 (GLP1), which metabolizes glucose, has been an extremely difficult goal for researchers in both academics and the pharmaceutical industry.

The origins and earliest branches of primate evolution are clearer and more ancient by 10 million years than previous studies estimated, according to a study featured on the cover of the Jan. 23 print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The paper by researchers at Yale, the University of Winnipeg, Stony Brook University, and led by University of Florida paleontologist Jonathan Bloch reconstructs the base of the primate family tree by comparing skeletal and fossil specimens representing more than 85 modern and extinct species.

Taking a cue from the financial world, MIT researchers along with experts in industry and government have developed a list of 13 measures that engineers can use to predict how well a system -- or project -- will perform before it is even finished.

Known as leading indicators, analogous measures are regularly used by economists, investors and businesses to help predict the economy's performance.

The idea behind the new set of leading indicators is to improve the management and performance of complex programs before they are delivered, in a more predictive way than simple business metrics.

"Leading indicators can provide important insights for managers of complex programs, such as those in the aerospace industry, and can allow them to make real-ti

Subhash Kak, Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at LSU, recently resolved the twin paradox, known as one of the most enduring puzzles of modern-day physics.

First suggested by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago, the paradox deals with the effects of time in the context of travel at near the speed of light. Einstein originally used the example of two clocks – one motionless, one in transit. He stated that, due to the laws of physics, clocks being transported near the speed of light would move more slowly than clocks that remained stationary. In more recent times, the paradox has been described using the analogy of twins.

The theorists who first created the mathematics that describe the behavior of the recently announced "invisibility cloak" have revealed a new analysis that may extend the current cloak's powers, enabling it to hide even actively radiating objects like a flashlight or cell phone.

Allan Greenleaf, professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester, working with colleagues around the globe, has announced a mathematical theory that predicts some strange goings on inside the cloak—and that what happens inside is crucial to the cloak's effectiveness.

In October, David R.