Physics

A new type of stainless steel alloy developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could allow for significantly increased operating temperatures and corresponding increases in efficiency in future energy production systems.

The new alloys offer superior oxidation resistance compared to conventional stainless steels, without significant increased cost or decreased creep resistance (sagging at high temperature). What sets this proprietary material apart from other stainless steels is its ability to form protective aluminum oxide scales instead of chromium oxide scales.

The combination of creep and oxidation resistance offered by these alloys previously was available only with nickel-base alloys, which are about five times more costly than the new stainless steels.

At some level, all types of matter that we usually deal with have at least one thing in common - they're made of particles. The solids, liquids, gases and plasmas that surround us are built of atoms, which are made of electrons, protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons in turn are made of quarks.

According to Harvard University's Howard Georgi, however, there's at least the theoretical possibility that some matter in the universe is not made of particles at all. Georgi has dubbed the mind-bending matter "unparticle stuff," and hopes that we may see signs of it at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a super high energy proton collider due to come online in Europe later this year.

Samuel Isaac Weissman, a professor and chemist who helped develop the first atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, has died, his wife said Friday. He was 94.

Weissman died Tuesday in St. Louis. His wife, Jane Loevinger, said a cause of death was not known.

Physicists of the DZero experiment at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a new heavy particle, the Îb(pronounced "zigh sub b") baryon, with a mass of 5.774±0.019 GeV/c2, approximately six times the proton mass.

The newly discovered electrically charged Îb baryon, also known as the "cascade b," is made of a down, a strange and a bottom quark. It is the first observed baryon formed of quarks from all three families of matter.

By precisely controlling billions of individual electrons every second, they hope to develop new computing systems and increase the security of digital communication.

Much like the conveyor belt in a production plant, NPL’s electron surf machine delivers electrons one by one in a reliable steady stream at a rate of more than a billion a second. Whilst small streams of electrons can already be produced, until now no one has found a way to deliver them in a controlled fashion at such a high rate.

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), along with colleagues at George Mason University and Kwangwoon University in Korea, have fabricated a memory device that combines silicon nanowires with a more traditional type of data-storage. Their hybrid structure may be more reliable than other nanowire-based memory devices recently built and more easily integrated into commercial applications.

Transporting energy without any loss, travelling in magnetically levitated trains, carrying out medical imaging (MRI) with small-scale equipment: all these things could come true if we had superconducting materials that worked at room temperature. Today, researchers at CNRS have taken another step forward on the road leading to this ultimate goal. They have revealed the metallic nature of a class of so-called critical high-temperature superconducting materials. This result has been eagerly awaited for 20 years. It paves the way to an understanding of this phenomenon and makes it possible to contemplate its complete theoretical description.


An experiment in magnetic levitation.

University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars.

"We are converting waste heat to electricity in an efficient, simple way by using sound," says Orest Symko, a University of Utah physics professor who leads the effort. "It is a new source of renewable energy from waste heat."


University of Utah physicist Orest Symko holds a match to a small heat engine that produces a high-pitched tone by converting heat into sound.

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity has fascinated physicists and generated debate about the origin of the universe and the structure of objects like black holes and complex stars called quasars. A major focus has been on confirming the existence of the gravitomagnetic field, as well as gravitational waves.

A physicist at the University of Missouri-Columbia recently argued in a paper that the interpretation of the results of Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), which is being used to detect the gravitomagnetic field, is incorrect because LLR is not currently sensitive to gravitomagnetism and not effective in measuring it.

The large molecular gas cloud in the constellation of Taurus is the nearest star formation region and a star formation test environment for expert theorists and observers alike. The XMM-Newton project has provided by far the most sensitive and comprehensive X-ray survey of this region, for the first time systematically detecting almost all young stars embedded in the cloud as X-ray sources, including many objects with the lowest mass, the so-called brown dwarfs, and stars still in the process of growing, the so-called protostars.