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  • January 25, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 12 views

Will the ocean follow the land? Marine ecosystems at a tipping point to follow terrestrial defaunation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Data suggests that marine life may soon follow the mass extinctions seen in terrestrial ecosystems - similarities and differences discussed here!... Read more »

McCauley, D., Pinsky, M., Palumbi, S., Estes, J., Joyce, F., & Warner, R. (2015) Marine defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean. Science, 347(6219), 1255641-1255641. DOI: 10.1126/science.1255641  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 50 views

Magnetic domains get a DUI for driving under the influence of DMI

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

This Week’s Pick of the Past article took a retrospective look at the excitement that magnetic bubble memory caused in the 1970s.  The basic principle...
The post Magnetic domains get a DUI for driving under the influence of DMI appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 07:24 AM
  • 56 views

Space Exploration 2.0

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Redefining space exploration: SpaceX's crazy week in the private space race. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 61 views

The Electrical Grid Needs Fattening Up

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Make hay while the sun shines is the great lesson from renewable energy. Solar and wind have to be harvested when they occur, or they are lost forever. But how do you store that energy if the national grid doesn’t need it at that moment? Large-scale energy storage is the wave of the future – including pumping air or hydrogen gas into abandoned mines or running the national grid from all our electric cars.... Read more »

F. K. Tuffner, Member, IEEE, and M. Kintner-Meyer, Member, IEEE. (2011) Using Electric Vehicles to Mitigate Imbalance Requirements Associated with an Increased Penetration of Wind Generation. Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE , 1-8. info:/

  • January 19, 2015
  • 07:33 PM
  • 104 views

Menage-a-trois no more: new design removes need for conductive additives and polymers in battery electrodes

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

An ingenious new battery design removes the need for conductive additives and polymers required in conventional designs. This reduces material use, increasing energy density and has the potential to decreases costs!... Read more »

Kirshenbaum, K., Bock, D., Lee, C., Zhong, Z., Takeuchi, K., Marschilok, A., & Takeuchi, E. (2015) In situ visualization of Li/Ag2VP2O8 batteries revealing rate-dependent discharge mechanism. Science, 347(6218), 149-154. DOI: 10.1126/science.1257289  

Dudney, N., & Li, J. (2015) Using all energy in a battery. Science, 347(6218), 131-132. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2870  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 07:08 AM
  • 95 views

Samarium from the stars

by Paul Stevenson in Blog of the Isotopes

Recent nuclear experiments involving smashing up uranium nuclei and examining the fragments help tell us how elements are formed in the stars... Read more »

Patel, Z., Söderström, P., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P., Walker, P., Watanabe, H., Ideguchi, E., Simpson, G., Liu, H., Nishimura, S.... (2014) Isomer Decay Spectroscopy of Sm164 and Gd166: Midshell Collectivity Around N. Physical Review Letters, 113(26). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.262502  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 06:59 AM
  • 80 views

Samarium from the stars

by Paul Stevenson in Blog of the Isotopes

Over the Christmas period, I enjoyed time with my family, sharing presents, eating more food than normal, and suchlike.  One of the perks of my job is that the University shuts down between Christmas and new year, and we are not expected to be in the office.  Not so the stakhanovites at the American Physical Society.  They beavered away producing a regular weekly edition of Physical Review Letters, and the edition for the week ending 31st Dec came out as usual, with online ar........ Read more »

Patel, Z., Söderström, P., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P., Walker, P., Watanabe, H., Ideguchi, E., Simpson, G., Liu, H., Nishimura, S.... (2014) Isomer Decay Spectroscopy of Sm164 and Gd166: Midshell Collectivity Around N. Physical Review Letters, 113(26). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.262502  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 03:30 PM
  • 65 views

Spin current affairs: Opening the magnetic gate

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Since the discovery of the spin Hall magnetoresistance (SMR) effect in 2013, there has been much discussion about the relative roles of the ferromagnetic insulator...
The post Spin current affairs: Opening the magnetic gate appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Estitxu Villamor, Miren Isasa, Saul V ¨ elez, Amilcar Bedoya-Pinto, Paolo Vavassori, Luis E. Hueso,. (2015) Modulation of pure spin currents with a ferromagnetic insulator. Phys Rev B, 20403. info:/

  • January 13, 2015
  • 11:30 AM
  • 123 views

Bees Drink with Expandable Mop Tongues

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



A perennially fascinating question to scientists is how animals get liquids into their faces without cups, straws or hands. In recent years they've cracked the puzzle in dogs and cats, two creatures that often do their noisy drinking near us. Bees, too, sip nectar in plain sight of humans. But their methods are more subtle and mysterious.

Shaoze Yan, a mechanical engineering professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues took a very close look at Italian honeybees ... Read more »

  • January 13, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 89 views

Delicate Arteries Of Energy

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

As dependent on electricity as America is, it is surprising how easily it could be taken away. Do you know how electricity comes to your house? Here is the national electrical grid easily explained and the points at which it can be vulnerable to sun, weather, and terrorism.... Read more »

Paul W. Parfomak. (2014) Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations . Congressional Research Service Reports. info:/

  • January 12, 2015
  • 08:26 PM
  • 82 views

Volcanic eruptions partially explain global warming hiatus

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The well-known global warming hiatus since 2000 has been partially explained by recent data from satellite measurements showing that sulfate emissions from volcanic eruptions is reflecting incoming sunlight.... Read more »

Santer, B., Solomon, S., Bonfils, C., Zelinka, M., Painter, J., Beltran, F., Fyfe, J., Johannesson, G., Mears, C., Ridley, D.... (2014) Observed multi-variable signals of late 20th and early 21st century volcanic activity. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062366  

  • January 9, 2015
  • 04:25 PM
  • 41 views

Spin FETish: Alternative transistors become more appealing

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Pick of the week is back after shutting down for festive period.  This week’s pick is not actually from this week’s literature, and in fact...
The post Spin FETish: Alternative transistors become more appealing appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Chuang, P., Ho, S., Smith, L., Sfigakis, F., Pepper, M., Chen, C., Fan, J., Griffiths, J., Farrer, I., Beere, H.... (2014) All-electric all-semiconductor spin field-effect transistors. Nature Nanotechnology, 10(1), 35-39. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.296  

  • January 9, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 110 views

Memo to Carmakers: This Fish Is a Bad Model

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



In 2005, Mercedes-Benz revealed a concept car with a strange shape. Called the Bionic, the cartoonishly snub-nosed vehicle was modeled after Ostracion cubicus, the yellow boxfish. Car manufacturers aren't the only ones to take inspiration from this weird coral dweller. But researchers now say engineers who mimicked the boxfish might have been misled.

Shaping the car like a boxfish was supposed to make it aerodynamic. And the fish's allegedly low drag underwater wasn't its only interest........ Read more »

Van Wassenbergh S, van Manen K, Marcroft TA, Alfaro ME, & Stamhuis EJ. (2015) Boxfish swimming paradox resolved: forces by the flow of water around the body promote manoeuvrability. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 12(103). PMID: 25505133  

  • January 8, 2015
  • 05:36 PM
  • 137 views

What is going on at NASA?

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

As a physicist I have been always interested about experiments that can corroborate theoretical findings. Most of these often become important applications for everyday life or change forever the course of the history of mankind. With this in view, I am currently following with great interest the efforts by the NASA group headed by Harold […]... Read more »

Miguel Alcubierre. (2000) The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity. Class.Quant.Grav.11:L73-L77,1994. arXiv: gr-qc/0009013v1

David Garfinkle. (2003) Numerical simulations of generic singuarities. Phys.Rev.Lett. 93 (2004) 161101. arXiv: gr-qc/0312117v4

Marco Frasca. (2005) Strong coupling expansion for general relativity. Int.J.Mod.Phys.D15:1373-1386,2006. arXiv: hep-th/0508246v3

  • January 6, 2015
  • 06:11 PM
  • 96 views

Tropical forests absorbing more carbon dioxide than previously thought

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New analyses of theoretical models backed by experimental measurements indicate that tropical forests are absorbing much more CO2 than previously known!... Read more »

Schimel D, Stephens BB, & Fisher JB. (2014) Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25548156  

  • January 6, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 115 views

What It Takes To Kill A Watt

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Do you have any idea where your home's electricity comes from? Sure, people have all heard of solar power, wind power, and fossil fuels, but they know very little about how electricity is most often generated. Is fossil fuel the most important natural resource for electricity production – nope, it’s water.... Read more »

  • January 2, 2015
  • 10:32 AM
  • 148 views

Raindrops Are like Tiny Asteroid Strikes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Rainshowers are a lot more dramatic if you imagine every drop is a tiny asteroid imperiling miniature dinosaurs or sending little astronaut Ben Afflecks into space. It turns out your fantasy wouldn't be that far off, aside from that last part. Researchers have found startling similarities between asteroid craters and the fleeting indentations left by raindrops on sand.

At the University of Minnesota, physicist Xiang Cheng and three undergraduate students scrutinized what happens when a dr... Read more »

Runchen Zhao, Qianyun Zhang, Hendro Tjugito, & Xiang Cheng. (2014) Granular impact cratering by liquid drops: Understanding raindrop imprints through an analogy to asteroid strikes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. arXiv: 1407.7420v2

  • December 30, 2014
  • 05:54 AM
  • 64 views

More On The Mystery of "Quantum Resonance Spectrometry"

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Back in April, I blogged about a paper published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD) claiming that a little-known technique called ‘quantum resonance spectrometry’ (QRS) was able to diagnose mental health problems. I expressed surprise that the paper didn't explain what QRS actually is, how it works, or what it measures.





Now, eight months later, a Letter to the Editor has been published in the JNMD: Methodological Queries Regarding "Exploratory Quantum Resonance Spectr... Read more »

  • December 22, 2014
  • 12:35 PM
  • 150 views

Mind-Controlled Prosthetics

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Researchers at JHU have demonstrated a prosthetic arm that is controlled completely by the user's thoughts. [Infographic]... Read more »

Collinger, J., Wodlinger, B., Downey, J., Wang, W., Tyler-Kabara, E., Weber, D., McMorland, A., Velliste, M., Boninger, M., & Schwartz, A. (2013) High-performance neuroprosthetic control by an individual with tetraplegia. The Lancet, 381(9866), 557-564. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61816-9  

  • December 20, 2014
  • 05:15 PM
  • 130 views

Taking sides: Efficent gating of LaAlO3/SrTiO3

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Electrical gating is a technique commonly used to modulate the carrier density of semiconductor devices.  While I see many papers that report on experiments which...
The post Taking sides: Efficent gating of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

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