Physics

(Duke University) Children living in homes with all vinyl flooring or flame-retardant chemicals in the sofa have significantly higher concentrations of potentially harmful semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in their blood or urine than children from homes where these materials are not present, according to new Duke University-led research. The researchers presented their findings Feb. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
February 17, 2019
(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have used one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to reveal the structure of a large protein complex crucial to photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into cellular energy. The finding will allow scientists to explore for the first time how the complex functions, and could have implications for the production of a variety of bioproducts, including plastic alternatives and biofuels.
February 14, 2019
(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) What is a black hole? In an article that has just appeared in the journal Nature Astronomy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich philosopher Erik Curiel shows that physicists use different definitions of the concept, depending on their own particular fields of interest.
February 14, 2019
(Helmholtz Association) The option to measure the gravitational waves of two merging neutron stars has offered the chance to answer some of the fundamental questions about the structure of matter. At the extremely high temperatures and densities in the merger scientists conjecture a phase-transition where neutrons dissolve into their constituents: quarks and gluons.
February 14, 2019
(Chalmers University of Technology) Suicide among younger people is often so spontaneous that it can be prevented if they do not encounter a potentially dangerous place outdoors. Getting the form of the built environment correct is therefore a very important factor in stopping suicide among young people. This is the finding of Charlotta Thodelius, a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
February 11, 2019
(University of Connecticut) Acrylics are an incredibly diverse and useful family of chemicals used in all kinds of products, from diapers to nail polish. Now, a team of researchers from UConn and ExxonMobil describe a new process for making them. The new method would increase energy efficiency and reduce toxic byproducts, they report in the Feb. 8 issue of Nature Communications.
February 08, 2019