Physical Review Focus

Physical Review Focus (10)


Thursday, 10/20/2011, at 5:00 PM
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The Menace of Underground Ice

Thursday, 10/13/2011, at 5:00 PM
A new model explains how subterranean ice can grow into large sheets that lift the earth and damage roads and buildings.

Image: Emma Pike via Wikimedia Commons

Nobel Focus: Discovery of Quasicrystals

Thursday, 10/6/2011, at 10:35 PM
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes the discovery of quasicrystals, in which atoms are ordered over long distances but not in the periodically repeating arrangement of traditional crystals.

Image: Inductiveload via Wikimedia Commons

The Purest X-Ray Beam

Tuesday, 9/27/2011, at 10:29 PM
Measurements of the world's first x-ray laser show that it produces the most coherent (laser-like) and the purest (monochromatic) x-ray beam ever measured.

Image: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Cold Atoms Reveal Their Crystalline Nature

Wednesday, 9/21/2011, at 9:17 PM
Experimentalists have mapped the quantum states (band structure) of cold atoms mimicking electrons in a crystal. The technique should allow researchers to study new aspects of electrons in crystals using the atoms as a model.

Image: J. Krauser/Univ. of Hamburg

Tsunami Puzzle Explained

Wednesday, 9/14/2011, at 11:12 PM
Simulations explain why the first wave of a tsunami is sometimes less devastating than the subsequent waves. A resonance effect can boost the waves that come later.

Image: David Rydevik via Wikimedia Commons

Rod-Shaped Nucleus

Thursday, 9/8/2011, at 10:30 PM
Calculations suggest that a rapidly spinning oxygen nucleus can deform into a linear configuration of four small clusters in a row--the first clear evidence for such a "linear-chain" state in any nucleus.

Image: Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 112501 (2011)

Sweet Music to your Nerves

Thursday, 9/1/2011, at 10:29 PM
A theoretical model of neurons associated with hearing may explain why certain note combinations are more pleasing than others. New research supports the theory by quantifying the effect.

Image: Radius Images/Punchstock

Pioneer Anomaly is Fading

Tuesday, 8/16/2011, at 11:11 PM
Analysis of newly retrieved navigational data for the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft suggests that an anomalous acceleration in their motion is steadily decreasing, pointing to asymmetric radiation of heat as the likely cause, rather than the more exotic explanations previously proposed

Image: NASA

Ultrasound Cleans with a Twist

Wednesday, 8/10/2011, at 3:04 PM
A rapidly expanding and collapsing microbubble in a fluid exerts forces strong enough to roll submerged particles stuck to a solid surface, which may explain how ultrasonic cleaning of jewelry and silicon wafers in a liquid removes dirt.

Image: C.-D. Ohl/Nanyang Tech. Univ.