Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of May 14, 2021

01. New evidence for electron’s dual nature found in a quantum spin liquid 02. Evading the uncertainty principle in quantum physics 03. Harnessing the hum of fluorescent lights for more efficient computing 04. Light meets superconducting circuits 05. Nanoscale defects could boost energy storage materials 06. A new device can light up 100 LED bulbs with a single drop of water (w/video) 07. Researchers generate tunable twin particles of light 08. Researchers in Sweden develop light emitter for quantum circuits 09. Researchers realize coherent storage of light over one hour 10. Successful synthesis of perovskite visible-light-absorbing semiconductor material And others… […]

Agents that target viral RNA could be the basis for next generation anti-viral drugs

EurekAlert  May 10, 2021 The technique proposed by a team of researchers in the UK uses cylindrically shaped molecules which can block the function of a particular section at one end of the RNA strand called untranslated RNA that are essential for regulating the replication of the virus. They contain junction points and bulges which are normally recognised by proteins or other pieces of RNA. The cylindrical molecules are attracted to these holes. Once they slide into them, the RNA closes around them, forming a precise fit, which consequently will interfere with the virus’s ability to replicate. According to the […]

Evading the uncertainty principle in quantum physics

Phys.org  May 6, 2021 Quantum mechanics sets a limit for the precision of continuous measurement of the position of an oscillator. An international team of researchers (Finland, Australia) has developed a theoretical model to show that there is a way to get around the uncertainty principle. In their experiment they used two vibrating drumheads vibrating in opposite phase to each other cancelling the quantum uncertainty of the drums’ motion if the two drums are treated as one quantum-mechanical entity. Thus the researchers were able to simultaneously measure the position and the momentum of the two drumheads – which should not […]

Harnessing the hum of fluorescent lights for more efficient computing

Science Daily  May 12, 2021 Magnetostriction, which causes the buzz of fluorescent lights and electrical transformers, occurs when a change in the shape of the material causes a change in magnetic field. An international team of researchers (USA – University of Michigan, Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, UC Berkeley, University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, Germany) has developed a material made of a combination of iron and gallium which has at least twice as magnetostrictive and far less costly than other materials in its class. By freezing the iron-gallium alloy and preventing it from forming an ordered structure they were able to […]

Light-controlled nanoparticles will play key role in biosensor development

Phys.org  May 11. 2021 An international team of researchers (Russia, Singapore) made nanoparticles composed of silicon cores and biopolymer shells. The substances that make up the shells have different hydrophobic/hydrophilic qualities using which they could make the particles contract or expand depending on external factors. The nanoparticles change both shape and color under thermal influence. The new controllable systems can also be used to create thermo- and light-controlled dyes akin to liquid-crystal modulators used in holography and lithography. Changes in the color of the particles occur solely due to structural transformations. Change in color allows monitoring the particle in real […]

Light meets superconducting circuits

EurekAlert  May 10, 2021 Realizing the full potential of quantum computers requires a significant increase in the number of qubits to store and manipulate quantum information. To prevent contaminating quantum signals by thermal noise, the superconducting quantum systems must operate at ultra-low temperatures. An international team of researchers (Switzerland, India) has developed a novel approach that uses light to read out superconducting circuits. They replaced low-noise high-electron mobility transistors and coaxial cables with a lithium niobate electro-optical phase modulator and optical fibers. Microwave signals from superconducting circuits modulate a laser carrier and encode information on the output light at cryogenic […]

Nanoscale defects could boost energy storage materials

Phys.org  May 11, 2021 A team of researchers in the US (Cornell University, Virginia Tech, Argonne National Laboratory) synthesized a garnet crystal structure, lithium lanthanum zirconium oxide (LLZO), with various concentrations adding aluminum as a dopant. Through Bragg Coherent Diffractive Imaging they found the material’s morphology and atomic displacements. The researchers now plan to conduct a study that measures how the defects impact the performance of solid-state electrolytes in an actual battery. The study opens the possibility to design defects to make better energy storage materials…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE   

A new device can light up 100 LED bulbs with a single drop of water (w/video)

Nanowerk  May 10, 2021 The water-droplet/solid-based triboelectric nanogenerator, has so far generated peak power densities of less than one watt per square metre, due to the limitations imposed by interfacial effects. An international team of researchers (China, USA – University of Nebraska, Hong Kong) has developed a droplet-based electricity generator (DEG) using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) film on an indium tin oxide substrate plus an aluminium electrode. When the spreading water connects the two electrodes, all the stored charges on the PTFE can be fully released to generate an electric current. As a result, both the instantaneous power density and energy conversion […]

New evidence for electron’s dual nature found in a quantum spin liquid

EurekAlert  May 13, 2021 In spin liquid materials, the spins are constantly changing in a tightly coordinated, entangled choreography resulting in one of the most entangled quantum states. A team of researchers in the US (Princeton University, University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Purdue University) proposed that in the quantum regime an electron may be regarded as composed of two particles, one bearing the electron’s negative charge and the other containing its spin they called it spinon. They searched for signs of the spinon in a spin liquid composed of ruthenium and chlorine atoms. The measurements demanded an extraordinarily […]

Rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test delivers results within 4 minutes with 90 percent accuracy

Science Daily  May 13, 2021 The test called RAPID developed by an international team of researchers (USA- U Penn, Brazil) uses electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), which transforms the binding event between the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein and its receptor in the human body into an electrical signal that clinicians and technicians can detect. The signal allows the test to discriminate between infected and healthy human samples. The signal can be read through a desktop instrument or a smartphone. In tests it has proved to be quick and reliable. The technology is affordable and scalable, electrodes used in the test can […]