Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Applied Physical Sciences

Journal Club: Finding new ways to store higher-density information with ferroelectric materials

Recent findings suggest early proof of principle for a new way to read, write and erase information in much smaller areas than conventional memory. The method entails ferroelectric thin films, which store information using the domains’ polarization directions like the … Continue reading

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New simple theory developed of plastic deformation of metals

Scientists would like to design high-strength structural materials, but much about this work depends on laborious trial and error due to the complexity of plastic deformation — that is, how materials can deform irreversibly. Now researchers propose a unified theory … Continue reading

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C. elegans synchronized swimming

When a group of nematodes gets together in any kind of liquid, they put on quite a show. Each worm waves its body rhythmically to propel itself along. But the waving isn’t all random—in a dense group of Caenorhabditis elegans, … Continue reading

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Liquid metal powers a microfluidic pump

Increasingly researchers are developing lab-on-a-chip devices that can do the work of an entire lab on the area the size of a microchip. Pumps are needed to move tiny amounts of fluid from one chamber to another within these microfluidic … Continue reading

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First images of electron orbitals in complex molecules

The areas where electrons in a molecule are likely to be found in space are known as molecular orbitals. These define the chemical and physical traits of matter, so researchers have long strived to image them, but were missing all … Continue reading

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Naturally occurring melanin could be the future of edible electronics

Naturally occurring melanin possesses electronic properties that allow it to serve as a battery electrode, scientists report for the first time in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The electronics that power iPhones and laptops are optimized for … Continue reading

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Nanoantennae might help view matter during ultrafast timeframes

As scientists grow more capable of analyzing events that zip by at ultrafast timeframes, they would love to investigate complex systems, such as how all the molecules in photosynthesis or the components in quantum computers interact. Now researchers have developed … Continue reading

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Laser microsurgery opens windows into fly brain

With the same type of laser used in eye correction surgeries in humans, scientists can cut precise holes in the outer cuticle of fruit flies. The technique, described for the first time in a new PNAS Early Edition article, allows … Continue reading

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How polymer interactions can determine the best routes for many travelers

Discovering the best path between point A and point B is critical for everything from rapidly delivering messages over the Internet to rushing patients to emergency rooms as quickly as possible. Now research on interactions between polymers has apparently helped … Continue reading

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The ants go falling, one by one

For an ant scurrying up a dark, nearly vertical tunnel, one tiny misstep can mean a long tumble down the steep passageway. At least, that’s what happens if the ant doesn’t perform some acrobatic feats to catch himself mid-fall. So … Continue reading

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