Authors: George Rajna
Physicists have demonstrated that energy quantization can improve the efficiency of a single-atom heat engine to exceed the performance of its classical counterpart.  A solid can serve as a medium for heat and sound wave interactions just like a fluid does for thermoacoustic engines and refrigerators-resulting in leak-free machines that can stay operating longer.  Like watchmakers choosing superior materials to build a fine timepiece, physicists at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore have singled out an atom that could allow them to build better atomic clocks.  Yale physicists have uncovered hints of a time crystal—a form of matter that "ticks" when exposed to an electromagnetic pulse—in the last place they expected: a crystal you might find in a child's toy.  The research shows that concentrated electrolytes in solution affect hydrogen bonding, ion interactions, and coordination geometries in currently unpredictable ways.  An exotic state of matter that is dazzling scientists with its electrical properties, can also exhibit unusual optical properties, as shown in a theoretical study by researchers at A*STAR.  The breakthrough was made in the lab of Andrea Alù, director of the ASRC's Photonics Initiative. Alù and his colleagues from The City College of New York, University of Texas at Austin and Tel Aviv University were inspired by the seminal work of three British researchers who won the 2016 Noble Prize in Physics for their work, which teased out that particular properties of matter (such as electrical conductivity) can be preserved in certain materials despite continuous changes in the matter's form or shape.  Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new technology for switching heat flows 'on' or 'off'.  Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest tools: a pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint.  A team of researchers with the University of California and SRI International has developed a new type of cooling device that is both portable and efficient. 
Comments: 43 Pages.
[v1] 2018-05-11 11:09:04
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