Magnetic memory and logic could achieve ultimate energy efficiency

From PhysOrg.com:

Today’s silicon-based microprocessor chips rely on electric currents, or moving electrons, that generate a lot of waste heat. But microprocessors employing nanometer-sized bar magnets – like tiny refrigerator magnets – for memory, logic and switching operations theoretically would require no moving electrons.
Such chips would dissipate only 18 millielectron volts of energy per operation at room temperature, the minimum allowed by the second law of thermodynamics and called the Landauer limit. That’s 1 million times less energy per operation than consumed by today’s computers.

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Why ‘event cloaks’ could be the key to the ultimate bank heist

From PhysOrg.com:

In this month’s special issue of Physics World, which examines the science and applications of invisibility, Martin McCall and Paul Kinsler of Imperial College London describe a new type of invisibility cloak that does not just hide objects – but events.

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Predicting random violence by mathematics

From the PhysOrg.com:

In a new study published in Science, researchers, led by physicist Neil Johnson from the University of Miami, show that attacks by groups such as the Taliban or Hezbollah may seem sporadic, they eventually begin to follow a mathematical pattern.

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Evolution machine: Genetic engineering on fast forward

From New Scientist:

Say hello to the evolution machine. It can achieve in days what takes genetic engineers years. So far it is just a prototype, but if its proponents are to be believed, future versions could revolutionise biology, allowing us to evolve new organisms or rewrite whole genomes with ease. It might even transform humanity itself.

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Canadian researchers devise method to directly measure the quantum wavefunction

From PhysOrg.com:

To get around that problem, the team, led by Jeff Lundeen, devised a method based on “weak” measurements, whereby an observation is made that only alters the particle just a little tiny bit and gives information about just one property of the particle at a time. Taking multiple such measurements of identical copies of a particle, such as a photon, gives more and more information, eventually approaching a very close approximation to the actual state of the system. In one respect this approach is similar to the way calculus is used to measure irregularly shaped objects by cutting it into a number that approaches infinity, virtual slices, then adding up the results. When combined with more certain “strong” measurement results, the procedure provides an accurate measurement of the wavefunction.

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New driving force for chemical reactions discovered

From PhysOrg.com:

New research just published in the journal Science by a team of chemists at the University of Georgia and colleagues in Germany shows for the first time that a mechanism called tunneling control may drive chemical reactions in directions unexpected from traditional theories.

The finding has the potential to change how scientists understand and devise reactions in everything from materials science to biochemistry.

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Hard… soft… New nanomaterial switches properties

From PhysOrg.com:

A world premiere: a material which changes its strength, virtually at the touch of a button. This transformation can be achieved in a matter of seconds through changes in the electron structure of a material; thus hard and brittle matter, for example, can become soft and malleable. What makes this development revolutionary, is that the transformation can be controlled by electric signals. This world-first has its origins in Hamburg. Jörg Weißmüller, a materials scientist at both the Technical University of Hamburg and the Helmholtz Center Geesthacht, has carried out research on this groundbreaking development, working in cooperation with colleagues from the Institute for Metal Research in Shenyang, China.

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