Physics

Physics is the study of science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force through time and space. 
Physics in nanotechnology embodies segments such as quantum computing, laser technology, photonics as some examples.

  • 2+1 is Not Always 3 - In the microworld unity is not always strength

    If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”

  • 2nd Conference on Laser Polishing LaP 2016 in Aachen

    Remelting a thin surface layer is an effective way to laser polish many metals and glasses. The focus of the two-day LaP conference, which will be held at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser technology ILT in Aachen on April 26 and 27, 2016, will be on presentations and practical demonstrations profiling the various techniques.

  • 3D printed optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair

    3D printed optical lenses hardly larger than a human hair | Complex 3D printed objective on an optical fiber in a syringe. University of Stuttgart/ 4th Physics Institute

    3D printing enables the smallest complex micro-objectives

    3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines are written sequentially, even the most complex devices could be realized fast and easy. This method is now also available for optical elements. Researchers at University of Stuttgart in Germany have used an ultrashort laser pulses in combination with optical photoresist to create optical lenses which are hardly larger than a human hair.

  • A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction

    A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction picture 1 | Electrochemistry in a drop: Superposition of seven dynamic contact angle measurements of a drop of water on a surface; diameter of vertical tube capillary 0.85 mm. UZH

    Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed a system that enables them to switch back and forth the adhesion and stiction (static friction) of a water drop on a solid surface. The change in voltage is expressed macroscopically in the contact angle between the drop and the surface. This effect can be attributed to the change in the surface properties on the nanometer scale.

  • A glimpse inside the atom: energy-filtered TEM at a subatomic level

    A glimpse inside the atom energy filtered TEM at a subatomic level | Atomic orbitals of carbon atoms in graphene Image: TU Wien

    Using electron microscopes, it is possible to image individual atoms. Scientists at TU Wien have calculated how it is possible to look even further inside the atom to image individual electron orbitals, using EFTEM (energy-filtered transmission electron microoscopy).

  • A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage

    A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage | Lab set-up of a redox flow battery with the hydrophobic membrane (grey device at the bottom of the image) and two electrolyte reservoirs (bottles with yellow liquid). Image: Philipp Scheffler / DWI

    Storing fluctuating and delivering stable electric power supply are central issues when using energy from solar plants or wind power stations. Here, efficient and flexible energy storage systems need to accommodate for fluctuations in energy gain. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI), RWTH Aachen University and Hanyang University in Seoul now significantly improved a key component for the development of new energy storage systems.

  • A signal boost for molecular microscopy

    A signal boost for molecular microscopy | Schematic illustration of the experiment. Graphic: MPQ, Laser Spectroscopy Division

    Cavity-enhanced Raman-scattering reveals information on structure and properties of carbon nanotubes. The inherently weak signals are amplified by using special micro cavities as resonator, giving a general boost to Raman spectroscopy as a whole.

  • Added bacterial film makes new mortar resistant to water uptake

    Added bacterial film makes new mortar resistant to water uptake | The surface of the hybrid mortar (left) is covered with tiny crystalline spikes. This results in the so-called lotus effect which does not occur on the untreated mortar (right) Illustration: Stefan Grumbein / TUM

    Moisture can destroy mortar over time – for example when cracks form as a result of frost. A team of scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has found an unusual way to protect mortar from moisture: When the material is being mixed, they add a biofilm – a soft, moist substance produced by bacteria.

    Oliver Lieleg usually has little to do with bricks, mortar and concrete. As a professor of biomechanics at the Institute of Medical Engineering (IMETUM) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he mainly deals with biopolymer-based hydrogels or, to put it bluntly, slime formed by living organisms.These include bacterial biofilms, such as dental plaque and the slimy black coating that forms in sewage pipes. “Biofilms are generally considered undesirable and harmful. They are something you want to get rid of,” says Oliver Lieleg. “I was therefore excited to find a beneficial use for them.”

  • An Experiment Seeks to Make Quantum Physics Visible to the Naked Eye

    Predictions from quantum physics have been confirmed by countless experiments, but no one has yet detected the quantum physical effect of entanglement directly with the naked eye. This should now be possible thanks to an experiment proposed by a team around a theoretical physicist at the University of Basel. The experiment might pave the way for new applications in quantum physics.

  • Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

    Atomic precision technologies for the next but one generation of microchips picture 2 Image 2: The coating of mirrors is carried out with atomic precision at Fraunhofer IOF in Jena. © Fraunhofer IOF, Jena, Germany

    In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

  • Attosecond camera for nanostructures

    Attosecond camera for nanostructures | When laser light interacts with a nanoneedle (yellow), electromagnetic near-fields are formed at its surface. A second laser pulse (purple) emits an electron (green) from the needle, permitting to characterize the near-fields.

    Physicists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich in collaboration with scientists from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have observed a light-matter phenomenon in nano-optics, which lasts only attoseconds.

  • Auch das Deuteron gibt Rätsel auf: Proton und Deuteron doch kleiner als gedacht?

    Auch das Deuteron gibt Rätsel auf Proton und Deuteron doch kleiner als gedacht picture1 | Karsten Schuhmann und Aldo Antognini an dem Lasersystem, das für die Laserspektroskopie eingesetzt wurde. Foto: Paul Scherrer Institut/Markus Fischer

    Das Deuteron – ein Atomkern aus nur einem Proton und einem Neutron – ist deutlich kleiner als bislang gedacht. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt eine internationale Forschungsgruppe, die Experimente am Paul Scherrer Institut PSI durchgeführt hat. Dies passt zu einer Studie aus dem Jahr 2010, bei dem dieselbe Forschungsgruppe das Proton vermessen und damit das "Rätsel um den Protonradius" begründet hatte. Nun gibt die Deuterongrösse ein analoges Rätsel auf. Womöglich wird dies zu einer Anpassung der Rydbergkonstante führen. Die Experimente fanden an der weltweit leistungsstärksten Myonenquelle am PSI statt, wo die Forschenden mittels Laserspektroskopie sogenanntes myonisches Deuterium vermassen.

  • Aus zwei mach eins: Wie aus grünem Licht blaues wird

    Aus zwei mach eins Wie aus grünem Licht blaues wird | Photonen-Hochkonversion: Die Energieübertragung zwischen den Molekülen basiert auf einem Austausch von Elektronen (Dexter-Transfer) Abbildung: Michael Oldenburg

    Die Hochkonversion von Photonen ermöglicht, Licht effizienter zu nutzen: Zwei Lichtteilchen werden in ein Lichtteilchen mit höherer Energie umgewandelt. Forscher am KIT haben nun erstmals gezeigt, dass innere Grenzflächen zwischen oberflächengebundenen metallorganischen Gerüstverbindungen (SURMOFs) sich optimal dafür eignen – sie haben aus grünem Licht blaues Licht gemacht. Dieses Ergebnis wurde nun in der Fachzeitschrift Advanced Materials vorgestellt und eröffnet neue Möglichkeiten für optoelektronische Anwendungen wie Solarzellen oder Leuchtdioden. (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201601718)

  • Batterie und Elektronik aus dem Tintenstrahldrucker

    Batterie und Elektronik aus dem Tintenstrahldrucker | Schaltkreise aus dem Tintenstrahldrucker sind so flexibel wie das Papier auf dem sie gedruckt sind.

    Der südkoreanischer Forscher Sang-Young Lee hat einen handelsüblichen Drucker so umgebaut, dass er Energiespeicher und einfache Schaltkreise druckt. Ziel dabei ist, tragbare Technik unsichtbar in beliebigen Bauformen zu integrieren.

    Unter einem Tisch im Labor von Sang-Young Lee befindet sich ein normaler, etwas abgenutzter Tintenstrahldrucker, den er so modifiziert hat, dass er elektronische Schaltkreise und Superkondensatoren produziert. Dazu entleert Lee die Tintenbehälter und befüllt sie mit speziellen Batterie-Materialien und leitfähiger Tinte. Auf behandeltem Papier druckt das Gerät dann flexible, haltbare Superkondensatoren und einfache Schaltkreis-Komponenten, zum Beispiel in Form einer hochaufgelösten Karte der Republik Korea, Blumen oder Logos.

  • Better tests for Schrödinger cats

    MPQ scientists develop new methods to test the world view of macroscopic realism

    In a classical world, objects have pre-existing properties, physical influences are local and cannot travel faster than the speed of light, and it is in principle possible to measure the properties of macroscopic systems without altering them. This is referred to as local realism and macroscopic realism, and quantum mechanics is in strong contradiction with both of them. While Bell inequalities have been proven to be an optimal tool for ruling out local realism in quantum experiments, Lucas Clemente and Johannes Kofler from the Theory Division of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching, Germany, have now shown that inequalities can never be optimal for tests of macroscopic realism. Their results reveal a hitherto unknown radical difference in the mathematical structures of spatial and temporal correlations in quantum physics, and also provide a better tool for the search of Schrödinger cat-like states (PRL.116.150401, 15. April 2016).

  • Bioimaging - Tiefe Blicke in den Nanokosmos

    Am Biomedizinischen Centrum (BMC) geht die Core Facility Bioimaging, eine Serviceeinheit für lichtmikroskopische Verfahren, offiziell in Betrieb – in einer neuartigen Kooperation mit dem Unternehmen Leica Microsystems.

  • Blick in den Anfang des Regenbogens

    Die intensivsten und schnellsten optischen Signale – Blitze aus einem Ultrakurzpulslaser – sind heute das Präzisionswerkzeug der Grundlagenforschung, Automobilindustrie und Augenheilkunde. Ihr Licht unterscheidet sich grundlegend von üblichen, einfarbigen Laserstrahlen: Es besteht aus einem Regenbogenspektrum, und je kürzer der Puls, desto reicher die Farben. Wissenschaftler der Universität Göttingen und der University of California in Los Angeles haben nun erstmals die Entstehung dieses „Regenbogens“ in Echtzeit und mit einer Bildrate von 90 Millionen Schnappschüssen pro Sekunde gefilmt.

  • Computersimulation enthüllt neue Seite der Kavitation

    Eine bisher unbekannte Entstehungsweise von Kavitationsblasen haben Forscher mit Hilfe einer Modellrechnung entdeckt. In der Fachzeitschrift Science Advances beschreiben sie, wie Öl-abstoßende und Öl-anziehende Oberflächen auf einen vorbeiströmenden Ölfilm wirken. Je nach Viskosität des Öls bildet sich am Übergang eine Dampfblase. Diese sogenannte Kavitation kann Material schädigen etwa bei Schiffsschrauben oder Pumpen. Sie kann aber auch einen positiven Effekt haben, in dem sie für Abstand zwischen Bauteilen sorgt und damit Schädigung vermeidet. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501585

  • Controlling Quantum States Atom by Atom

    Controlling Quantum States Atom by Atom | Using the tip of a scanning tunnel microscope, a single xenon atom (yellow) is being moved from a quantum box (blue), thus specifically altering its electronic quantum state. (Image: University of Basel, Department of Physics)

    An international consortium led by researchers at the University of Basel has developed a method to precisely alter the quantum mechanical states of electrons within an array of quantum boxes. The method can be used to investigate the interactions between various types of atoms and electrons, which is essential for future quantum technologies, as the group reports in the journal Small.

  • Cost efficient Diode Lasers for Industrial Applications

    The »Brilliant Industrial Diode Lasers« (BRIDLE) project has been finished successfully after 42 months of intense research activities. BRIDLE was made possible by funding from the European Commission. The seven project partners finished their work at the end of February 2016. The project was coordinated by »DILAS Diodenlaser GmbH« (Germany), the project partners are located in Germany, UK, Switzerland, France and Finland. BRIDLE targeted a major increase in the brightness achievable in direct diode laser systems, based on advances in diode laser and beam -combining technology. Throughout, the highest conversion was sought as was compatibility with low cost, volume manufacture.