Earth

You can touch a functioning light bulb and know right away that it's hot. Ouch! But you can't touch a single molecule and get the same feedback.

Rice University researchers say they have the next best thing -- a way to determine the temperature of a molecule or flowing electrons by using Raman spectroscopy combined with an optical antenna.

In the burgeoning field of nano-science there are now many ways of 'writing' molecular-scale messages on a surface, one molecule at a time. The trouble is that writing a molecule at a time takes a very long time.

Assessing the seismic hazard of the central eastern United States

As the U.S. policy makers renew emphasis on the use of nuclear energy in their efforts to reduce the country's oil dependence, other factors come into play. One concern of paramount importance is the seismic hazard at the site where nuclear reactors are located.

The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in April this year resulted in a giant ash cloud, which – at one point covering most of Europe – brought international aviation to a temporary standstill, resulting in travel chaos for tens of thousands.

New research, to be published today, Friday 10 December, in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters, shows that lightning could be used as part of an integrated approach to estimate volcanic plume properties.

ROME (10 December 2010)—The Global Crop Diversity Trust today announced a major global search to systematically find, gather, catalogue, use, and save the wild relatives of wheat, rice, beans, potato, barley, lentils, chickpea, and other essential food crops, in order to help protect global food supplies against the imminent threat of climate change, and strengthen future food security.

DURHAM, N.C. – Using lasers to contain some ultra-chilled atoms, a team of scientists has measured the viscosity or stickiness of a gas often considered to be the sixth state of matter. The measurements verify that this gas can be used as a "scale model" of exotic matter, such as super-high temperature superconductors, the nuclear matter of neutron stars, and even the state of matter created microseconds after the Big Bang.

The results may also allow experimental tests of string theory in the future.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Physicists at Ohio State University have discovered that tiny defects inside a computer chip can be used to tune the properties of key atoms in the chip.

The technique, which they describe in the journal Science, involves rearranging the holes left by missing atoms to tune the properties of dopants – the chemical impurities that give the semiconductors in computer chips their special properties.

Brussels, 9 December 2010 - Europe needs new particle accelerators and major upgrades to existing facilities over the next ten years to stay at the forefront of nuclear physics, according to the European Science Foundation (ESF), which launches its 'Long Range Plan 2010' for nuclear physics today.

Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London, the University of Fribourg and the Paul Scherrer Institut (Villigen, Switzerland) have shown that a magnetically polarised current can be manipulated by electric fields.

Published this week in the journal Nature Materials, this important discovery opens up the prospect of simultaneously processing and storing data on electrons held in the molecular structure of computer chips - combining computer memory and processing power on the same chip.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the world's foremost experts on climate change is warning that if humans don't moderate their use of fossil fuels, there is a real possibility that we will face the environmental, societal and economic consequences of climate change faster than we can adapt to them.

Lonnie Thompson, distinguished university professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University, posed that possibility in a just-released special climate-change edition of the journal The Behavior Analyst.

'Greener' climate prediction shows plants slow warming

GREENBELT, Md. -- A new NASA computer modeling effort has found that additional growth of plants and trees in a world with doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would create a new negative feedback – a cooling effect – in the Earth's climate system that could work to reduce future global warming.

EAST LANSING, Mich. --- While Asian carp, gypsy moths and zebra mussels hog invasive-species headlines, many invisible invaders are altering ecosystems and flourishing outside of the limelight.

A study by Elena Litchman, Michigan State University associate professor of ecology, sheds light on why invasive microbial invaders shouldn't be overlooked or underestimated.