What are the properties of the vacuum, the absolute nothingness? So far, physicists have assumed that it is impossible to directly access the characteristics of the ground state of empty space. Now, a team of physicists led by Prof. Alfred Leitenstorfer at the University of Konstanz in Germany has succeeded in doing just that. They… Read more

Using nanometer-scale components, researchers have demonstrated the first optical rectenna, a device that combines the functions of an antenna and a rectifier diode to convert light directly into DC current Based on multiwall carbon nanotubes and tiny rectifiers fabricated onto them, the optical rectennas could provide a new technology for photodetectors that would operate without… Read more

Invention of the first integrated circularly polarized light detector on a silicon chip opens the door for development of small, portable sensors that could expand the use of polarized light for drug screening, surveillance, optical communications and quantum computing, among other potential applications. The new detector was developed by a team of Vanderbilt University engineers… Read more

The Dirac cone, named after British physicist Paul Dirac, started as a concept in particle and high-energy physics and has recently became important in research in condensed matter physics and material science. It has since been found to describe aspects of graphene, a two dimensional form of carbon, suggesting the possibility of applications across various… Read more

The tiny ocean creatures known as sea sapphires perform a sort of magic trick as they swim- one second they appear in iridescent shades of blue, purple or green, and the next they may turn invisible (at least the blue ones turn completely transparent). How do they get their bright colors and what enables them… Read more