Viewpoints

X-Ray Line May Have Dark Matter Origin

X-Ray Line May Have Dark Matter Origin

December 15, 2014

Kevork N. Abazajian

An x-ray feature recently detected by different astronomy groups may be the long-awaited signature of dark matter.

Power to the Electrons

Power to the Electrons

December 8, 2014

Georg Korn

A laser-driven particle accelerator, delivering a beam of electrons with a record-breaking energy of 4.2 giga-electron-volts, could lead to compact x-ray lasers or high-energy colliders.

Spin Transport Goes Ballistic

Spin Transport Goes Ballistic

December 4, 2014

Henri Jaffrès

The injection of spins into a high-mobility two-dimensional electron gas is unexpectedly efficient, suggesting that new theories may be needed to describe spin transport in such systems.

Molecular Interferometry Makes a New Break

Molecular Interferometry Makes a New Break

December 2, 2014

Gil Summy

A new technique in matter-wave interferometry using laser light to fragment molecules may open the door to interference demonstrations with large bio-molecules or nanoclusters.

Synopses

How Oxygen Kindles Fireflies

How Oxygen Kindles Fireflies

December 17, 2014

X-ray images of the light-emitting organs in fireflies clarify the mechanism by which oxygen controls the insects’ luminescence.

Searching for Millicharged Particles

Searching for Millicharged Particles

December 16, 2014

Tiny dielectric spheres in an optical trap are used to search for hypothetical particles with a small fractional charge.

Cosmic Ruler Measured More Directly

Cosmic Ruler Measured More Directly

December 11, 2014

A measure of how galaxies are spatially distributed can be determined in a new, more robust way.

Ultrathin Superconductors Take a Step Up

Ultrathin Superconductors Take a Step Up

December 10, 2014

Single-atomic-step imperfections on the surface of superconducting films behave like Josephson junctions.

Focus

Nanopyramids’ Color Depends on Viewing Direction

Nanopyramids’ Color Depends on Viewing Direction

December 12, 2014

An array of nanometer-sized aluminum pyramids acts as a directional antenna for light, and the direction depends on wavelength.

Gamma-Ray Bursts Determine Potential Locations for Life

Gamma-Ray Bursts Determine Potential Locations for Life

December 8, 2014

Powerful stellar explosions may have caused mass extinctions on Earth and could also have prevented life from appearing on other planets until 5 billion years ago, and then only in the outskirts of galaxies.

Notes from the Editors

X-Ray Lasers, Big and Small

X-Ray Lasers, Big and Small

December 10, 2014

A visit to SLAC and Lawrence Berkeley Lab offers a look at two complementary approaches to making the x-ray source of the future.


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