Be Thankful For the Invisible Belt That Saves Earth From Radiation

Well, here's something cosmic to be thankful for this weekend. A NASA-led study of the Van Allen radiation belts has uncovered new information about the invisible "shield" that keeps harmful ultrarelativistic electrons from the Earth. » 11/26/14 6:00pm 11/26/14 6:00pm

Scientists May Have Figured Out How to Turn Light into Matter

Back in 1934, a team of physicists came up with an idea for how one might create matter from light. Put simply, just slam two photons into each other to get an electron and a positron, a.k.a. matter. And now, some 80 years later, a team of physicists have a plan to carry out the experiment in real life. » 5/19/14 12:20pm 5/19/14 12:20pm

This Crazy Contraption Weighed a Single Electron 13x More Accurately

Last week, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics published the most exact value ever observed for the weight of a single electron—a value 13 times more accurate than the previous estimate. And the Penning trap, the kooky looking device shown above, was crucial in obtaining this measurement. » 2/26/14 7:00pm 2/26/14 7:00pm

Why Is Glass Transparent?

We all take for granted the fact that glass is transparent. But stop and think about it for a second: how can something so bulky and solid be so easy to see through? » 2/05/14 5:00am 2/05/14 5:00am

Everything You Need to Know About Electrons

Electrons are tiny little particles that whizz around atoms, right? Well, kinda, but they're actually far better understood as waves. Wait, what? If that makes you stop and scratch your head don't worry! Just watch this video, and you'll know everything you need to about the exciting world of electrons. » 3/13/13 7:30am 3/13/13 7:30am

Electrons Can Split Into Two

Until now, electrons have been regarded as elementary particles—which means that scientists thought they had no component parts or substructure. But now, electrons have been observed decaying into two separate parts—causing physicists to rethink what they know about the particles. » 4/19/12 10:20am 4/19/12 10:20am

Scientists Manipulate Electrons Into Material Never Seen on Earth

Stanford scientists have created designer electrons that behave as if they were exposed to a magnetic field of 60 Tesla—a force 30 percent stronger than anything ever sustained on Earth. The work could lead to a revolution in the materials that make everything from video displays to airplanes to mobile phones. » 3/14/12 2:00pm 3/14/12 2:00pm

Fascinating First-Ever Images of an Electron In Orbit

It was only two years ago that IBM showed us an image of a complete molecule, atomic bonds and all, but today's news does that one infinitesimally-sized breakthrough better. Ladies and gents, behold the first image of an electron's path. » 8/28/11 5:00pm 8/28/11 5:00pm

Researchers Build a Transistor Out Of a Single Electron

University of Pittsburgh researchers have assembled a key piece of tech that will help enable a future generation of extremely powerful quantum computers as well as advanced electronic materials and better computer memories. Their single-electron transistor is the first of its kind made entirely from oxide-based… » 4/20/11 11:00am 4/20/11 11:00am

World's First Single-Electron Transistor Works Like a Teeny, Tiny…

It's amazing what an electron can do. Researchers, lead by a team from the University of Pittsburgh, have built the world's first operational single-electron transistor, the SketchSET, which could become an essential component of all sorts of futuristic technologies; from super-dense, high-capacity solid-state drives… » 4/18/11 11:20pm 4/18/11 11:20pm

Pretty Soon, Your Gold Wedding Band Can Be Any Color You Want

Researchers have figured out how to use a specific engraving technique in order to alter the frequency of light a metal—any metal—absorbs or reflects. How? By carving tiny rings, smaller than the wavelengths of light. » 11/12/10 11:40pm 11/12/10 11:40pm

Breakthrough Spintronics Single-Electron Pump To Bring Faster, More…

Stay with me for a second here: Imagine a chip that can transport electrons while controlling the way they are rotating. OK, forget about this. I don't really know what I'm talking about. They do: » 1/16/09 10:45am 1/16/09 10:45am

Scientists Build Worlds Smallest Transistor: Just One Atom Thick

Just the other day we were banging on about graphene, the new "wonder material" based on graphite, and now a British team has used it to craft the world's smallest transistor. It's just one atom deep and ten wide, and we don't need to tell you that that's teeny. In fact, it's more than three times smaller than the… » 4/18/08 6:52am 4/18/08 6:52am

Silicon Out, Graphene In?

Physicists at the University of Maryland have demonstrated that graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of graphite, has a greater ability to conduct electricity than any other known material at room temperature. In fact, electrons can travel up to 100 times faster in graphine than silicon, making it a likely candidate to… » 3/24/08 8:10pm 3/24/08 8:10pm