Polarized X-rays reveal shape, orientation of extremely hot matter around black hole

Researchers’ recent observations of a stellar-mass black hole called Cygnus X-1 reveal new details about the configuration of extremely hot matter in the region immediately surrounding the black hole. Matter is heated to millions of degrees as it is pulled toward a black hole. This hot matter glows in X-rays. Researchers are using measurements of the polarization of these X-rays to test and refine models that describe how black holes swallow matter, becoming some of the most luminous sources of light — including X-rays — in the universe.

The futuristic South Pole Telescope looks far back in time

Designed to detect the oldest light in the universe, the South Pole Telescope is helping researchers at Argonne and around the world to learn about the beginnings of the universe.

Thin-film Photovoltaic Technology Combines Efficiency and Versatility

Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners in the EU-funded PERCISTAND project, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25 percent – the highest value achieved thus far with this technology. Moreover, this combination of materials is light and versatile, making it possible to envision the use of these tandem solar cells in vehicles, portable equipment, and devices that can be folded or rolled up. The researchers present their results in the journal ACS Energy Letters (DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.2c00707)

ISSRDC to feature in-space production applications and its impact on the space economy

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), July 14, 2021 – The International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) will host multiple sessions focused on in-space production applications during its 10th annual gathering, taking place August 3-5. This year’s event, which will…

First Report of Dorsal Navigation in a Flying Insect

People–who get lost easily in the extraordinary darkness of a tropical forest–have much to learn from a bee that can find its way home in conditions 10 times dimmer than starlight. Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s (STRI) research…

Bending Light for Safer Driving; Invisibility Cloaks to Come?

Optical cloaking allows objects to be hidden in plain sight by guiding light around anything placed inside the cloak. While cloaking has been popularized in fiction, researchers in recent years have started realizing cloaks that shield objects from view by controlling the flow of electromagnetic radiation around them. In Journal of Applied Physics, researchers examined recent progress of developing invisibility cloaks that function in natural incoherent light and can be realized using standard optical components.

Microscopic CCTV reveals secrets of malaria invasion

State-of-the-art video microscopy has enabled researchers at WEHI, Australia, to see the molecular details of how malaria parasites invade red blood cells – a key step in the disease. The researchers used a custom-built lattice light sheet microscope – the…

Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists announces the finalists of 2021

The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences today named 31 Finalists for the world’s largest unrestricted prize honoring early-career scientists and engineers

PCF-based ‘parallel reactors’ unveils collective matter-light analogies of soliton molecules

Optical solitons are nonlinear optical wave-packets that can maintain their profile during the propagation even in the presence of moderate perturbations, offering useful applications in optical communications, all-optical information processing as well as ultrafast laser techniques. The interaction between optical…

One step towards a daily-use deep UV light source for sterilization and disinfection

Researchers construct a gallium nitride optical microcavity with high reflectivity distributed Bragg reflectors to double the frequency of incoming light, which may be utilized for a safe and practical deep UV light source with bactericidal effects

Touchless technology could enable early detection and treatment of eye diseases that cause blindness

A non-contact laser imaging system could help doctors diagnose and treat eye diseases that cause blindness much earlier than is now possible. The new technology, developed by engineering researchers at the University of Waterloo, is designed to detect telltale signs…