Category archives: Physics

Carnivorous plants inspire novel liquid repellent surfaces

Carnivorous plants inspire novel liquid repellent surfaces

ChemistryMaterialsPhysics

By Mireia Altimira

Natural non-wetting structures, particularly lotus leaves (Fig. 1a), have inspired the development of synthetic liquid-repellent surfaces. These surfaces rely on the formation of a stable air–liquid interface, but present limited repellency to oils with high contact angle hysteresis, failure under pressure and inability to self-heal. The paper by Wong et al. presents a novel approach […]

The theory on how to ride your bike

The theory on how to ride your bike

Physics

By Carlos Casanueva

Bikes are becoming a much more interesting mean of transport in urban areas due to the local policies to minimize traffic impact on the daily city life. City councils are building bike lanes, converting streets to mixed pedestrian-bike traffic, and similar solutions for encouraging the use of this clean mean of transport. However, this comes […]

Quantum mechanics in biological systems (III): Magnetoception

Quantum mechanics in biological systems (III): Magnetoception

BiologyPhysics

By Daniel Moreno Andrés

Magnetoception, the fantastic ability to perceive magnetic fields. A skill though impossible for long. It was difficult to assume that a 0.5 Gauss Earth’s magnetic field (your fridge has one with 100 Gauss) could have some effect on living things. However, the magnetic field perception was supported since the very beginning by experimental observation and […]

The Oxford Questions on the foundations of quantum mechanics

The Oxford Questions on the foundations of quantum mechanics

Philosophy of sciencePhysicsQuantum physics

By Daniel Manzano

Quantum mechanics and relativity constitute the two main revolutions in physics on the twentieth century. Furthermore, the counterintuitive character of quantum mechanics yields to a rich branch of different possible interpretations, and there are still many open questions. Not solving, but just defining these questions, was the main purpose of a conference entitled “Quantum physics […]

The tough aspects of walking on sand

The tough aspects of walking on sand

Mechanical EngineeringPhysics

By Carlos Casanueva

The locomotion of every moving system, alive or manufactured, is produced by the interaction between some movable components or appendages and the surrounding environment. This applies for every kind of surroundings: land, water or air. For water and air, Navier-Stokes equations allow predicting the interaction with the fluid with very high precision. In the case […]

Carbon nanotubes to study neuron activity

Carbon nanotubes to study neuron activity

BiomedicineMaterialsNeurobiologyPhysicsPhysiology

By Francisco R. Villatoro

Human brain has about 85 billion neurons. Each neuron forms thousands of chemical and electrical synapses with other neurons. To record the synaptic activity of each neuron in the brain an intracellular probe with a millivolt scale is required. Glass electrodes are widely used, but they are fragile and they have high impedance. An intracellular […]

Saturn’s extreme weather in the computer

Saturn’s extreme weather in the computer

Computer sciencePhysicsPlanetary Science

By Santiago Pérez-Hoyos

Saturn is truly a weird place. Apart from having quite a peculiar thermal history and one of the most interesting satellites in the Solar System, this planet displays arguably the most fascinating meteorological phenomenon ever seen. Suppose for a moment that next spring a storm raises in your hometown. Nothing unusual to care about, probably […]

Massive quantum entanglement

Massive quantum entanglement

Computer sciencePhysicsQuantum physics

By Francisco R. Villatoro

Entanglement is a fundamental tool in quantum computing and several quantum information protocols, such as quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution. The basic unit of entanglement is the entangled bit ( ebit ), represented by a maximally entangled state of two qubits (quantum bits). Entanglement can also be implemented in a higher dimensional […]