Category archives: 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 […]

The coffee-ring effect

The coffee-ring effect

MaterialsPhysics

By Mireia Altimira

Have you ever observed how a drop of coffee dries? As water evaporates, its suspended particles are deposited in a ring-like fashion in a phenomenon known as the coffee-ring effect. Obviously, this effect is undesirable in the numerous practical applications that require a uniform coating. However, the way to avoid it has remained unknown. The […]

Solid state physics could teach us how to quantize gravity: Horava’s theory

Solid state physics could teach us how to quantize gravity: Horava’s theory

CosmologyPhysicsQuantum physics

By Mario Herrero-Valea

One of hottest topics in theoretical physics today is, of course, quantum gravity. The fact that, almost a hundred years after the born of the quantum theory, we still not have a functional theory that describes gravity at a microscopic level has become one of the most attractive problems for the majority of physicists (even […]

Read it twice: heat transfer from a cooler body to a hotter body

Read it twice: heat transfer from a cooler body to a hotter body

Physics

By Francisco R. Villatoro

Without any conflict with the second law of thermodynamics, heat can flow from a cooler but constantly heated body to another thermally connected and constantly hotter body. This anomalous heat transfer has been demonstrated in a two-phase liquid-vapor system composed of a Rayleigh–Bénard convection (RBC) cell filled one-half with normal liquid helium and one-half with […]