OMS header

[Image above] Credit: NIST

Engineers and technicians install protective shell on NASA’s Orion spacecraft

Engineers and technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center have finished installing the cone-shaped back shell of Orion’s crew module—the protective cover on the sides that make up Orion’s upside down cone shape. It’s made up of 970 black tiles that are the same as those that protect the belly of shuttles as they return from space.

ORNL scientists uncover clues to role of magnetism in iron-based superconductors

Superconductivity is strongly suppressed by the presence of long-range magnetism—where atoms align their magnetic moments over large volumes—but a new ORNL study suggests that rapid fluctuations of local magnetic moments have a different effect. Not only does localized magnetism exist, but it is also correlated with a high critical temperature, the point at which the material becomes superconducting.

Yale’s cool strontium monofluoride molecules are a hot item

Yale physicists have chilled the world’s coolest molecules. The tiny titans in question are bits of strontium monofluoride, dropped to 2.5 thousandths of a degree above absolute zero through a laser cooling and isolating process called magneto-optical trapping. They are the coldest molecules ever achieved through direct cooling.

Researchers create wind-powered mechanoluminescent lighting material

( A team of researchers at South Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology has created an elastic-mechanoluminescent material that emits light when exposed to wind. At high wind speeds, the material can emit light equivalent to a computer screen.

Color hologram uses plasmonic nanoparticles to store large amounts of information

( A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge (U.K.) has used surface plasmon resonance as a new way to construct holograms that can change colors due to light scattering off silver nanoparticles. Due to their ability to simultaneously create two colors and to store large amounts of information, they could have applications in 3D displays and information storage devices.

Life on Mars? Implications of a newly discovered mineral-rich structure

A new ovoid structure discovered in the Nakhla Martian meteorite is made of nanocrystalline iron-rich clay, contains a variety of minerals, and shows evidence of undergoing a past shock event from impact, with resulting melting of the permafrost and mixing of surface and subsurface fluids.

Defect-free graphene sets record reversible capacity for Co3O4 anode in Li-ion batteries

( Scientists have developed a method to fabricate defect-free graphene (df-G) without any trace of structural damage. Wrapping a large sheet of negatively charged df-G around a positively charged Co3O4 creates a very promising anode for high-performance Li-ion batteries.

Berkeley lab researchers observe facet formation in nanocubes

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have used highly sophisticated transmission electron microscopes and an advanced high-resolution, fast-detection camera to capture the physical mechanisms that control the evolution of facets on the surfaces of platinum nanocubes formed in liquids.