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NRL Nike laser achieves spot in Guinness World Records

July 25, 2014 9:51 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A set of experiments conducted on the Nike krypton fluoride (KrF) laser at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) nearly five years ago has, at long last, earned the coveted Guinness World Records title for achieving "Highest Projectile Velocity" of greater than 1,000 kilometers per second (km/s)....

Choice bias: A quirky byproduct of learning from reward

July 25, 2014 9:49 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The price of learning from rewarding choices may be just a touch of self-delusion, according to a new study in Neuron. The research by Brown University brain scientists links a fundamental problem in neuroscience called "credit assignment" – how the brain reinforces learning only in the exact circuits that caused the rewarding choice....

Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed in Penn study

July 25, 2014 9:46 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Actin is the most abundant protein in the body, and when you look more closely at its fundamental role in life, it's easy to see why. It is the basis of most movement in the body, and all cells and components within them have the capacity to move: muscle contracting, heart beating, blood clotting, and nerve cells communicating....

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Creating sustainable STEM teacher preparation programs

July 25, 2014 9:43 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A new study has identified two factors that characterize sustainable university and college programs designed to increase the production of highly qualified physics teachers. Specifically, one or more faculty members who choose to champion physics teacher education....

Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun

July 25, 2014 9:41 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Imagine a smog-free Los Angeles, where electric cars ply silent freeways, solar panels blanket rooftops and power plants run on heat from beneath the earth, from howling winds and from the blazing desert sun. A new Stanford study finds that it is technically and economically feasible....

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New approach to form non-equilibrium structures

July 25, 2014 9:39 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Although most natural and synthetic processes prefer to settle into equilibrium—a state of unchanging balance without potential or energy—it is within the realm of non-equilibrium conditions where new possibilities lie. Non-equilibrium systems experience constant changes in energy and phases....

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

July 25, 2014 9:13 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

To share is human. And the means to share personal news — good and bad — have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the act of telling others about the important events in our lives....

ORNL study reveals new characteristics of complex oxide surfaces

July 25, 2014 9:06 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A novel combination of microscopy and data processing has given researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory an unprecedented look at the surface of a material known for its unusual physical and electrochemical properties....

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Hubble finds 3 surprisingly dry exoplanets

July 25, 2014 9:02 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the sun -- and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, known as HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth....

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University of Delaware researcher describes new approach for creating organic zeolites

July 25, 2014 8:56 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Yushan Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide for using nanomaterials to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics. His early academic work focused on zeolites....

Artificial intelligence identifies the musical progression of the Beatles

July 25, 2014 8:54 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Music fans and critics know that the music of the Beatles underwent a dramatic transformation in just a few years, but until now there hasn't been a scientific way to measure the progression. That could change now that computer scientists at Lawrence Technological University have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm....

Fukushima accident underscores need for US to seek out new information about nuclear plant hazards

July 24, 2014 3:18 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that the overarching lesson learned from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information....

Wearables…Samsung zig-zags its OS choice?

July 24, 2014 1:18 pm | by DisplaySearch | Comments

The announcement that Samsung’s latest generation of wearables will use Android Wear raises interesting questions about its software strategy. The Gear 2 smartwatch made the switch to Tizen, which appeared to be Samsung’s strategic direction. There are several possible reasons for a return....

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Chemist develops X-ray vision for quality assurance

July 24, 2014 12:28 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

It is seldom sufficient to read the declaration of contents if you need to know precisely what substances a product contains. In fact, to do this you need to be a highly skilled chemist or to have genuine X-ray vision so that you can look directly into the molecular structure of the various substances....

Study gives new perspective on agricultural plastic, debris burning, and air quality

July 24, 2014 12:26 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

To reduce fire hazard in the United States, wildland managers often utilize the silvicultural practice of mechanically cutting woody shrubs and suppressed trees (ladder fuels). These cuttings and other post-logging debris are then burned during periods of low fire danger in order to dispose of the material....

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