Plasma accelerators could overcome size limitations of Large Hadron Collider

A plasma cell can help sustain stronger acceleration fields than in conventional accelerators, at only a fraction of their size.

Plasma particle accelerators more powerful than existing machines could help probe some of the outstanding mysteries of our universe, as well as make leaps forward in cancer treatment and security scanning – all in a package that’s around a thousandth of the size of current accelerators. All that’s left is for scientists to build one. … Read more

Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Metal-organic frameworks as seen under an electron microscope are made up of crystals that together shape multi-dimensional structures with vast surface areas. Image credit - CSIRO/ Dr Paolo Falcaro, Dr Dario Buso, licensed under CC BY 3.0 (color changed)

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. MOFs are, in fact, the most porous materials known to humankind. One metal-organic framework, so-called NU-110, has … Read more

Climate sensitivity – reducing the uncertainty of uncertainty

New research aims at making climate change prediction more accurate.

Global warming is a reality – but just how bad will it be? A study published in January 2018 claims to halve the uncertainty around how much our planet’s temperature will change in response to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, potentially giving governments more confidence to prepare for the future. The results suggest that, when it … Read more

Turning landfill into energy

Landfill is both ugly and polluting. But a new breed of technology promises to make it a thing of the past, transforming a huge portion of landfill material into clean gas. It’s thanks to a process called gasification, which involves turning carbon-based materials into gas by heating them to a high temperature but without burning … Read more