Photons - particles with no mass, moving at the speed of light - can be tricked to "stop" and behave like completely different particles, ones having mass and reacting to magnetic fields: electrons, Polish scientists have discovered.
Almost everyone uses nanometer-sized alumina these days – this mineral, among others, constitutes the skeleton of modern catalytic converters in cars. Until now, the practical production of nanocorundum with a sufficiently high porosity has not been possible. The situation has changed radically with the presentation of a new method of nanocorundum production, developed as part of a German- Polish cooperation of scientists from Mülheim an der Ruhr and Cracow.
If it were possible to observe neutrinoless double beta decay, it would be tantamount to the discovery of a new elementary particle - a Majorana-type particle. Such a finding would be as momentous as the discovery of the Higgs boson. Researchers are getting closer to this discovery, as reported in Science.
Imperfections of crystal structure, especially edge dislocations of an elongated nature, deeply modify basic properties of the entire material and, in consequence, drastically limit its applications. Using silicon carbide as an example, physicists from Cracow and Warsaw have shown that even such computationally demanding defects can be successfully examined with atomic accuracy by means of a cleverly constructed, small in size, model.
Lithium fluoride crystals have recently been used to register the tracks of nuclear particles. Physicists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow have just demonstrated that these crystals are also ideal for detecting tracks of high-energy ions of elements even as heavy as iron.
Materials as lightweight and resistant as plastic, yet fully biodegradable and... created from waste? Scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS are working on an ecological, waste-free and economical method of obtaining organic monomers.
Textbooks need an update? Diamond, graphene, graphite, fullerenes (and nanotubes) are no longer the only known forms of carbon! Carbon was observed in another form: cyclocarbon, an atomic size carbon ring. A Polish researcher has contributed to the discovery described in "Science".