Monday, September 08, 2014
A new combination of materials can efficiently guide electricity and light along the same tiny wire, a finding that could be a step towards building computer chips capable of transporting digital information at the speed of light.
Reporting today in The Optical Society's (OSA) high-impact journalOptica, optical and material scientists at the University of Rochester and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich describe a basic model circuit consisting of a silver nanowire and a single-layer flake of molybendum disulfide (MoS2).
Using a laser to excite electromagnetic waves called plasmons at the surface of the wire, the researchers found that the MoS2 flake at the far end of the wire generated strong light emission. Going in the other direction, as the excited electrons relaxed, they were collected by the wire and converted back into plasmons, which emitted light of the same wavelength.
"We have found that there is pronounced nanoscale light-matter interaction between plasmons and atomically thin material that can be exploited for nanophotonic integrated circuits," said Nick Vamivakas, assistant professor of quantum optics and quantum physics at the University of Rochester and senior author of the paper.For more: http://ow.ly/B67QM
University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer R. Brent Tully, who recently shared the 2014 Gruber Cosmology Prize and the 2014 Victor Ambartsumian International Prize, has led an international team of astronomers in defining the contours of the immense supercluster of galaxies containing our own Milky Way. They have named the supercluster “Laniakea,” meaning “immense heaven” in Hawaiian. The paper explaining this work is the cover story of the September 4 issue of the prestigious journal Nature.
Galaxies are not distributed randomly throughout the universe. Instead, they are found in groups, like our own Local Group, that contain dozens of galaxies, and in massive clusters containing hundreds of galaxies, all interconnected in a web of filaments in which galaxies are strung like pearls. Where these filaments intersect, we find huge structures, called “superclusters.” These structures are interconnected, but they have poorly defined boundaries.
For more info: http://ow.ly/B5TrR