Physical Sciences

  • Forensic engineering preserves art treasures by saving historic buildings

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019
    by Amelia Herb, Office of Engineering Communications

    Italian Renaissance frescos of the gods and goddesses of air, water, fire and earth enliven the ceiling and four walls of the Room of the Elements in Florence’s famed Palazzo Vecchio, but without structural engineers’ work to preserve such historic buildings, the world could eventually lose these masterpieces.

  • Salt takes a half step before falling out of solution as a crystal

    Thursday, May 2, 2019
    by Scott Lyon, Chemical and Biological Engineering

    When a drop of sea spray lands on a rock and starts to evaporate under the midday sun, the salt solidifies and falls out of the water as a crystal—helping to power the Earth's atmosphere and leaving a delicious kernel of spice for dinner.

    New computational research from a CBE team has shown that process to include an extra step, a finding that has implications for everything from climate models to the production of medicine.

  • Machine ready to see if magic metal – lithium – can help bring the fusion that lights the stars to Earth

    Wednesday, May 1, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Lithium, the light silvery metal used in everything from pharmaceutical applications to batteries that power your smart phone or electric car, could also help harness on Earth the fusion energy that lights the sun and stars. Lithium can maintain the heat and protect the walls inside doughnut-shaped tokamaks that house fusion reactions, and will be used to produce tritium, the hydrogen isotope that will combine with its cousin deuterium to fuel fusion in future reactors.

  • Four Princeton professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

    Wednesday, May 1, 2019
    by Princeton University

    The National Academy of Sciences has elected four Princeton faculty members to join its ranks. They are among 100 new members and 25 foreign associates who were selected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Those elected bring the total number of active members to 2,347 and the total number of foreign associates to 487. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

  • Princeton geoscientists find new fallout from ‘the collision that changed the world’

    Thursday, Apr 25, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    When the landmass that is now the Indian subcontinent slammed into Asia about 50 million years ago, the collision changed the configuration of the continents, the landscape, global climate and more. Now a team of Princeton University scientists has identified one more effect: the oxygen in the world’s oceans increased, altering the conditions for life.

  • Bhargava and Scholes elected to Royal Society

    Thursday, Apr 18, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge announced today that Manjul Bhargava and Gregory Scholes are two of the 62 scientists who have become fellows or foreign members of the Royal Society.

  • Physicists improve understanding of heat and particle flow in the edge of a fusion device

    Monday, Apr 15, 2019
    by Raphael Rosen, Communications and Public Outreach, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab

    Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered valuable information about how electrically charged gas known as “plasma” flows at the edge inside doughnut-shaped fusion devices called “tokamaks.” The findings mark an encouraging sign for the development of machines to produce fusion energy for generating electricity without creating long-term hazardous waste.

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