Ants’ frenzied movements may seem aimless and erratic to a casual observer, but closer study reveals that an ant colony’s collective behavior can help it thrive in a harsh environment and may also yield inspiration for robotic systems.
- Friday, Feb 15, 2019
- Thursday, Feb 14, 2019
Most schoolchildren learn that the Earth has three (or four) layers: a crust, mantle and core, which is sometimes subdivided into an inner and outer core. That’s not wrong, but it does leave out several other layers that scientists have identified within the Earth, including the transition zone within the mantle.
- Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019
Seven innovations with the potential to benefit society and spur the economy have been awarded funding to bridge the gap between laboratory research and the development needed to move promising ideas into the global marketplace.
- Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019
Bacteria have multiple strategies to survive antibiotics: developing genetic resistance to the drugs; delaying their growth; or hiding in protective biofilms. New results from researchers at Princeton and California State University-Northridge (CSUN) have shed light on yet another approach: self-sacrifice.
- Friday, Feb 1, 2019
A century and a half ago, a Russian chemistry professor published a classification of all the known elements, organized by atomic weight. Today, the system that he created for his students — plus some updates and including about twice as many elements — is found in chemistry classrooms around the world.
- Thursday, Jan 31, 2019
The first moments of life unfold with incredible precision. Now, using mathematical tools and the help of fruit flies, researchers at Princeton have uncovered new findings about the mechanisms behind this precision.
- Friday, Jan 18, 2019
No physics lecture at PPPL up until recently has included electric guitar riffs by the lecturer, snippets from heavy metal bands, and a video clip from the movie “This Is Spinal Tap.”
- Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
Want to create your own plasma? You can create and control a plasma from the comfort of your own device.
The Remote Glow Discharge Experiment (RGDX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) allows you to turn on a plasma and change the gas pressure, the voltage, and the strength of the electromagnets surrounding it from wherever you are. From a web browser, you can control a plasma with a magnetic field, the same way scientists control a plasma in a tokamak, the magnetic devices that scientists use in fusion experiments.
- Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019
Sudden bursts of heat that can damage the inner walls of tokamak fusion experiments are a hurdle that operators of the facilities must overcome. Such bursts, called “edge localized modes (ELMs),” occur in doughnut-shaped tokamak devices that house the hot, charged plasma that is used to replicate on Earth the power that drives the sun and other stars. Now researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have directly observed a possible and previously unknown process that can trigger damaging ELMs.
- Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
When it comes to green living, nobody does it better than plants. When plants convert light into fuel through photosynthesis, not a single particle of light is wasted. If we could unlock plants’ secrets, we might be able to perfect the design of light harvesting in solar cells.