Physical Sciences

  • New national facility will explore low-temperature plasma — a dynamic source of innovation for modern technologies

    Thursday, Sep 5, 2019
    by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Low-temperature plasma, a rapidly expanding source of innovation in fields ranging from electronics to health care to space exploration, is a highly complex state of matter. So complex that the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has teamed with Princeton University to become home to a collaborative facility open to researchers from across the country to advance the understanding and control of this dynamic physical state.

  • Offshore oil and gas rigs leak more greenhouse gas than expected

    Thursday, Aug 15, 2019
    by John Sullivan, Office of Engineering Communications

    A survey of offshore installations extracting oil and natural gas in the North Sea revealed far more leakage of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, than currently estimated by the British government, according to a research team led by scientists from Princeton University.

  • Researchers reverse engineer the 'fireworks of life'

    Monday, Aug 5, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    Imagine standing in a lumberyard and being asked to build a house — without blueprints or instructions of any kind. The materials are all in front of you, but that doesn’t mean you have the first idea how to get from point A to point B.

    That was the situation facing the Princeton biologists who are building microtubules, the skeleton of the cell, from scratch.

  • Experiments explore the mysteries of 'magic' angle superconductors

    Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    In spring 2018, the surprising discovery of superconductivity in a new material set the scientific community abuzz. Built by layering one carbon sheet atop another and twisting the top one at a "magic" angle, the material enabled electrons to flow without resistance, a trait that could dramatically boost energy efficient power transmission and usher in a host of new technologies.

  • Simons Foundation commits $20 million in quest to understand universe’s beginning

    Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    What was the universe like in the moments after its inception?

    Princeton scientists will soon be better equipped to answer that question, thanks to a future commitment of $20 million made by the Simons Foundation. The funds will support five years of operations of the Simons Observatory, contingent upon the successful completion of the construction, which is currently underway in Chile’s Atacama Desert, at 17,200 feet in elevation. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 30.

  • Princeton astrophysicists are closing in on the Hubble constant

    Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    Exactly how fast is the universe expanding?

    Scientists are still not completely sure, but a Princeton-led team of astrophysicists has used the neutron star merger detected in 2017 to come up with a new value for this figure, known as the Hubble constant. Their work appears in the current issue of the journal Nature Astronomy.

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