Surfaces that have been coated with rare earth oxides develop water-repelling properties only after contact with air. Even at room temperature, chemical reactions begin with hydrocarbons in the air. In the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of Basel, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Paul Scherrer Institute report that it is these reactions that are responsible for the hydrophobic effect.
Prof. Patrick Maletinsky holds the Georg-H.-Endress-position as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Basel since February 2012. He has been promoted by the university council to associate professor effective February 1st, 2017.
Researchers from the Particles & Cosmology group at the Department of Physics have found that in the early universe after inflation, so-called oscillons can act as "gravitational wave factories" and produce much more gravitational waves than previously thought. Oscillons are localized and strong scalar field fluctuations that are comparatively long-lived. Numerical simulations showed that the produced gravitational waves have a specific frequency, related to the underlying theory of the early universe, and manifest themselves as a pronounced peak in the otherwise rather broad spectrum of gravitational waves from early universe dynamics. If this peak is in the right frequency range, the effects from the oscillons can be observed by the running or planned gravitational wave detectors, e.g. by the aLIGO-AdVirgo detector network. The detection of such a gravitational wave signal would provide a fascinating window into the physics of the early universe. The results are published in Physical Review Letters.
Professor Daniel Loss from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Science 2017. The King Faisal Foundation awarded Loss the renowned science prize for his discovery of a concept for development of a quantum computer based on the intrinsic angular momentum of electrons. Loss has further refined his theory over recent years and established a completely new field of research.
The Sangouard group works actively on the development of quantum networks — networks where the nodes are made with atoms that are connected by means of single photons.
A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists at the University of Basel and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology.
This week, Christoph Gerber of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel received the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. He was honoured together with Gerd Binnig and Calvin Quate for the development of the first atomic force microscope 30 years ago.