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Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Page: Previous |Next (Showing: 61-90 of 197) | Search Discoveries

Illustration of sulfur dioxide molecules forming weak bonds with water molecules. The Water Dance
A myriad of methods for watching water molecules in motion advances critical understanding of biology, chemistry and climate science
Released  November 28, 2010
Diagram showing gravitational lensing. Gigantic Gravity "Lenses" Magnify Galaxies Far, Far Away
Submillimeter observatories penetrate cold, dusty galaxies to see stars forming in the primeval past
Released  November 19, 2010
Photo of Jun Yao, a graduate student at Rice University. Electronics Breakthrough Could Revolutionize Memory Chips
Rice University graduate student Jun Yao's research with silicon-oxide circuits could be a game-changer in nanoelectronics
Released  October 8, 2010
Photo of a Blackhawk helicopter lifting off in front of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Observatory Staff Aid in Military Helicopter Crash Rescue
Green Bank Telescope's staff typically spend their days helping scientists carry out their research, but on one dramatic day in February 2010, they helped rescue soldiers from a crashed helicopter
Released  September 10, 2010
Graphic simulation of electron cloud in layer of copper oxide in a cuprate superconductor. Asymmetric Electron Behavior Discovered in High-temperature Superconductors
Finding could eventually lead to cheaper electrical power
Released  August 31, 2010
A 3-D computer model of a stent. Scientists Use Math to Build Better Stents
University of Houston mathematician Sunica Canic and her colleagues build computer models to study stents; their simulations could lead to better designs and also help doctors select the right stents for specific procedures
Released  August 26, 2010
Artistic visualization of the atomic and magnetic moment structure of chromia. Researchers Control Collective Spin States Electrically at Room Temperature
Breakthrough paves way to store and process information in novel spin-electronics
Released  August 16, 2010
Photo of Georgia Tech chemist Nicholas Hud in his laboratory. How Did Life Begin?
Georgia Tech professor Nicholas Hud and his students discover new evidence advancing the theory that certain small molecules may have acted as "molecular midwives" to help the first RNA and DNA molecules to form
Released  July 30, 2010
Illustration of a double-stranded DNA in a synthetic nanopore revealed by molecular simulation. New Gene Sequencing Method Could Reduce Cost, Increase Speed
Researchers are developing a new kind of DNA sequencer that will make the dream of "reading" a person's genetic code for less than $1,000 a reality
Released  July 16, 2010
Photo of researchers kneeling behind a dilution refrigerator equipped for microwave measurements. Measuring the Intersection of Two Worlds
How "spooky" quantum mechanical laws may affect everyday objects
Released  June 30, 2010
Photo of Amy Barnes making phosphorus-rich phosphate glass to use with her doctoral research work. On Earth Day and Everyday, Ecologist Fights for Phosphorus
NSF-supported ecologist James Elser is internationally recognized as an expert on phosphorus in biology and ecology, and his research could help to change societyís views on phosphorus use and conservation
Released  May 6, 2010
Illustration showing optical beam splitter method and new method of controlling electron spin. Breakthrough in Electron Spin Control Brings Quantum Computers Closer to Reality
Research allows control of a single electron without disturbing other nearby electrons
Released  February 26, 2010
Color-enhanced optical image of the galaxy DDO 87 in the constellation Ursa Major showing stars. Tiny Galaxies Reveal How First Stars Formed
Lowell Observatory astronomer Deidre Hunter and her team studies small, diffuse galaxies to learn about star formation in those regions and, perhaps, shed light on the birth of the first stars after the Big Bang
Released  February 25, 2010
Crystal Structure of URu2Si2. Lifting the Curtain on Mysterious Hidden Order
Theoretical spectroscopy and computational model reveal hidden ordered state
Released  February 9, 2010
Image shows a composite visible/infrared view of Titan. Titan: A Climate Out of This World
Researchers using ground-based telescopes and space probes make amazing discoveries about the atmospheric cycle of Saturnís largest moon, and find similarities to Earth
Released  January 7, 2010
Optical micrograph showing the small and large pores (black) within the Ni-Mn-Ga alloy (white). Metallic Shape-Memory Foam Shows Giant Response to Magnetic Fields
"Smart" alloy stretches, contracts by almost 10 percent
Released  October 16, 2009
Photo of Anna Kornfeld Simpson with her robot High School Student Develops Chemical-detecting Robot
California senior describes how she developed a mobile, autonomous robot, spending time in the lab of an NSF-supported researcher, and she shares what it was like to win at the state science fair competition
Released  October 6, 2009
Composite of two Hubble Space Telescope images of a global dust storm on Mars. Monitoring and Predicting Extraterrestrial Weather
Scientists adapt a weather research and forecasting tool to model global weather on the Earth, Mars and beyond
Released  September 22, 2009
Adaptive optics image of Titan showing storm feature. Methane Clouds Observed Near Titan's Equator May Explain Presence of Riverbeds on the Surface
The Huygens probe discovered fluid-formed channels in the arid equatorial regions of Titan, Saturn's largest moon
Released  August 12, 2009
Photo of Charles Sykes and two graduate students using a scanning tunneling microscope. Chemist Aims to Turn Molecules Into Motors
Charles Sykes and his team use scanning tunneling microscopes to study novel molecular motors and rotors
Released  July 22, 2009
Graphical representation of seven test molecule structures. Video Game Technology and Science?
Chemists use the computer technology behind todayís video games to rapidly calculate the structure of molecules
Released  July 15, 2009
Smog over San Jose, California Every Breath You Take
Scientists search for an understanding of the air-water interface and its effect on air quality
Released  July 13, 2009
Photo showing Caroline Moore at work in her home observatory New Supernova Is Discovered by Young Citizen Scientist
Caroline Moore's discovery has made experts question how stars die
Released  July 9, 2009
Illustration showing scanning tunneling microscopy and angle-resolved photo-electron spectroscopy. Exploring High-temperature Superconductivity and the Pseudogap
Research using two complimentary techniques increases understanding of superconductor materials
Released  June 15, 2009
Photo of JILA's strontium atomic clock. Coping With Unusual Atomic Collisions Makes an Atomic Clock More Accurate
Researchers have figured out how to nullify collision effects and make the clock still more precise
Released  May 20, 2009
Photo showing bright red-orange photoluminescence from porous silicon nanoparticles. Safer Nano Cancer Detector
Nanoparticle test in mice could pave the way for human uses
Released  April 30, 2009
Photo of the MIT battery material. Improved Lithium Ion Battery Technology Could Fast-charge Electric Vehicles, Boost Acceleration
"Beltway" coating on cathode eases ions' way into crystalline tunnels
Released  April 22, 2009
Image of the collision of a proton and antiproton. A Better Mass for the W Boson; Higgs Boson Given Less Space to Hide
Analyzing several years' worth of results from Fermilab's Tevatron collider, physicists come up with the most accurate measurement to date of the mass of the W boson, and narrow down the possible mass of the still undiscovered Higgs boson
Released  April 7, 2009
Illustration of a nanoscale experiment. Squeezing Noise Below Quantum Limits
Exquisitely sensitive microwave amplifier increases nano-scale measurement accuracy; could lead to quantum computing breakthroughs
Released  March 26, 2009
Illustration showing entanglement to and from distinct quantum memories. A Beautiful Memory
Breakthrough in "entanglement" demonstrates potential of quantum information science
Released  March 17, 2009

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