Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics Articles
LiFi technology showcased in London’s knowledge quarter
A special event is being co-hosted by The Institute of Physics (IOP) and pureLiFi, at the IOP’s new flagship building in London’s Kings Cross on May 16th, the International Day of Light, showcasing the potential of revolutionary LiFi technology. LiFi is a wireless technology which holds the key to solving challenges faced by 5G.
Human skin pigmentation recreated with a 3D bioprinter
A method for controlling pigmentation in fabricated human skin has been developed by researchers from A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) at Nanyang Technological University. In their paper, publishing today in Biofabrication, the team show how they utilise 3D bioprinting to control the distribution of melanin-producing skin cells (melanocytes) on a biomime...
‘Digistain’ technology offers revolution in cancer diagnoses
The way cancer is diagnosed could soon be more accurate and reliable thanks to a team of British scientists. The team, led by Professor Chris Phillips from Imperial College London, developed a new imaging technology to grade tumour biopsies. Publishing their results in the journal Convergent Science Physical Oncology, they describe how their new method promises to significantly reduce the subjectivity and variability in grading the...
Modelling approach effectively predicts cancer tumour growth
A new and more effective method of predicting how cancer tumours grow and spread has been developed by a team of researchers in the US. Their study, published in the journal Convergent Science Physical Oncology, reports a new computational modelling approach, which fits more closely than previous models with the tumour behaviour seen in experimental observations.
Air pollution battle found to be crucial to China’s public health
A new study has shown that China’s measures to improve air quality are working, but more stringent policies should be put in place to safeguard public health. Air pollution in China, especially in mega-metropolitan areas, is a matter of concern due to its impact on public health.
One step closer to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars
A new study has found that plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars. It suggests that Mars, with its 96% carbon dioxide atmosphere, has nearly ideal conditions for creating oxygen from CO2 through a process known as decomposition.
Cutting food waste helps improve your ‘foodprint’
Around a third of the resources used to produce the US’s food are wasted through FLW, a study has revealed. The research from the University of Texas at Austin and Sustainable America, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examined the environmental impacts of the average American’s diet and FLW through an analysis of the energy, land, water and fertilizer required to produce the food, and greenhouse gas e...
Cost-effective quantum moves a step closer
Canadian and US researchers have taken an important step towards enabling quantum networks to be cost-effective and truly secure from attack. The experiments, by the team from the University of Calgary, the California Institute of Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Colorado, prove the viability of a measurement-device-independent quantum key distribution (QKD) system, based on readily available hardware.
Solution to bacterial antibiotic resistance may be found in plants
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an ever-growing problem for healthcare, agriculture and hygiene, thanks to their indiscriminate and often excessive use. While natural, plant-derived antimicrobial small molecules may offer a potential solution, they often lack sufficient activity and selectivity to fulfil antibiotic requirements, and their conventional methods activation may not be compatible with biomedical applications.
Solar cell breakthrough lights up new applications
For the first time, an international scientific collaboration has successfully integrated a sub-micron thin, nanophotonic silicon film into a crystalline solar cell. Thinner crystalline silicon cells absorb less light. While the addition of nanophotonic structures can strongly improve light absorption, their integration into the cells has been challenging thus far, due to the electrical losses they cause.
Cell culture system offers cancer breakthrough
A new cell culture system that provides a tool for preclinical cancer drug development and screening has been developed by researchers in the USA. The team, led by scientists from Princeton University, New Jersey, created a microfluidic cell culture device that allows the direct, real-time observation of the development of drug resistance in cancer cells. They report their results in the journal Convergent Science Physical Oncology...
Institute urges girls to consider A-Level physics
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, hundreds of thousands of students have recently received their GCSE results. And despite the fact that the overall population of 16 year olds is down in England, Wales and NI - by 2.7% on 2016 - overall GCSE entries are up by 3.9% to 5.4 million.
Nanomaterials help spiders spin the toughest silk
Spiders’ silk is already tough stuff – just ask your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman. But now, researchers in Italy and the UK have found a way to make Spidey’s silk a lot stronger, using various different spider species and carbon nanotubes or graphene. The research team, led by Professor Nicola Pugno at the University of Trento, Italy, succeeded in having their spiders produce silk with up to three times the strengt...
Physicists add amplifier to quantum communication toolbox
Quantum encryption using single photons is a promising technique for boosting the security of communication systems and data networks, but there are challenges in applying the method over large distances due to transmission losses. Using conventional optical amplification doesn't help as this disrupts the quantum link between sender and receiver, but physicists in Europe have found a solution – heralded photon amplification – and put ...
Nano-notch sends self-assembling polymers into a spiral
A simple circular or hexagonal pit written into silicon can be used to generate self-assembling polymer spirals thanks to the addition of a tiny notch in the template says scientists in the launch issue of Nano Futures. What's more, they say, modifying the notch’s shape allows users to dial-up the direction of the spiral to generate either left- or right-handed patterns, and even create double spirals.
African forests threatened by demand for commodity crops
International demand for commodity crops like cocoa is putting increasing pressure on tropical forests in sub-Saharan Africa, according to new research. The study – the first comprehensive empirical assessment of land-use change impacts of commodity crop expansion in sub-Saharan Africa, and their effects on tropical deforestation – published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Bee grooming behaviour could improve microelectromechanical cleaning
A study on the grooming habits of bees has given new physical insight into the process of pollination, and could have implications for future MEMS. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA, and Kiel University in Germany, examined how pollenating insects that purposely cover themselves with millions of pollen particles get clean enough to fly. Their study, published in the journal Bioinspriation and Biom...
Size does matter when it comes to wind farms
A team of Danish researchers have developed a method to assess the efficiency of different sized onshore and offshore wind farms. The team investigated whether the farm power density - the power per unit area - of very large wind farms was limited, and related this to their efficiency and annual energy production. The study used regional atmospheric model simulations to assess the power production and wind speed through the farm area.  ...
Personalised radiotherapy may help beat bone tumours
Researchers in the UK have developed a personalised and more effective approach to treating cancer patients with bone metastases. The team used radiobiological models to calculate the absorbed radiation doses needed to eradicate all the bone lesions in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). They put forward a new model to predict the decrease in tumour size in patients treated with molecular radiotherapy.
Redirecting flight routes could reduce climate impact
According to new research, airlines could reduce their climate impact by up to ten percent in the future by optimising some flight routes. The study shows the cost to airlines of changing flight routes to avoid areas where emissions have the largest impact would be comparatively small – around a one percent increase in operating costs.