Posts Tagged ‘Nanoparticles

Spongy gold grows in levitating water

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Levitating drops of hot water have been used to fabricate intricate gold structures that could act as tiny green factories


Written by physicsgg

October 30, 2013 at 5:42 am


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Candles shine new light on diamonds

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By Christine Lavelle
Candle flames contain millions of tiny diamond particles, a university professor has discovered.
Research by Wuzong Zhou, a professor of chemistry at the University of St Andrews in Fife, revealed that around 1.5 million diamond nanoparticles are created in a candle flame every second it is burning.

Discovery could have implications for diamond industry

Dr Zhou used a new sampling technique to remove particles from the centre of the flame, which is believed to have never been done before, and found that it contained all four known forms of carbon.
He said: “This was a surprise because each form is usually created under different conditions.”
Dr Zhou added that the diamond particles are burned away in the process, but the discovery could lead to future research into how diamonds could be created more cheaply, and in a more environmentally friendly way.
He said: “This will change the way we view a candle flame forever.”
The academic said he uncovered the secret after a challenge from a fellow scientist in combustion.
Dr Zhou said: “A colleague at another university said to me: ‘Of course no one knows what a candle flame is actually made of.
“I told him I believed science could explain everything eventually, so I decided to find out.”
The first candle is said to have been invented in China more than 2,000 years ago, and previous research has shown that hydro-carbon molecules at the bottom of the flame are converted into carbon dioxide by the top of the flame.
However, the process in between has remained a mystery until now, with the discovery of the diamond nanoparticles, as well as fullerenic particles and graphitic and amorphous carbon.
Rosey Barnet, artistic director of one of Scotland’s biggest candle manufacturers, Shearer Candles, said the discovery was “exciting”.
She said: “We were thrilled to hear about the discovery that diamond particles exist in a candle flame.
“Although currently there is no way of extracting these particles, it is still an exciting find and one that could change the way people view candles.
“The research at St Andrews University will be of interest to the entire candle making industry.
“We always knew candles added sparkle to a room but now scientific research has provided us with more insight into why.”

Written by physicsgg

August 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

Astronomers to develop potential new cancer radiation treatment

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Astronomers’ research on celestial bodies may have an impact on the human body.
Ohio State University astronomers are working with medical physicists and radiation oncologists to develop a potential new radiation treatment – one that is intended to be tougher on tumors, but gentler on healthy tissue.
In studying how chemical elements emit and absorb radiation inside stars and around black holes, the astronomers discovered that heavy metals such as iron emit low-energy electrons when exposed to X-rays at specific energies.
Their discovery raises the possibility that implants made from certain heavy elements could enable doctors to obliterate tumors with low-energy electrons, while exposing healthy tissue to much less radiation than is possible today. Similar implants could enhance medical diagnostic imaging.
Friday, June 24, at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, Ohio State University senior research scientist Sultana Nahar will announce the team’s computer simulations of the elements gold and platinum, and the design of a prototype device that generates X-rays at key frequencies.
Their simulations suggest that hitting a single gold or platinum atom with a small dose of X-rays at a narrow range of frequencies – equal to roughly one tenth of the broad spectrum of X-ray radiation frequencies – produces a flood of more than 20 low-energy electrons.
“As astronomers, we apply basic physics and chemistry to understand what’s happening in stars. We’re very excited to apply the same knowledge to potentially treat cancer,” Nahar said.
“We believe that nanoparticles embedded in tumors can absorb X-rays efficiently at particular frequencies, resulting in electron ejections that can kill malignant cells,” she continued. “From X-ray spectroscopy, we can predict those energies and which atoms or molecules are likely to be most effective.”
Nahar and Anil Pradhan, professor of astronomy at Ohio State, discovered that particular frequencies of X-rays cause the electrons in heavy metal atoms to vibrate and break free from their orbits around the nucleus, creating what amounts to an electrically charged gas, or plasma, around the atoms at the nanometer scale….. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

June 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm


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Nanoparticles play at being red blood cells

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Diagram showing how to prepare red blood cell-membrane-coated nanoparticles

Nanoparticles disguised as red blood cells could be used to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to a tumour. So say researchers at the University of California at San Diego, whose new technique is unique in its approach to harnessing nanoparticles….. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

June 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Posted in BIOLOGY

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