British Science Week starts on Monday, running from the 10th to the 19th of March. Organised by the British Science Association, British Science Week celebrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics across the UK with events all over the country. Here at JPhys+, we thought this would be a great excuse to highlight a selection of some of the great research produced by our authors based in the UK.
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
David Schnoerr et al, working at the University of Edinburgh, here examine biologically relevant random processes through mathematical and statistical modelling. Understanding cells and organisms as systems is an important topic of research, and random fluctuations of molecule numbers play an important role in the relevant chemical reaction networks at a system level. The behaviour of these systems can be very complex, which means useful methods for modelling them are very important.
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Electrostatic trapping and in situ detection of Rydberg atoms above chip-based transmission lines
Using a trap based on a 2-dimensional array of chips P Lancuba and S D Hogan perform an experiment in which helium atoms in a Rydberg-Stark state are decelerated, trapped and detected in situ. The group, from University College London, use their apparatus to apply a deceleration of 13000 km.s-1 to a beam of helium atoms, to bring them to a stop within the trap where they can be detected. Their results will be useful for future experiments on collisions and spectroscopy of cold Rydberg atoms. This paper was published as part of a Special issue on Rydberg atomic physics.
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
In this paper, researchers from the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Università Ca’ Foscari, study the possibility of DNA star tiles self-assembling into a quasicrystalline phase at low temperatures. Quasicrystals are groups of molecules that display some properties of crystals, but without their regular structure. They also have unusual properties of their own. The simulations performed by Aleks Reinhardt et al in this paper suggest that it may be possible in an experiment to form a quasicrystal using DNA in this way. This paper was published as part of a Special issue on Soft quasicrystals.
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
All-vanadium flow batteries are a useful and promising design for power storage on a large scale. However, there are poorly understood degradation issues due to damage to the batteries’ carbon felts during operation, and the compression and wetting behaviour of these felts is also poorly know. A useful way to study these issues would be to image the battery in situ. In this paper, Rhodri Jervis et al of University College London show that it is possible to image the felt with electrolyte intrusion, using a cell they have designed for x-ray imaging during operation. This could be very useful in the future for gaining insight into the performance of these batteries. This paper was published as part of a Special issue on Synchrotron- and FEL-based X-ray Methods for Battery Studies.
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Image 1 – Illustration of gene expression in prokaryotic cells, from David Schnoerr et al 2017 J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 50 093001 © IOP Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
Image 2 – Schematic diagram of the experimental apparatus. (a) Top-view of the photoexcitation region and transmission-line decelerator in the xz-plane with the ion extraction apertures A1 and A2 in the upper-plate electrode indicated . (b) Expanded side-view of the in situ detection region, from P Lancuba and S D Hogan 2016 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 49 074006 © IOP Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
Image 3 – OxDNA representations of (a) a five-arm tile, (b) a six-arm tile, (c)–(e) quasicrystal-like motifs of increasing size when adsorbed onto a surface and (f) the largest motif when in solution, from Aleks Reinhardt et al 2017 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 29 014006 © IOP Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
Image 4 – X-ray CT imaging of the flow cell containing static electrolyte obtained using a lab-based CT system with a 4× objective lens (effective pixel size of 3.8 µm) comprising 1601 projections of 7s exposure, from Rhodri Jervis et al 2016 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 49 434002 © IOP Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
Categories: Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, JPhys+