Silicon as a semiconductor: Silicon carbide would be much more efficient
Nature & Science

Silicon as a semiconductor: Silicon carbide would be much more efficient

At the interface between silicon dioxide and silicon carbide, irregular clusters of carbon rings occur, which disturb the electronic function. Credit: Universität Basel, Departement Physik/Swiss Nanoscience Institute In power electronics, semiconductors are based on the element silicon—but the energy efficiency of silicon carbide would be much higher. Physicists of the University of Basel, the Paul…

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures a massive avalanche on the red planet
Nature & Science

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures a massive avalanche on the red planet

Over the years, scientists have found a number of promising signs that life may have been present on Mars, including evidence of water, chemical reactions, and expansive ice lakes beneath the surface.Life on Mars is unlikely to have flourished on the surface, given the harsh conditions – including radiation, solar winds, and frigid temperatures.As a…

Nature & Science

Ancient animal species: Fossils dating back 550 million years among first animal trails

In a remarkable evolutionary discovery, a team of scientists co-led by a Virginia Tech geoscientist has discovered what could be among the first trails made by animals on the surface of the Earth roughly a half-billion years ago. Shuhai Xiao, a professor of geosciences with the Virginia Tech College of Science, calls the unearthed fossils,…

Geologists uncover ancient mass extinction from 2 billion years ago
Nature & Science

Geologists uncover ancient mass extinction from 2 billion years ago

Even before macroscopic life has evolved, Earth’s inhabitants were faced with extinctions of gargantuan proportions.Image credits: Mike Beauregard/Wikimedia CommonsWe’re taught in school about the five mass extinctions. These mass extinctions — which mark the end of geological periods — were described in a landmark paper published in 1982. The “Big Five” extinction events, as they…

Scientists make new discovery using 19th-century physicist’s theories
Nature & Science

Scientists make new discovery using 19th-century physicist’s theories

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown type of lightwave using the theories of a 19th-century mathematician and physicist. Equations developed by pioneering 19th-century Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell have been used to reveal how crystals can be manipulated to produce a distinctive type of light wave, according to the University of Edinburgh, which was involved…