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In the spotlight of ESRF – a new tool to enhance wire performance

In the spotlight of ESRF – a new tool to enhance wire performance

Nb3Sn is the superconducting material selected to take the place of Nb-Ti as the next step in accelerator magnet technology. In particular, the development of Nb3Sn-based magnets capable of providing 16 T dipolar fields is an indispensable technological breakthrough needed for the 100 TeV energy-frontier targeted by the Future Circular Collider (FCC) at CERN. The…

A physics perspective on wound healing

A physics perspective on wound healing

Scientists from UNIGE and UZH have used a statistical physics approach to identify the lengthscales of key intercellular interactions which govern tissue healing.   In material physics understanding how systems interact across the interfaces separating them is of central interest. But can physical models clarify similar concepts in living systems, such as cells? Physicists at…

Ferroelectric nanodomains shed light on universal systems

Ferroelectric nanodomains shed light on universal systems

Earthquakes and avalanches may have devastating consequences, yet are hard to study, occurring only occasionally and often in poorly monitored regions. Fortunately, simpler systems with similar properties can sometimes be investigated efficiently and safely in the laboratory to yield generally applicable results in a phenomenon called universality. New research at the DQMP, University of Geneva…

Nano-mapping phase transitions in electronic materials

Nano-mapping phase transitions in electronic materials

Scientists at EPFL and the University of Geneva have combined two powerful, cutting-edge techniques to uncover the physics behind an exotic phase transition that turns a metal into an insulator. The materials they looked at are rare-earth nickelates, which are of great interest for innovating new approaches in electronics. “Phase transitions” are a central phenomenon…

Record high-field superconductivity in MgB2: new perspectives for magnet technology

Record high-field superconductivity in MgB2: new perspectives for magnet technology

The quest for energy-efficient high-field magnets passes through the progress made on practical superconductors. Scientists from the Department of Quantum Matter Physics (UNIGE), the Laboratory of Advanced Technology – LTA (UNIGE, HES-SO Genève), and the Laboratoire des Champs Magnétiques Intenses of Grenoble (F) have recently shed light on the mechanisms that enhance the upper critical…

Making disorder for an ideal battery

Making disorder for an ideal battery

Manufacturing safer, more powerful batteries that use geopolitically stable resources requires solid electrolytes and replacing lithium with sodium. A chemical solution is now being offered to battery developers. The lithium batteries that power our electronic devices and electric vehicles have a number of drawbacks. The electrolyte – the medium that enables electrons and positive charges to…

Superconductivity with a twist explained

Superconductivity with a twist explained

Physicists have revealed what makes magic angle graphene so special. This is a key step elucidating the mystery behind superconductivity in this recently discovered material with potential for technological breakthroughs. Magic-angle materials represent a surprising recent physics discovery in double layers of graphene, the two-dimensional material made of carbon atoms in a hexagonal pattern. When…

Artificial materials for more efficient electronics

Artificial materials for more efficient electronics

The discovery of an unprecedented physical effect in a new artificial material marks a significant milestone in the lengthy process of developing “made-to-order” materials and more energy-efficient electronics. We are surrounded by electronic devices. Transistors are used to power telephones, computers, televisions, hi-fi systems and game consoles as well as cars, airplanes and the like….

Irene Cucchi presents her thesis … in comics

Irene Cucchi presents her thesis … in comics

Irene Cucchi successfully defended her thesis at the DQMP, UNIGE. For several years, she has been conducting research in a new field of materials physics, at the crossroads of two major advances in condensed matter physics: the discovery of two-dimensional crystals and the discovery of topological insulators. In order to share part of her PhD…

A breach in the “standard model” of quantum matter

A breach in the “standard model” of quantum matter

Professor Dirk van der Marel’s team from the Department of Quantum Matter Physics (DQMP) of Geneva University recently discovered a whole new effect in a magnetic material with a chemical composition of Nd2Ir2O7. At absolute zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius), this material is insulating but by increasing its temperature it becomes an electrical conductor. More precisely,…

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