Latest press releases

In search of universal laws of diffusion with resetting

4 August 2022

The manner in which animals penetrate a neighbourhood searching for food shows similarities to the movements of liquid particles in plant capillaries or gas molecules near an absorbing wall. These phenomena – and many others in nature – can be thought of as processes called anomalous diffusion with resetting. Recent research suggests that they have properties of a very universal nature.

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Salutary delay in the reaction of crystal atoms to avalanche of photons

14 July 2022

Using X-ray laser pulses, the structure of matter can be studied with previously unprecedented accuracy. However, the pulses are so violent that they destroy the sample being irradiated. Notwithstanding, a Polish-Japanese team of physicists has just succeeded in demonstrating that atoms of the crystal under investigation react to an avalanche of photons with a certain delay. The discovery means that by using sufficiently short laser pulses, it will be possible to view an undisturbed structure of matter.

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Complexity of crystallization amazes physicists

27 June 2022

On the one hand, softly organized and ordered, on the other hand, flowing like water or honey – this is the dual nature of liquid crystals. Scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences took a detailed look at one of the aspects of liquid crystals: the crystallization processes. The latest research shows that in the case of certain types of liquid crystals, these processes not only occurs when they are cooled and heated but are also surprisingly complex in nature.

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Difficult-to-observe effect confirms the existence of quark mass

9 June 2022

A phenomenon that directly proves the existence of quark mass has been observed for the first time in extremely energetic collisions of lead nuclei. A team of physicists working on the ALICE detector at the Large Hadron Collider can boast this spectacular achievement – the observation of the dead cone effect.

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Liquid crystal mixtures show great glass-forming properties (in quest for ever better material for top performance LC displays)

2 June 2022

The liquid crystals used in displays nowadays are usually in a nematic phase, i.e. a liquid-like state of almost parallel oriented molecules. However, there is another liquid crystal phase which has a chance to be used in displays in the future, and it is the chiral smectic CA* phase with a high tilt angle of molecules. The liquid crystal mixture denoted as W-1000, known already for a broad stability range of the smectic CA* phase, has been recently proven not to crystallize (we do not want the LCD material to go crystal) but to retain its liquid-like character. It undergoes the vitrification even at very slow cooling, making it a good material to obtain easily the smectic CA* glass. The crystal phase of W-1000 does not form on cooling. Moreover, cold crystallization, observed often during heating of previously vitrified substances, does not occur for the investigated mixture, therefore low temperatures do not destroy the liquid crystal state and the alignment of molecules. The same properties are reported for the W-356 mixture, which is a new derivative of W-1000..

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