Latest press releases

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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A new window into the world of attosecond phenomena

9 May 2022

They are everywhere, around us and within us. Phenomena lasting trillionths of a second form the core of chemistry and biology. It is only recently that we have begun to try to accurately record their actual course, with moderate success. However, physicists from Cracow have proven that the new window to the world of attophysics can be built, offering a very promising view.

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The proton's innate charm may trouble astronomers

24 March 2022

Can the neutrino eyes of humanity, observatories such as the IceCube in Antarctica, really see neutrinos coming from deep space? The answer is beginning to come from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) where, amongst others, the internal structure of protons is being studied. According to the latest model by physicists from the IFJ PAS, this structure seems to be richer in charm particles to a degree that makes it difficult for terrestrial neutrino observers to interpret what they see.

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