Informing Spectroscopists for Over 40 Years


Miniature ESR probe. Credit: NIST

NIST has made electron spin resonance useful for exploring tiny objects for the first time, potentially enabling the decades-old technique to spot defects on computer chip surfaces or view the workings of proteins on the surface of cells.

Archaeologists examining late period Mayan containers have identified nicotine traces from a codex-style flask, revealing the first physical evidence of tobacco use by ancient Mayans. The study published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (doi: 10.1002/rcm.5339) reveals the flask is marked with Mayan hieroglyphics reading, “y-otoot ’u-may” (“the home of its/his/her tobacco”), making it only the second case to confirm that the text on the exterior of a Mayan vessel corresponds to its ancient use.

A new type of terahertz sensor, that is much faster than competing technologies used to detect and identify hidden objects, has been developed by scientists at the University of Warwick, UK.

As part of around €24.5 million in funding for the next three years, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) will establish one new Clinical Research Unit and nine new Research Units. As all DFG Research Units, the new units will collaborate interdisciplinarly and span multiple locations.

Among the new Research Units are three that may be of interest to readers (in alphabetical order by Host University).

A diagram illustrating spin-up (red) and spin-down (blue) electrons in a crystal grid. Credit: Ill.: Condensed Matter Theory Group, JGU.

Terahertz spectroscopy enables the measurement of fundamental magnetotransport details and provides basis for advanced nanoelectronics.

In this illustration, the Quantum Dot (QD) spectrometer device is printing QD filters—a key fabrication step. Other spectrometer approaches have complicated systems in order to create the optical structures needed. Here in the QD spectrometer approach, the optical structure, QD filters, are generated by printing liquid droplets. This approach is unique and advantageous in terms of flexibility, simplicity and cost reduction. Image: Mary O’Reilly

New spectrometer based on quantum dots is small enough to function within a smartphone, enabling portable light analysis.

Super-eruptions are not the only type of eruption to be considered when evaluating hazards at volcanoes with protracted eruption histories, such as the Yellowstone (Wyoming), Long Valley (California), and Valles (New Mexico) calderas in the USA. There have been more than 23 effusive eruptions of rhyolite lava at Yellowstone since the last caldera-forming eruption ~640,000 years ago, all of similar or greater magnitude than the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century.