Chemists grow unusually long and aligned 'buckytubes'

North Carolina chemists have developed a method of growing one-atom-thick cylinders of carbon, called “nanotubes,” 100 times longer than usual, while maintaining a soda-straw straightness with controllable orientation. Their achievement solves a major barrier to the nanotubes’ use in ultra-small “nanoelectronic” devices, said the team’s leader. The researchers have also grown checkerboard-like grids of the tubes which could form the basis of nanoscale electronic devices.

Dept. of Defense awards to stimulate competitive research

The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced plans to award $15.7 million to 18 academic institutions in 14 states to perform research in science and engineering fields important to national defense. Thirty-one projects were competitively selected under the fiscal 2003 Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR). The average award will be approximately $500,000.

Ultracold Gas Shows Strange Behavior

Researchers have created an ultracold gas that has the startling property of bursting outward in a preferred direction when released. According to the scientists, studying the properties of the “lopsided” gas could yield fundamental insights into how matter holds itself together at the subatomic level. Also, the research team leader said their data suggests the possibility that the gas is exhibiting a never-before-seen kind of superfluidity — a property in which matter at extremely low-temperatures behaves in unusual ways