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Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Page: Previous |Next (Showing: 61-90 of 204) | Search Discoveries

Top: Scenes From the Life of Saint John the Baptist, Bottom: Cross section of paint layers. What Lies Beneath? Understanding Art Using Science
Scientists are using antibody-based techniques to identify and study the organic compounds used in paintings
Released  March 30, 2011
Image of the LHCb magnet. Strange B Meson Studies at LHCb Provide New Tools for Discovery
Physicists study rare particles to learn why the universe has more matter than antimatter
Released  March 28, 2011
Image of a Greek vase. Deciphering the Elements of Iconic Pottery
What do cutting-edge research into future space travel and the investigation of ancient ceramic pots have in common? More than you'd think.
Released  March 28, 2011
High-resolution image of a sunspot taken at the Sacramento Peak Observatory, New Mexico. How the Sun Gets Its Spots
To prevent solar damage to communication, navigation and other high tech systems, scientists are determining the temperatures, composition and movement of materials inside the sun
Released  January 7, 2011
Photo showing marshmallows representing hairy spheres connected with plastic coffee stirrers. Exotic Discovery Made in Soft Polymer
Novel nanostructure pattern never seen in a plastic material
Released  January 3, 2011
Photo of a banded garden spider waiting for prey to become entangled in its web. Scientists Untangle Spider Web Stickiness
Studying spider silk, NSF-supported researchers learn about the properties of this sticky material, and their findings could lead to new bio-adhesives and glues that work under water
Released  December 3, 2010
Kavli Prize logo Three NSF-Funded Scientists Among Recipients of $3 Million Kavli Prize
Among the latest winners of the Kavli Prize are three scientists who have received NSF funding over the past several years
Released  November 28, 2010
Illustration of sulfur dioxide molecules forming weak bonds with water molecules. The Water Dance
A myriad of methods for watching water molecules in motion advances critical understanding of biology, chemistry and climate science
Released  November 28, 2010
Diagram showing gravitational lensing. Gigantic Gravity "Lenses" Magnify Galaxies Far, Far Away
Submillimeter observatories penetrate cold, dusty galaxies to see stars forming in the primeval past
Released  November 19, 2010
Photo of Jun Yao, a graduate student at Rice University. Electronics Breakthrough Could Revolutionize Memory Chips
Rice University graduate student Jun Yao's research with silicon-oxide circuits could be a game-changer in nanoelectronics
Released  October 8, 2010
Photo of a Blackhawk helicopter lifting off in front of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Observatory Staff Aid in Military Helicopter Crash Rescue
Green Bank Telescope's staff typically spend their days helping scientists carry out their research, but on one dramatic day in February 2010, they helped rescue soldiers from a crashed helicopter
Released  September 10, 2010
Graphic simulation of electron cloud in layer of copper oxide in a cuprate superconductor. Asymmetric Electron Behavior Discovered in High-temperature Superconductors
Finding could eventually lead to cheaper electrical power
Released  August 31, 2010
A 3-D computer model of a stent. Scientists Use Math to Build Better Stents
University of Houston mathematician Sunica Canic and her colleagues build computer models to study stents; their simulations could lead to better designs and also help doctors select the right stents for specific procedures
Released  August 26, 2010
Artistic visualization of the atomic and magnetic moment structure of chromia. Researchers Control Collective Spin States Electrically at Room Temperature
Breakthrough paves way to store and process information in novel spin-electronics
Released  August 16, 2010
Photo of Georgia Tech chemist Nicholas Hud in his laboratory. How Did Life Begin?
Georgia Tech professor Nicholas Hud and his students discover new evidence advancing the theory that certain small molecules may have acted as "molecular midwives" to help the first RNA and DNA molecules to form
Released  July 30, 2010
Illustration of a double-stranded DNA in a synthetic nanopore revealed by molecular simulation. New Gene Sequencing Method Could Reduce Cost, Increase Speed
Researchers are developing a new kind of DNA sequencer that will make the dream of "reading" a person's genetic code for less than $1,000 a reality
Released  July 16, 2010
Photo of researchers kneeling behind a dilution refrigerator equipped for microwave measurements. Measuring the Intersection of Two Worlds
How "spooky" quantum mechanical laws may affect everyday objects
Released  June 30, 2010
Photo of Amy Barnes making phosphorus-rich phosphate glass to use with her doctoral research work. On Earth Day and Everyday, Ecologist Fights for Phosphorus
NSF-supported ecologist James Elser is internationally recognized as an expert on phosphorus in biology and ecology, and his research could help to change societyís views on phosphorus use and conservation
Released  May 6, 2010
Illustration showing optical beam splitter method and new method of controlling electron spin. Breakthrough in Electron Spin Control Brings Quantum Computers Closer to Reality
Research allows control of a single electron without disturbing other nearby electrons
Released  February 26, 2010
Color-enhanced optical image of the galaxy DDO 87 in the constellation Ursa Major showing stars. Tiny Galaxies Reveal How First Stars Formed
Lowell Observatory astronomer Deidre Hunter and her team studies small, diffuse galaxies to learn about star formation in those regions and, perhaps, shed light on the birth of the first stars after the Big Bang
Released  February 25, 2010
Crystal Structure of URu2Si2. Lifting the Curtain on Mysterious Hidden Order
Theoretical spectroscopy and computational model reveal hidden ordered state
Released  February 9, 2010
Image shows a composite visible/infrared view of Titan. Titan: A Climate Out of This World
Researchers using ground-based telescopes and space probes make amazing discoveries about the atmospheric cycle of Saturnís largest moon, and find similarities to Earth
Released  January 7, 2010
Optical micrograph showing the small and large pores (black) within the Ni-Mn-Ga alloy (white). Metallic Shape-Memory Foam Shows Giant Response to Magnetic Fields
"Smart" alloy stretches, contracts by almost 10 percent
Released  October 16, 2009
Photo of Anna Kornfeld Simpson with her robot High School Student Develops Chemical-detecting Robot
California senior describes how she developed a mobile, autonomous robot, spending time in the lab of an NSF-supported researcher, and she shares what it was like to win at the state science fair competition
Released  October 6, 2009
Composite of two Hubble Space Telescope images of a global dust storm on Mars. Monitoring and Predicting Extraterrestrial Weather
Scientists adapt a weather research and forecasting tool to model global weather on the Earth, Mars and beyond
Released  September 22, 2009
Adaptive optics image of Titan showing storm feature. Methane Clouds Observed Near Titan's Equator May Explain Presence of Riverbeds on the Surface
The Huygens probe discovered fluid-formed channels in the arid equatorial regions of Titan, Saturn's largest moon
Released  August 12, 2009
Photo of Charles Sykes and two graduate students using a scanning tunneling microscope. Chemist Aims to Turn Molecules Into Motors
Charles Sykes and his team use scanning tunneling microscopes to study novel molecular motors and rotors
Released  July 22, 2009
Graphical representation of seven test molecule structures. Video Game Technology and Science?
Chemists use the computer technology behind todayís video games to rapidly calculate the structure of molecules
Released  July 15, 2009
Smog over San Jose, California Every Breath You Take
Scientists search for an understanding of the air-water interface and its effect on air quality
Released  July 13, 2009
Photo showing Caroline Moore at work in her home observatory New Supernova Is Discovered by Young Citizen Scientist
Caroline Moore's discovery has made experts question how stars die
Released  July 9, 2009

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