Press Releases

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hydrogen responds to pressure and temperature extremes differently. Under ambient conditions hydrogen is a gaseous two-atom molecule. As confinement pressure increases, the molecules adopt different states of matter—like when water ice melts to liquid. Scientists, including Carnegie’s Alexander Goncharov, combined hydrogen with its heavier sibling deuterium and created a novel, disordered, “Phase IV”-material. The molecules interact differently than have been observed before, which could be valuable for controlling superconducting and thermoelectric properties of new hydrogen-bearing materials.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When it comes to cellular architecture, function follows form. Plant cells contain a dynamic cytoskeleton which is responsible for directing cell growth, development, movement, and division. So over time, changes in the cytoskeleton form the shape and behavior of cells and, ultimately, the structure and function of the organism as a whole. New work hones in on how one particular organizational protein influences cytoskeletal and cellular structure in plants, findings that may also have implications for cytoskeletal organization in animals. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Astronomer and photographer Yuri Beletsky captured today's lunar eclipse from Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sean Solomon, director of Carnegie’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism from 1992 until 2012 will receive the nation’s highest scientific award, the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony later this year.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Water was crucial to the rise of life on Earth and is also important to evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Identifying the original source of Earth’s water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments come into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. New work found that much of our Solar System’s water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A team has, for the first time, discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymer fibers. Such exceedingly strong, stiff, and light materials have an array of potential applications, everything from more-fuel efficient vehicles or even the science fictional-sounding proposal for a “space elevator.” 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gallium arsenide, GaAs, a semiconductor composed of gallium and arsenic is well known to have physical properties that promise practical applications. In the form of nanowires and nanoparticles, it has particular potential for use in the manufacture of solar cells and optoelectronics in many of the same applications that silicon is commonly used. But the natural semiconducting ability of GaAs requires some tuning in order to make it more desirable for use in manufacturing these types of products.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New modeling studies demonstrate that most of the stars we see were formed when unstable clusters of newly formed protostars broke up. These protostars are born out of rotating clouds of dust and gas, which act as nurseries for star formation. Rare clusters of multiple protostars remain stable and mature into multi-star systems. The unstable ones will eject stars until they achieve stability and end up as single or binary stars. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie solves a quasar mystery that astronomers have been puzzling over for 20 years. It shows that most observed quasar phenomena can be unified with two simple quantities: one that describes how efficiently the hole is being fed, and the other that reflects the viewing orientation of the astronomer.