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Molecules/Matter & Energy

Finding materials harder than diamond, plus spintronic devices, wrinkle physics and more in this week's news

9:36am, May 22, 2011
Spin-device doctors
Devices that use the spin property of electrons to store and process information are one step closer to reality, thanks to a new MRI technique with a resolution tens of thousands of times better than an MRI brain scan. Researchers at Harvard University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics can now watch many electrons spin at the same time — and change the spin of a single electron without disturbing its neighbor. The device was tested on a piece of diamond but could be used to monitor many different kinds of materials, as reported in Nature Physics on May 15. —Devin Powell

Wrinklons, a new species of wrinkle
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