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Matter & Energy

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When plants make food, they absorb energy from light. Excitons move that energy to places in plants where it can be stored in its chemical form. Observing excitons in motion may help scientists better understand the process of photosynthesis.

DRINK UP  Astronauts drink water made from recycled urine and other wastewater aboard the International Space Station. A new system would turn pee into drinking water and produce energy, a step toward long-term space travel.

still from the movie "Sneakers"

The star-studded 1992 thriller Sneakers foretold a world in which a computer could decode all the computerized classified data in the world. Two years after the movie came out, mathematician Peter Shor figured out the math that makes cryptography vulnerable to quantum computers.

  • Physics

    
    Science Ticker

    Meet Big Bird, highest-energy neutrino ever detected

    Big Bird, the neutrino, struck the Antarctic ice with a record 2 million billion electron volts of energy.

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  • Chemistry

    
    Gory Details

    How urine will get us to Mars

    A new recycling system turns pee into drinking water and energy, a small step toward really long-term space travel.

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    Gory Details

    This is what happens when you pee in the pool

    Swimming pools are basically chemical toilets, but here’s why I’ll keep swimming.

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  • Materials

    
    Science Ticker

    Oyster shells could inspire improved armor

    Making tiny indentations in windowpane oyster shells has revealed some processes that could inspire better armor.

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  • Quantum Physics

    
    Science Ticker

    Excitons' motions captured in images

    Scientists have observed how quasiparticles called excitons move.

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    Context

    Robert Redford film foretold Shor’s quantum computing bombshell

    Twenty years ago, Peter Shor showed how quantum computers could break secret codes, turning the movie Sneakers from fiction to fact.

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  • Condensed Matter

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