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Gizmorama - December 5, 2016

Good Morning,

Scientists are combining light and water to create a laser. Just don't put them on a shark's head because then there would be no stopping them. I'm kidding, but not about the laser thing.

Learn about this and more interesting stories from the scientific community in today's issue.

Until Next Time,

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*-- Scientists unveil first 'water-wave laser' --*

HAIFA, Israel - Scientists in Israel have developed the world's first "water-wave laser," proof light and water waves can combine to generate laser radiation.

Laser radiation is produced when electrons in atoms are excited by an external source, in this case, a combination of frequencies from light and water oscillations.

Until now, scientists thought the frequency difference between water waves and light waves would diminish the energy transfer necessary to generate laser emissions. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology skirted the drawback using an optical fiber to deliver high-frequency light waves through a tiny droplet of octane and water.

The light and water waves intersect more than a million times inside the droplet, producing the energy necessary to trigger a water-wave laser.

Ultimately, the technology could be used to create tiny sensors for the study of cell biology or to test new drugs. For now, scientists can use the laser to study light-fluid interactions at nanoscale.

Researchers described the new laser technology in the journal Nature Photonics.

*-- With new polymer, you can carry hydrogen in your pocket --*

TOKYO - Want to carry hydrogen in your pocket? The latest invention out of Waseda University makes it possible.

A team of researchers in Japan have developed a thin, flexible polymer sheet that safely and efficiently absorbs and stores hydrogen. Even when saturated with hydrogen, the polymer is safe to touch.

Few people need to carry hydrogen in their pocket, but with the gas promising to replace more harmful fossil fuels, new and improved hydrogen storage technologies are much needed.

The latest invention allows the capture of hydrogen molecules using electrolytic hydrogenation in room-temperature water. An aqueous iridium catalyst triggers the thin polymer to release the hydrogen at a temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. Tests prove the polymer sheet can absorb and release hydrogen for several cycles without significant deterioration.

Previously developed hydrogenation technologies require high pressure and temperature for successful absorption and storage, creating safety issues. The ketone, or fluorenone, polymer avoids issues of flammability and explosiveness.

"The easy handling and moldable polymers could suggest a pocketable hydrogen carrier," researchers wrote in their new paper on the discovery -- published this week in the journal Nature.


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