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    Predicting new superalloys

    Superalloys are high-performance materials that are essential to key transportation and power generation technologies. By using BYU's supercomputer as a virtual lab, together with state-of-the-art algorithms for modeling materials, the Materials Simulation Group (msg.byu.edu) has identified 75 new superalloy candidates for which there are no reported phase diagrams. The new candidates may be the key to enhanced performance in transportation and power generation components. The figure shows the formation enthalpy and relative stability (to other phases) of more than 2000 Ni/Co/Fe-based systems. The Co- and Fe-based systems have been offset to the right for clarity. Any system landing in the dashed boxes is more promising than the new Co-Al-W system that was discovered in 2006 (Sato et al, Science).

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    Physics graduate earns a Grammy

    BYU’s very first physics graduate, known to many as the “Father of Stereophonic Sound,” is being recognized by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at this year’s Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy selected Dr. Harvey Fletcher to win a posthumous Technical Grammy Award for his work with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, producing more than a hundred of the world’s first stereophonic recordings.

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    Orion at West Mountain

    This picture shows the familiar winter constellation of Orion setting in the west as it moves behind the main dome at the BYU West Mountain Observatory. The constellation of Orion is filled with giant molecular clouds and current star forming regions. Even in this short exposure, the Orion nebula is clearly visible in the sword of Orion. This picture was taken by Professor Michael Joner while working at the observatory on a clear spring night.

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    Modulated Crystal Structures

    Wave-like modulations with non-lattice periodicities accompany a variety of important physical phenomena (e.g. magnetism and superconductivity) and dramatically complicate any quantitative crystal-structure analysis. An exhaustive group-theoretical enumeration of the order parameters that can arise from 1D incommensurate modulations now make it much easier to characterize crystals that behave this way. Figure: Short-range modulation in La1.8Sr2.2Mn2O7.

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    Megapixel X-ray Camera

    In this image of from BYU's x-ray diffraction facility, x-rays arriving from the left scatter in all directions from a tiny crystal at the center, and are then imaged by a 16-megapixel x-ray camera. The often beautiful scattering patterns that result contain a wealth of information about the atomic structure of the sample. The speed and sensitivity of state-of-the-art instruments like this have revolutionized the study of crystalline materials.

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Recently Published Research

Karine Chesnel, Alex Safsten, and Matthew Rytting et al. recently published an article titled "Shaping nanoscale magnetic domain memory in exchange-coupled ferromagnets by field cooling" in Nature Communications. Click on the image above to read it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Gigantic Jet Lightning over China : That's no meteor. While watching and photographing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower, something unexpected happened: a gigantic jet erupted from a nearby cloud. The whole thing was over in a flash -- it lasted less than a second -- but was fortunately captured by an already-recording digital camera....

This photograph and Description come from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.

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