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In Nature

Sandro Scandolo, ICTP staff member in the Condensed Matter Physics Group, has co-authored a paper titled “Amorphous silica-like carbon dioxide” in the 15 June edition of Nature. The paper focuses on a new kind of glass in which silicon atoms have been replaced by carbon atoms. The material, named “carbonia", was created by scientists from LENS (European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy) and INFM in Florence heating solid carbon dioxide at pressures of 500,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure. Scandolo’s theoretical contribution was to provide a microscopic model for the local arrangement of atoms in carbonia. Current collaborative efforts between LENS and ICTP are seeking to stabilize carbonia at ambient conditions, which could lead to the application of carbonia as a ultra-hard glass and as a coating for microelectronic devices.
ICTP Director Katepalli R.Sreenivasan and two scientists from the University of Maryland and Yale University published a brief communication on “Superfluid helium: Visualization of quantized vortices” in the 1 June issue of Nature. The paper describes the behaviour of liquid helium when cooled below its phase transition at 2.172 Kelvin, and the formation of peculiar vortices.


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