Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, Materials

Browse the following groundbreaking articles nominated by our Editors-in-Chief and read why they believe they could help change the world.

Enjoy free access until the end of July, 2017. Open access articles are freely available online on a permanent basis.

Powerful physics

Harnessing the energy produced in nuclear fusion reactions is an ongoing grand challenge. This article explains the importance of succeeding.


Analysis of nanoparticle delivery to tumours

A call to the nanomedicine community to re-consider the question: How many nanoparticles accumulate in a tumor?


In ovo sexing of chicken eggs by fluorescence spectroscopy

This article presents a more precise, ethical method to determine the sex of baby chickens, which could be inexpensively developed to predict the sex long before they hatch - and prevent the annual culling of seven billion day-old cockerels worldwide.


Wave energy: Nostalgic Ramblings, future hopes and heretical suggestions

Wave energy conversion is one of the most promising areas that could wean us off fossil fuel use in the years to come, helping to lower the carbon emissions that lead to further global warming. This review elegantly summarizes current and potential future developments in wave energy conversion.


Novel Imaging Radar Technology for Detection of Landmines and Other Unexploded Ordnance

Detecting landmines is extremely dangerous work. This paper describes an innovative radar-based approach that is both less time-consuming and considerably safer.


Smart manufacturing: Past research, present findings, and future directions

A must-read paper, helping to understand and predict the future of Smart Manufacturing, a new paradigm in the manufacturing industry.


Synthesis and characterization of substituted garnet and perovskite-based lithium-ion conducting solid electrolytes

A must-read article on how to improve the safety, energy density, lifetime and cost of present lithium-ion batteries with the help of solid electrolytes.


The Development and Use of Tools to Support Workplace Hand-Arm Vibration Exposure Evaluation

Evaluates hand-arm vibration exposure using simple tools drawn from years of gathering real-world measurements and a table of typical vibration magnitudes. Enables employers to move from exposure estimation to actively reducing risk as quickly as possible.


Instruments to assess and measure personal and environmental radiofrequency-electromagnetic field exposures

This review discusses and compares currently available RF-EMF exposure assessment instruments, which can be used in human epidemiological studies. Quantitative assessment instruments are either mobile-phone-based (apps/software-modified and hardware-modified) or exposimeters; each has its benefits and limitations.


Long-Term Intruding Effects of Acid Rain on Engineering Properties of Primary and Secondary Kaolinite Clays

Acid rain as a pollutant can alter soil chemistry and produce changes in the engineering behavior of soil, thereby affecting design considerations for soil structures.


Using motion capture to study human standing accessibility: comparison between physical experiment, static model and virtual ergonomic evaluations

This paper shows how important it is to consider future human-product interaction during the engineering and design phase of a new product. The proposed methodology allows designers to better evaluate new products during the earliest stage of the design process.


Natural pH Gradients in Hydrothermal Alkali Vents Were Unlikely to Have Played a Role in the Origin of Life

This review article critically examines one of the key problems in understanding the origins of life on Earth: where did the energy for life's beginnings come from? The paper sharply critiques the inorganic chemiosmotic hypothesis, which proposes that chemical concentration gradients in deep-sea hydrothermal vents could have provided the driving force for abiogenesis. The conclusions of the paper are striking, and are certain to generate a heated debate in the origins field.


Review of stereo vision algorithms and their suitability for resource-limited systems

The world is 3-dimensional, full of vibrant colors and in motion: stereo vision provides contemporary solutions in real-time, even for systems with limited resources.


Measurement of thermal conductivity of ZnO–TiO2/EG hybrid nanofluid

A hot article on hybrid nanofluids, presenting a new correlation for accurately predicting their thermal conductivity.


Operando DRIFT Spectroscopy Characterization of Intermediate Species on Catalysts Surface in VOC Removal from Air by Non-thermal Plasma Assisted Catalysis

Innovative real-time and in-situ measurements of surface chemistry show how a plasma combines with a catalyst to decompose pollutants.


Requirements for the appearance and basic design parameters of a micro-rocket system meant for launching nano-, pico, and femtoscale spacecraft

This article explores a new generation of spacecraft based on the most advanced technologies with application to all areas of human activity.


Simulation of gait asymmetry and energy transfer efficiency between unilateral and bilateral amputees

Offers sports science and engineering researchers an essential guide to simulating gait asymmetry and energy transfer efficiency between unilateral and bilateral amputees.


Structural similarities and diversity in a series of crystalline solids composed of 2-aminopyridines and glutaric acid

Presents structural information on substances related to potential safe candidates for food and medical products.


Electroencephalography as implicit communication channel for proximal interaction between humans and robot swarms

Showcases the first steps towards brain-controlled robot swarms.


Two 1D coordination polymers constructed from 3,3′,4,4′-biphenyltetracarboxylic acid and 4,4′-bipyridine: hydrothermal syntheses and photocatalytic performance

Metal-containing polymers offer new possibilities for cleaning up industrial pollution.


The dynamical structure of the MEO region: long-term stability, chaos, and transport

A fundamental contribution to understanding the background of complex resonances and chaotic motion in the space occupied by the orbits of Global Navigation Satellites.


Fabrication, characterization and photoelectrochemical performance of chromium-sensitized titania nanotubes as efficient photoanodes for solar water splitting

This article examines the synthesis and fabrication of Cr-sensitized TiO2 nanotubes as efficient photoanodes for solar water splitting, which generates hydrogen fuel.


Black Hole and Hawking Radiation by Type-II Weyl Fermions

This paper applies selected ideas from cosmology to condensed matter physics. The type-II Weyl and type-II Dirac fermions may emerge behind the event horizon of black holes. Correspondingly, the black hole can be simulated by recreating this region using overtilted Weyl or Dirac cones.


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