Best of Last Week – Water on Mars, drunk kicking a robot and a drug to sharpen memory

(—It was a good week for physics as a team at Hokkaido University in Japan reported the first observation made of quantum-tunneling diffusion of hydrogen atoms on ice—as opposed to thermal hopping. Also, another team at the Georgia Institute of Technology announced the first optical rectenna—a combined rectifier and antenna that converts light to DC current. The team used nanometer-scale components such as multiwall carbon nanotubes and extremely small rectifiers to create the device. Meanwhile, another team with members from the University of Californian and Rice University announced that they had come up with a new flat transistor that defied a theoretical limit—a field effect transistor that relies on quantum tunneling, making it possible to create ever smaller transistors without upping charge requirements. —> Read More