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Researchers capture rarely heard narwhal vocalizations

With the help of Inuit hunters, geophysicists recently recorded the various calls, buzzes, clicks and whistles of narwhals as they summered in a Greenland fjord. The recordings help scientists better understand the soundscape of Arctic glacial fjords and provide valuable insight into the behavior of these shy and mysterious creatures, according to the researchers.

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Study unveils details of how a widely used catalyst splits water

A crystalline compound called ruthenium dioxide is widely used in industrial processes, where it’s particularly important for catalyzing a chemical reaction that splits molecules of water and releases oxygen. But the exact mechanism that takes place on this material’s surface, and how that reaction is affected by the orientation of the crystal surfaces, had never been determined in detail. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and several other institutions has for the first time been able to directly study the process at an atomic level.

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Long-term data show hurricanes are getting stronger

In almost every region of the world where hurricanes form, their maximum sustained winds are getting stronger. That is according to a new study by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Center for Environmental Information and University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, who analyzed nearly 40 years of hurricane satellite imagery.

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Observing the path less traveled boosts quantum gain

When probing the subtle effects of quantum mechanics, all the parameters in the system and its measurements need to be finely tuned to observe the result you are hoping for. So what happens when you gear everything towards detecting what you least expect? Researchers at MIT, Purdue University and IonQ in the U.S. took just this approach and found they could amplify quantum signals by a factor of 30 while conditionally changing the relative phase of a photon from π/80 to π/2. The results could provide the missing link that nudges a number of quantum network technologies closer to practical use.

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