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Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Jan 22, 2017

Scientists unleash graphene’s innate superconductivity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, particle physics

Already renowned for its potential to revolutionize everything from light bulbs and dental fillings through to semiconductors and motorcycle helmets, graphene can now add innate superconductivity to its repertoire. Scientists at the University of Cambridge claim to have discovered a method to trigger the superconducting properties of graphene without actually altering its chemical structure.

Light, flexible, and super-strong, the single layer of carbon atoms that makes up graphene has only been rendered superconductive previously by doping it with impurities, or by affixing it to other superconducting materials, both of which may undermine some of its other unique properties.

However, in the latest research conducted at the University of Cambridge, scientists claim to have found a way to activate superconduction in graphene by coupling it with a material known as praseodymium cerium copper oxide (Pr2− xCe xCuO4) or PCCO. PCCO is from a wider class of superconducting materials known as cuprates (derived from the Latin word for copper), known for their use in high-temperature superconductivity.

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Jan 21, 2017

Physicists may have just manipulated ‘pure nothingness’

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

It’s one of those philosophical questions we occasionally ponder: What is nothing? Can nothing be something? If not, then how can something come from nothing?

If there’s one scientific field on the forefront of such conceptual paradoxes, it’s quantum theory. And in quantum theory, nothing actually is something … sort of.

See, according to quantum mechanics, even an empty vacuum is not really empty. It’s filled with strange virtual particles that blink in and out of existence in timespans too short to observe. Nothingness, on the quantum level, exists on a level of intuitive absurdity; a kind of existence that is paradoxical but, in some conceptual sense, necessary.

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Jan 19, 2017

Smart Dust – The Future of Involuntary Treatment of the Public

Posted by in categories: computing, military, particle physics

Smart dust; himm I see many uses for this some good and some truly bad when in the wrong hands.


Pedro Aquila, Staff Writer Waking Times

Smart dust is a name given to extremely small computing particles, RFID chips, or other very small technologies.

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Jan 19, 2017

The PBR Theorem explained

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

The PBR theorem is another theorem of quantum mechanics, which could go alongside Bell’s Theorem and the Kochen-Specker Theorem. I wrote this explanation in 2011, before the paper was officially published in Nature. Since then, it’s been recognized as a moderately important theorem, and it has been named after its three authors (Pusey, Barrett, and Rudolph). But at the time I didn’t really know whether it would become important.

There’s a new paper on arxiv called “The quantum state cannot be interpreted statistically “. It has a theorem which proves that, given a few basic assumptions, the quantum state (ie the wavefunction) must be real, rather than a merely statistical object. Nature has an article which mostly just harps on how “seismic” the paper is.

Nature (correction: the article’s author, not Nature itself) compares its importance to Bell’s Theorem, which is a very important result indeed from 1964. Bell’s theorem proved that if there were “hidden variables” underneath the quantum state, then entangled particles must be communicating with each other faster than light. I’ve explained Bell’s theorem in the past.

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Jan 19, 2017

Physicists Say They’ve Manipulated ‘Pure Nothingness’ and Observed the Fallout

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

According to quantum mechanics, a vacuum isn’t empty at all. It’s actually filled with quantum energy and particles that blink in and out of existence for a fleeting moment — strange signals that are known as quantum fluctuations.

For decades, there had only ever been indirect evidence of these fluctuations, but back in 2015, researchers claimed to have detected the theoretical fluctuations directly. And now the same team says they’ve gone a step further, having manipulated the vacuum itself, and detecting the changes in these strange signals in the void.

We’re entering the territory of high-level physics here, but what’s really important in this experiment is that, if these results are confirmed, the researchers might have just unlocked a way to observe, probe, and test the quantum realm without interfering with it.

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Jan 17, 2017

Scientists have created the coldest object in the Universe

Posted by in category: particle physics

Cool; and at −273.16°C in fact.


Nothing can be chilled below absolute zero, or −273.15°C, because at this temperature all molecular motion stops completely. Per Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle the forces of real particle velocities will always be above zero. It’s a fundamental limit that can’t seem to be broken, and that’s fine, but what bothers scientists, however, are other limits that keep them from cooling things near absolute zero.

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Jan 15, 2017

Now Quantum Computers Can Send Information Using a Single Particle of Light

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Physicists at Princeton University have revealed a device they’ve created that will allow a single electron to transfer its quantum information to a photon. This is a revolutionary breakthrough for the team as it gets them one step closer to producing the ultimate quantum computer. The device is the result of five years worth of research and could accelerate the world of quantum computing no end.

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Jan 15, 2017

A Newly Discovered “Bizarre” Virus is Breaking the Rules of Infection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, particle physics

In Brief A multicomponent virus is divided into a number of different pieces. In this respect, each one is packaged separately into a viral particle. One particle of each type is needed for cell infection. And there’s a new one impacting animals.

A new type of virus has been identified, and it’s so weird, it’s challenging long-held notions of what it takes for a virus to infect and proliferate in an animal host.

Conventional wisdom states that if a single virus manages to insert its genes into a cell, the host becomes infected. But what if you chopped up that virus, and tried stuffing the pieces into an animal cell separately? It wouldn’t work, right?

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Jan 14, 2017

An Ultra-Rare Crystal Is Found in a Meteorite, Revealing a Bizarre Form of Matter

Posted by in categories: military, particle physics

In Brief

  • Just a few micrometers in diameter, this quasicrystal is the third to be found in this particular meteorite, but it differs from the other two in both structure and chemical composition.
  • While many applications have been discovered for synthetic quasicrystals, the rarity of naturally occurring ones has made them difficult to study.

A team led by Luca Bindi, a geologist from the University of Florence, has found an ultra-rare quasicrystal just a few micrometres wide in a meteorite that landed in Russia five years ago. The discovery has been detailed in Scientific Reports.

Two other quasicrystals have already been discovered in this particular meteorite, but the latest is different from its predecessors in both structure and chemical composition. This new quasicrystal is composed of aluminum, copper, and iron atoms structured in an arrangement very similar to the pentagon-based pattern of a soccer ball, a first of its kind in nature.

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Jan 12, 2017

New Cooling Technique Could Aid Development Of Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Nice.


A sophisticated cooling technique — using lasers to cool individual atoms — was demonstrated at the National Institute of Standards in Technology in 1978, and is now used in a wide array of precise applications, such as atomic clocks. Using the same principle, NIST physicists have now “cooled a mechanical object to a temperature lower than previously thought possible,” passing the so-called “quantum limit” which imposes limits on accuracy for quantum scale measurements.

Described in a paper titled “Sideband cooling beyond the quantum backaction limit with squeezed light,” published Thursday in the journal Nature, the technique could theoretically be used to cool objects to absolute zero, when matter exhibits almost no energy or motion.

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