Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Sep 11, 2017

If Atoms Are Mostly Empty Space, Why Do Objects Look And Feel Solid?

Posted by in category: particle physics

Chemist John Dalton proposed the theory that all matter and objects are made up of particles called atoms, and this is still accepted by the scientific community, almost two centuries later. Each of these atoms is each made up of an incredibly small nucleus and even smaller electrons, which move around at quite a distance from the centre. If you imagine a table that is a billion times larger, its atoms would be the size of melons. But even so, the nucleus at the centre would still be far too small to see and so would the electrons as they dance around it. So why don’t our fingers just pass through atoms, and why doesn’t light get through the gaps?

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Sep 10, 2017

Coolest science ever headed to the space station

Posted by in categories: particle physics, science

Robotic system will take ultracold atoms and matter wave experiments to new heights.

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Sep 9, 2017

This Quantum Theory Says Time Can Flow Backwards

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum physics throws all the rules of classical physics out the window. In the quantum world, particles can pass through solid walls, be in two places at once, and communicate over an infinite distance. And, if a handful of physicists are right, they can affect the past just as easily as they affect the future. That’s a theory known as quantum retrocausality, and researchers have good reasons to believe it’s true.

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Sep 8, 2017

High-speed quantum memory for photons

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

Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a memory that can store photons. These quantum particles travel at the speed of light and are thus suitable for high-speed data transfer. The researchers were able to store them in an atomic vapor and read them out again later without altering their quantum mechanical properties too much. This memory technology is simple and fast and it could find application in a future quantum Internet. The journal Physical Review Letters has published the results.

Even today, fast in telecommunication networks employs short light pulses. Ultra broadband technology uses optical fiber links through which information can be transferred at the speed of light. At the receiver’s end, the transmitted information has to be stored quickly and without errors so that it can be processed further electronically on computers. To avoid transmission errors, each bit of information is encoded in relatively strong light pulses that each contain at least several hundreds of photons.

For several years, researchers all over the world have been working on operating such networks with single photons. Encoding one bit per is not only very efficient, but it also allows for a radically new form of information processing based on the laws of physics. These laws allow a single photon to encode not only the states 0 or 1 of a classic bit, but also to encode a superposition of both states at the same time. Such quantum bits are the basis for that could make unconditionally secure communication and super fast quantum computers possible in the future. The ability to store and retrieve single photons from a quantum memory is a key element for these technologies, which is intensively investigated.

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Sep 8, 2017

How to Store Data on Magnets the Size of a Single Atom

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Research and development is focused on developing new means of data storage that are more dense and so can store greater amounts of data, and do so in a more energy efficient way. Sometimes this involves updating established techniques: recently IBM announced a new magnetic tape technology that can store 25 gigabytes per square inch, a new world record for the 60-year-old technology. While current magnetic or solid-state consumer hard drives are more dense at around 200 gigabytes per square inch, magnetic tapes are still frequently used for data back-up.

However, the cutting edge of data storage research is working at the level of individual atoms and molecules, representing the ultimate limit of technological miniaturization.

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Sep 7, 2017

This New Proof of Majorana Fermions Is Going to Be Massive For Quantum Devices

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

Quantum computers based on the twisting pathways of moving particles have so far lived only in theory – the particles they would rely on might not even exist.

But with the exciting discovery of electrons ‘swirling’ down a wire, the hunt is over for exactly the particles such quantum devices have been waiting for. Now the work of turning these theoretical computers into reality could soon be underway.

Researchers from the University of Sydney and Microsoft have observed electrons forming a kind of matter called a quasiparticle under conditions that saw them behave as theoretical objects called Majorana fermions.

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Sep 6, 2017

Australia researchers say find new way to build quantum computers

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

SINGAPORE (Reuters) — Researchers in Australia have found a new way to build quantum computers which they say would make them dramatically easier and cheaper to produce at scale.

Quantum computers promise to harness the strange ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at a time to solve problems that are too complex or time-consuming for existing computers.

Google, IBM and other technology companies are all developing quantum computers, using a range of approaches.

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Sep 5, 2017

Particle physicists on a quest for ‘new physics’

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Using scintillating fiber to detect particles

After five years of work, EPFL’s physicists, together with some 800 international researchers involved in the LHCb project, have just taken an important preliminary step towards significantly enhancing their experimental equipment. They have decided to build a new detector — a scintillating fiber tracker dubbed SciFi.

Construction of the tracker, which incorporates 10,000 kilometers of scintillating fibers each with a diameter of 0.25mm, has already begun. When particles travel through them, the fibers will give off light signals that will be picked up by light-amplifying diodes. The scintillating fibers will be arranged in three panels measuring five by six meters, installed behind a magnet, where the particles exit the LHC accelerator collision point. The particles will pass through several of these fiber ‘mats’ and deposit part of their energy along the way, producing some photons of light that will then be turned into an electric signal.

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Sep 2, 2017

We’re About to Cross The ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Limit in Computing

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

The 4th International Conference on Quantum Technologies held in Moscow last month was supposed to put the spotlight on Google, who were preparing to give a lecture on a 49-qubit quantum computer they have in the works.

A morning talk presented by Harvard University’s Mikhail Lukin, however, upstaged that evening’s event with a small announcement of his own – his team of American and Russian researchers had successfully tested a 51-qubit device, setting a landmark in the race for quantum supremacy.

Quantum computers are considered to be part of the next generation in revolutionary technology; devices that make use of the odd ‘in-between’ states of quantum particles to accelerate the processing power of digital machines.

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Aug 26, 2017

Scientists Finally Prove Strange Quantum Physics Idea Einstein Hated

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics, space

The equations of physics are things that we humans created to understand the Universe, and it can be hard to disentangle them from the Universe’s innate properties. It turns out that one of the weirdest things scientists have come up with, what Albert Einstein derisively called “spooky action at a distance,” is more than just math: It’s a fact of reality.

That concept is also known as entanglement, and it’s what allows particles that have once interacted to share a connection regardless of the separation between them. A team of physicists in the United Kingdom used some dense mathematics to come to their Einstein-angering conclusion, taking an important step towards proving whether quantum mechanics’ weirdness is just the math talking, or whether it speaks to innate physical requirements. Their mathematical proof’s main assumption is that any new physics theory should be backward-compatible with the physics you learned in high school.

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