Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Feb 22, 2018

We Just Measured The World’s Heaviest Atom, And It’s Even Weirder Than Expected

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Oganesson (Og) is the heaviest chemical element in the periodic table, but its properties have proved difficult to measure since it was first synthesised in 2002.

Now an advanced computer simulation has filled in some of the gaps, and it turns out the element is even weirder than many expected.

At the atomic level, oganesson behaves remarkably differently to lighter elements in several key ways – and that could provide some fundamental insights into the basics of how these superheavy elements work.

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Feb 21, 2018

Scientists Will Transport Antimatter in a Truck

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

The antimatter of science fiction vastly differs from the real-life antimatter of particle physics. The former powers spaceships or bombs, while the latter is just another particle that physicists study, one that happens to be the mirror image with the opposite charge of the more familiar particles.

Normally, scientists produce antimatter in the lab, where it stays put in an experimental apparatus for further study. But now, researchers are planning on transporting it for the first time from one lab to another in a truck for research. Elizabeth Gibney reports for Nature:

In a project that began last month, researchers will transport antimatter by truck and then use it to study the strange behaviour of rare radioactive nuclei. The work aims to provide a better understanding of fundamental processes inside atomic nuclei and to help astrophysicists to learn about the interiors of neutron stars, which contain the densest form of matter in the Universe.

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Feb 17, 2018

Physicists develop faster way to make Bose-Einstein condensates

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

The world of an atom is one of random chaos and heat. At room temperatures, a cloud of atoms is a frenzied mess, with atoms zipping past each other and colliding, constantly changing their direction and speed.

Such random motions can be slowed, and even stopped entirely, by drastically the atoms. At a hair above absolute zero, previously frenetic atoms morph into an almost zombie-like state, moving as one wave-like formation, in a quantum form of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Since the first Bose-Einstein condensates were successfully produced in 1995 by researchers in Colorado and by Wolfgang Ketterle and colleagues at MIT, scientists have been observing their strange quantum properties in order to gain insight into a number of phenomena, including magnetism and superconductivity. But cooling atoms into condensates is slow and inefficient, and more than 99 percent of the atoms in the original cloud are lost in the process.

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Feb 16, 2018

Researchers create first superatomic 2-D semiconductor

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

(Left) Superatomic structure and (right) exfoliated 15-nm-thick flakes of the material Re6Se8Cl2. Credit: Zhong et al. ©2018 American Chemical Society Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter—at least, that is the conventional picture. In a new study, researchers have fabricated the first superatomic 2-D semiconductor, a material whose basic units aren’t atoms but superatoms—atomic clusters that exhibit some of the properties of one or more individual atoms. The researchers expect that the new material is just the first member of what will become a new family of 2-D semiconductors…

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Feb 16, 2018

A Scientific Search For A Ghost (Particle)

Posted by in category: particle physics

Scientists put a lot of effort into uncovering the history of these tiny bits of matter, in the hopes that it will tell us something about the universe, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.

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Feb 15, 2018

New form of light: Newly observed optical state could enable quantum computing with photons

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

Try a quick experiment: Take two flashlights into a dark room and shine them so that their light beams cross. Notice anything peculiar? The rather anticlimactic answer is, probably not. That’s because the individual photons that make up light do not interact. Instead, they simply pass each other by, like indifferent spirits in the night.

But what if could be made to interact, attracting and repelling each other like atoms in ordinary matter? One tantalizing, albeit sci-fi possibility: sabers — beams of light that can pull and push on each other, making for dazzling, epic confrontations. Or, in a more likely scenario, two beams of light could meet and merge into one single, luminous stream.

It may seem like such optical behavior would require bending the rules of physics, but in fact, scientists at MIT, Harvard University, and elsewhere have now demonstrated that photons can indeed be made to interact — an accomplishment that could open a path toward using photons in quantum computing, if not in lightsabers.

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Feb 14, 2018

Quantum computers ‘one step closer’

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

Quantum computing has taken a step forward with the development of a programmable quantum processor made with silicon.

The team used microwave energy to align two electron particles suspended in silicon, then used them to perform a set of test calculations.

By using silicon, the scientists hope that quantum computers will be more easy to control and manufacture.

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Feb 14, 2018

Super Sensitive Sensor Sees What You Can’t

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Engineers at Dartmouth College have developed a computer chip that can detect a single particle of light. Cameras with the chip would have visual abilities even a superhero would envy.

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Feb 13, 2018

Picture of Single Trapped Atom Wins UK Science Photography Prize

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, science

Zoom in close on the center of the picture above, and you can spot something you perhaps never thought you’d be able to see: a single atom. Here is a close-up if, you’re having trouble:

This strontium atom is emitting light after being excited by a laser, and it’s the winner of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) photography award. The EPSRC announced the winners of its fifth annual contest yesterday. Winning photographer David Nadlinger, graduate student at the University of Oxford, was just excited to be able to show off his research.

“It’s exciting to find a picture that resonates with other people that shows what I spend my days and nights working on,” Nadlinger told me. The best part, to him, was “the opportunity to excite people about my research, more than winning a competition.”

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Feb 12, 2018

First high-precision measurement of the mass of the W boson at the LHC

Posted by in category: particle physics

Display of a candidate event for a W boson decaying into one muon and one neutrino from proton-proton collisions recorded by ATLAS with LHC stable beams at a collision energy of 7 TeV. (Image: CERN In a paper published today in the European Physical Journal C, the ATLAS Collaboration reports the first high-precision measurement at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the mass of the W boson. This is one of two elementary particles that mediate the weak interaction – one of the forces that govern the behaviour of matter in our universe. The reported result gives a value of 80370±19 MeV for th…

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