Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category: Page 366

Jun 3, 2016

Viewpoint: Taming Ultracold Molecules

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Riding the coattails of cold atomic physics, researchers have demonstrated the ability to steer cold molecules into desired quantum states.

Ultracold atoms have become a favorite tool in physics because they can be precisely placed in a quantum state using optical and magnetic fields. This quantum control has been crucial for understanding fundamental quantum-mechanical behavior and for creating metrological devices such as the atomic clocks that keep time for GPS systems. Current efforts are devoted to using these controllable systems to simulate, for example, superconductivity, but this and other future applications will likely require that the particles within the system interact with each other. Ultracold atoms do not interact very strongly, so an obvious alternative is to turn to molecules. As opposed to atoms, molecules can have an electric dipole, which lets them naturally interact strongly with each other through dipole forces. But molecules are not a straight substitute for atoms. They are much more complicated and thus significantly harder to cool and control than atoms.

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Jun 3, 2016

“Quantum Entanglement in Space” –A New Global Satellite-Based Quantum Network

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

“We are reaching the limits of how precisely we can test quantum theory on Earth,” says Daniel Oi at the University of Strathclyde. Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Strathclyde, UK, have become the first to test in orbit technology for satellite-based quantum network nodes. With a network that carries information in the quantum properties of single particles, you can create secure keys for secret messaging and potentially connect powerful quantum computers in the future. But scientists think you will need equipment in space to get global reach.

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Jun 2, 2016

Quantum satellite device tests technology for global quantum network

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

Another reliable article on the Quantum Internet work.

You can’t sign up for the quantum internet just yet, but researchers have reported a major experimental milestone towards building a global quantum network — and it’s happening in space.

With a network that carries information in the properties of single particles, you can create secure keys for secret messaging and potentially connect powerful quantum computers in the future. But scientists think you will need equipment in space to get global reach.

Continue reading “Quantum satellite device tests technology for global quantum network” »

Jun 1, 2016

Solid-state physics: Probing the geometry of energy bands

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

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) have devised a new interferometer to probe the geometry of band structures.

The geometry and topology of electronic states in solids play a central role in a wide range of modern condensed-matter systems, including graphene and topological insulators. However, experimentally accessing this information has proven to be challenging, especially when the bands are not well isolated from one another. As reported by Tracy Li et al. in last week’s issue of Science (Science, May 27, 2016, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5812), an international team of researchers led by Professor Immanuel Bloch and Dr. Ulrich Schneider at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has devised a straightforward method with which to probe band geometry using ultracold atoms in an optical lattice. Their method, which combines the controlled transport of atoms through the energy bands with atom interferometry, is an important step in the endeavor to investigate geometric and topological phenomena in synthetic band structures.

A wide array of fundamental issues in condensed-matter physics, such as why some materials are insulators while others are metals, can be understood simply by examining the energies of the material’s constituent electrons. Indeed, band theory, which describes these electron energies, was one of the earliest triumphs of quantum mechanics, and has driven many of the technological advances of our time, from the computer chips in our laptops to the liquid-crystal displays on our smartphones. We now know, however, that traditional band theory is incomplete.

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Jun 1, 2016

Scientists Just Used Sound Waves to Make Gauntlets of Levitation

Posted by in categories: innovation, particle physics

Researchers from the University of Bristol have used acoustics to make gauntlets that are able to levitate particles.

It seems that Earth is closer to Timelord technology than ever—particularly after a team of researchers from the University of Bristol in England unveiled their latest invention: the GauntLev.

The GauntLev functions similar to Doctor Who’s infamous sonic screwdriver. Well, almost. Timelord sonic screwdrivers can pick locks and disarm weapons, scan matter, and do a bunch of other cool stuff. Earthling sonic screwdrivers can levitate objects using sound waves.

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Jun 1, 2016

Graphene That Behaves Like Water Can Pave Way For Chips That Can Model Black Hole, Supernova Behaviors

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, particle physics

Researchers used high-purity graphene and observed for the first time that its charged particles behave like fluid with relativistic properties. This discovery holds promise for thermoelectric devices as well as for studying the behavior of black holes and celestial bodies.

( Peter Allen/Harvard SEAS )

Electrons in graphene appear for the first time to behave like a liquid, potentially leading to devices that can efficiently convert heat to electricity and chips that can precisely model the behavior of black holes and high-energy celestial objects.

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May 30, 2016

Engineering nanodevices to store information the quantum way

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

Wonderful! We’re well on our way of making QC more available on many devices in the near future.

Creating quantum computers which some people believe will be the next generation of computers, with the ability to outperform machines based on conventional technology—depends upon harnessing the principles of quantum mechanics, or the physics that governs the behavior of particles at the subatomic scale. Entanglement—a concept that Albert Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance”—is integral to quantum computing, as it allows two physically separated particles to store and exchange information.

Stevan Nadj-Perge, assistant professor of and , is interested in creating a device that could harness the power of entangled particles within a usable technology. However, one barrier to the development of quantum computing is decoherence, or the tendency of outside noise to destroy the quantum properties of a quantum computing device and ruin its ability to store information.

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May 29, 2016

Understanding A 10 Dimensional Universe

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

When someone mentions “different dimensions,” we tend to think of things like parallel universes — alternate realities that exist parallel to our own, but where things work or happened differently. However, the reality of dimensions and how they play a role in the ordering of our Universe is really quite different from this popular characterization.

To break it down, dimensions are simply the different facets of what we perceive to be reality. We are immediately aware of the three dimensions that surround us on a daily basis – those that define the length, width, and depth of all objects in our universes (the x, y, and z axes, respectively).

Beyond these three visible dimensions, scientists believe that there may be many more. In fact, the theoretical framework of Superstring Theory posits that the universe exists in ten different dimensions. These different aspects are what govern the universe, the fundamental forces of nature, and all the elementary particles contained within.

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May 27, 2016

Dark Matter + Black Hole = Wormhole?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

According to a paper posted to the arXiv pre-print server last week, the difference between an everyday supermassive black hole and a space-time tunneling wormhole may be a lacing of dark matter. While it sounds like crank fodder of the sort that not infrequently winds up on arXiv, the idea may hold actual water.

The theory pertains to one particular proposed form of dark matter known as axionic dark matter. Axions, a hypothesized fundamental particle of matter relating to the strong nuclear force, aren’t the only proposed candidate for dark matter, but as searches for WIMPs (weakly-interacting massive particles)—far and away the favored proposed particle comprising dark matter—come up empty, axionic dark matter has become a more and more plausible scenario. As theorized, dark matter axions would permeate the universe as an energetic condensate, interacting only very weakly via the electromagnetic force and existing as a kind of ghostly cosmic foam.

Crucially, while individual axions would be very light, they would together make up enough mass to account for the dark matter halos that form the gravitational scaffolding of galaxies. Axions are currently being hunted for via experiments involving giant Earth-based mirrors.

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May 27, 2016

Light Can ‘heal’ Defects in New Solar Cell Materials

Posted by in categories: electronics, nanotechnology, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

A family of compounds known as perovskites, which can be made into thin films with many promising electronic and optical properties, has been a hot research topic in recent years. But although these materials could potentially be highly useful in applications such as solar cells, some limitations still hamper their efficiency and consistency.

Now, a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere say they have made significant inroads toward understanding a process for improving perovskites’ performance, by modifying the material using intense light. The new findings are being reported in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper by Samuel Stranks, a researcher at MIT; Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology and associate dean for innovation; and eight colleagues at other institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. The work is part of a major research effort on perovskite materials being led by Stranks, within MIT’s Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory.

Tiny defects in perovskite’s crystalline structure can hamper the conversion of light into electricity in a solar cell, but “what we’re finding is that there are some defects that can be healed under light,” says Stranks, who is a Marie Curie Fellow jointly at MIT and Cambridge University in the U.K. The tiny defects, called traps, can cause electrons to recombine with atoms before the electrons can reach a place in the crystal where their motion can be harnessed.

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