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Jul 13, 2024

Structured electrons with chiral mass and charge

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Physicists in Konstanz (Germany) have discovered a way to imprint a previously unseen geometrical form of chirality onto electrons. The electrons are shaped into chiral coils of mass and charge. Such engineered elementary particles may open new research avenues in fundamental physics and electron microscopy.

Have you ever placed the palm of your left hand on the back of your right hand, in such a way that all fingers point in the same direction? If you have, then you probably know that your left thumb will not touch its right counterpart. Neither rotations nor translations nor their combinations can turn a left hand into a right hand and vice versa. This feature is called chirality.

Scientists at the University of Konstanz have now succeeded to imprint such a three-dimensional chirality onto the wave function of a single electron. They used laser light to shape the electron’s matter wave into left-handed or right-handed coils of mass and charge. Such engineered elementary particles with chiral geometries other than their intrinsic spin have implications for fundamental physics but may also be useful for a range of applications, such as quantum optics, particle physics or electron microscopy.

Jul 13, 2024

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Explained | Cosmology 101 Episode 2

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Katie Mack, Perimeter Institute’s Hawking Chair in Cosmology and Science Communication, takes us on journey through time by exploring the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the faint glow from the Big Bang.

The CMB shows us the universe as it was 13.8 billion years ago, revealing secrets about its…

Continue reading “Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Explained | Cosmology 101 Episode 2” »

Jul 13, 2024

Exploring Wormholes in Symmetric Teleparallel Gravity

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Wormholes, a captivating theoretical concept, offer a potential shortcut through space and time—a celestial tunnel connecting distant points through the intricate fabric of space-time. The inception of this idea dates all the way back to 1935 when Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen proposed the concept of a wormhole, also known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge, as a unique solution within the framework of Einstein’s General Relativity(GR). The hypothetical existence of wormholes carries profound implications for space travel, such as the ability to traverse vast cosmic distances in remarkably short durations, and exploring their properties and implications could provide important information about the structure of space-time itself.

Furthermore, being closely linked to other perplexing cosmic phenomena, such as black holes, dark matter, and the enigmatic event known as the Big Bang—the cosmic genesis that set our universe into motion—wormholes have the potential to provide insights into these cosmic puzzles and deepen our understanding of the origin of the universe. Additionally, investigating wormholes could help bridge the gap between GR and quantum mechanics, which is currently one of the most important problems in theoretical physics.

Inspired by this, a team of researchers, led by Dr. P.K. Sahoo in collaboration with Mr. Zinnat Hassan from the Department of Mathematics at the Hyderabad Campus of Birla Institute of Technology (BITS) Pilani, recently delved into the investigation of wormholes. They focused on the modified teleparallel gravity framework with conformal symmetry within the context of non-commutative geometry. The primary objective of their research was to shed light on the specific conditions required for the existence of wormholes within the above framework. “The study of wormholes within the context of f(Q) symmetric teleparallel gravity with conformal symmetry under non-commutative geometry represents a sophisticated and specialized area of research in the field of theoretical physics and cosmology,” says Dr. Sahoo. Their findings were published in volume 437 of the journal Annals of Physics in February 2022.

Jul 13, 2024

Modeling the origins of life: New evidence for an “RNA World”

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

LA JOLLA (March 4, 2024)—Charles Darwin described evolution as “descent with modification.” Genetic information in the form of DNA sequences is copied and passed down from one generation to the next. But this process must also be somewhat flexible, allowing slight variations of genes to arise over time and introduce new traits into the population.

But how did all of this begin? In the origins of life, long before cells and proteins and DNA, could a similar sort of evolution have taken place on a simpler scale? Scientists in the 1960s, including Salk Fellow Leslie Orgel, proposed that life began with the “RNA World,” a hypothetical era in which small, stringy RNA molecules ruled the early Earth and established the dynamics of Darwinian evolution.

New research at the Salk Institute now provides fresh insights on the origins of life, presenting compelling evidence supporting the RNA World hypothesis. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on March 4, 2024, unveils an RNA enzyme that can make accurate copies of other functional RNA strands, while also allowing new variants of the molecule to emerge over time. These remarkable capabilities suggest the earliest forms of evolution may have occurred on a molecular scale in RNA.

Jul 13, 2024

Spontaneous symmetry breaking in polar fluids

Posted by in category: futurism

Spontaneous symmetry breaking and emergent polar order are key to liquid crystal phase behaviour. This study reveals two new polar liquid states with lamellar structures, providing novel insights into electrical analogues of magnetic spin structures.

Jul 13, 2024

Simulating the universe’s most extreme environments

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

The Standard Model of Particle Physics encapsulates nearly everything we know about the tiny quantum-scale particles that make up our everyday world. It is a remarkable achievement, but it’s also incomplete — rife with unanswered questions. To fill the gaps in our knowledge, and discover new laws of physics beyond the Standard Model, we must study the exotic phenomena and states of matter that don’t exist in our everyday world. These include the high-energy collisions of particles and nuclei that take place in the fiery heart of stars, in cosmic ray events occurring all across earth’s upper atmosphere, and in particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN or the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Computer simulations of fundamental physics processes play an essential role in this research, but many important questions require simulations that are much too complex for even the most powerful classical supercomputers. Now that utility-scale quantum computers have demonstrated the ability to simulate quantum systems at a scale beyond exact or “brute force” classical methods, researchers are exploring how these devices might help us run simulations and answer scientific questions that are inaccessible to classical computation. In two recent papers published in PRX Quantum (PRX)1 and Physical Review D (PRD)2, our research group did just that, developing scalable techniques for simulating the real-time dynamics of quantum-scale particles using the IBM® fleet of utility-scale, superconducting quantum computers.

The techniques we’ve developed could very well serve as the building blocks for future quantum computer simulations that are completely inaccessible to both exact and even approximate classical methods — simulations that would demonstrate what we call “quantum advantage” over all known classical techniques. Our results provide clear evidence that such simulations are potentially within reach of the quantum hardware we have today.

Jul 13, 2024

Microsoft Issues Update Warning For All Outlook Users As ‘Dangerous’ New Threat Confirmed

Posted by in categories: business, security

The range of threats, they say, include “attackers exploit[ing] this vulnerability to gain unauthorized access, execute arbitrary code, and cause substantial damage without any user interaction. The absence of authentication requirements makes it particularly dangerous, as it opens the door to widespread exploitation.”

The repeated reference to “trusted senders” in this warning is important. This vulnerability only carries a zero click threat when an email is received from a trusted source. If the sender is unknown, then the user would need to click to execute. That said, if the problem for an attacker is now spoofing emails from trusted sources that’s a very low bar in today’s world of industrial scale business email compromise.

Jul 13, 2024

Microclimates could bolster case for agrivoltaics

Posted by in category: food

A new paper finds that combining photovoltaics with crop farming can result in revenue gains over the life of a PV system at a diverse range of locations in the United Kingdom. Researcher Aritra Ghosh tells pv magazine that the benefits of agrivoltaics are ‘multifaceted.’

Jul 13, 2024

New quantum computer smashes ‘quantum supremacy’ record by a factor of 100 — and it consumes 30,000 times less power

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

The 56-qubit H2-1 computer has broken the previous record in the ‘quantum supremacy’ benchmark first set by Google in 2019.

Jul 13, 2024

Nearly all AT&T cell customers’ call and text records exposed in a massive breach

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones

The call and text message records from mid-to-late 2022 of tens of millions of AT&T cellphone customers and many non-AT&T customers were exposed in a massive data breach, the telecom company revealed Friday.

AT&T said the compromised data includes the telephone numbers of “nearly all” of its cellular customers and the customers of wireless providers that use its network between May 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022.

The stolen logs also contain a record of every number AT&T customers called or texted – including customers of other wireless networks – the number of times they interacted, and the call duration.

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