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Apr 19, 2024

Quantum Internet Unleashed With HiFi’s Laser Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

The expansion of fiber optics is progressing worldwide, which not only increases the bandwidth of conventional Internet connections, but also brings closer the realization of a global quantum Internet. The quantum internet can help to fully exploit the potential of certain technologies. These include much more powerful quantum computing through the linking of quantum processors and registers, more secure communication through quantum key distribution or more precise time measurements through the synchronization of atomic clocks.

However, the differences between the glass fiber standard of 1,550 nm and the system wavelengths of the various quantum bits (qubits) realized to date represent a hurdle, because those qubits are mostly in the visible or near-infrared spectral range. Researchers want to overcome this obstacle with the help of quantum frequency conversion, which can specifically change the frequencies of photons while retaining all other quantum properties. This enables conversion to the 1,550 nm telecom range for low-loss, long-range transmission of quantum states.

Apr 19, 2024

Researchers Develop “Goldene” — A New Form of Ultra-Thin Gold With Semiconductor Properties

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics

For the first time, scientists have managed to create sheets of gold only a single atom layer thick. The material has been termed goldene. According to researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, this has given the gold new properties that can make it suitable for use in applications such as carbon dioxide conversion, hydrogen production, and production of value-added chemicals. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Synthesis.

Scientists have long tried to make single-atom-thick sheets of gold but failed because the metal’s tendency to lump together. But researchers from Linköping University have now succeeded thanks to a hundred-year-old method used by Japanese smiths.

“If you make a material extremely thin, something extraordinary happens – as with graphene. The same thing happens with gold. As you know, gold is usually a metal, but if single-atom-layer thick, the gold can become a semiconductor instead,” says Shun Kashiwaya, researcher at the Materials Design Division at Linköping University.

Apr 19, 2024

New Physics at Play: Physicists Discover a New Force Acting on Water Droplets Moving Over Superhydrophobic Surfaces

Posted by in categories: physics, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at Aalto University have discovered a new force acting on water droplets moving over superhydrophobic surfaces like black silicon by adapting a novel force measurement technique to uncover the previously unidentified physics at play. This force, identified as air-shearing, challenges previous understandings and suggests modifications in the design of these surfaces to reduce drag, potentially improving their efficiency and application in various fields.

Microscopic chasms forming a sea of conical jagged peaks stipple the surface of a material called black silicon. While it’s commonly found in solar cell tech, black silicon also moonlights as a tool for studying the physics of how water droplets behave.

Black silicon is a superhydrophobic material, meaning it repels water. Due to water’s unique surface tension properties, droplets glide across textured materials like black silicon by riding on a thin air-film gap trapped beneath. This works great when the droplets move slowly—they slip and slide without a hitch.

Apr 19, 2024

Powerful New Tool Ushers In New Era of Quantum Materials Research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, quantum physics

Professor Fabio Boschini (above) and his colleagues are at the forefront of research in quantum materials, employing time-and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (TR-ARPES) to drive technological breakthroughs in industries like mining, energy, and healthcare. Their recent work, demonstrates how TR-ARPES enhances the understanding and manipulation of material properties through light-matter interaction. Credit: Fabio Boschini (INRS)

Research into quantum materials is leading to revolutionary breakthroughs and is set to propel technological progress that will transform industries such as mining, energy, transportation, and medical technology.

A technique called time-and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (TR-ARPES) has emerged as a powerful tool, allowing researchers to explore the equilibrium and dynamical properties of quantum materials via light-matter interaction.

Apr 19, 2024

New Research Reveals That Your Sense of Smell May Be Smarter Than You Think

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that the sense of smell is significantly influenced by cues from other senses, whereas the senses of sight and hearing are much less affected.

A popular theory of the brain holds that its main function is to predict what will happen next, so it reacts mostly to unexpected events. Most research on this topic, called predictive coding, has only focused on what we see, but no one knows if the different senses, such as smell, work in the same way.

To figure out more about how smell relates to how we handle different sensory impressions, the researchers conducted a study with three experiments, two behavioral experiments, and one experiment using the brain imaging method fMRI at Stockholm University Brain Imaging Centre (SUBIC).

Apr 18, 2024

Understanding heart regeneration and the potential for human applications

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

“My hunch is the ancestor of all animals could regenerate its heart after an injury, and then that’s been repeatedly lost in different types of animals,” said Dr. James Gagnon. “I would like to understand why. Why would you lose this great feature that allows you to regenerate your heart after an injury?”


Can the heart physiology of zebrafish help treat human heart conditions? This is what a recent study published in Biology Open hopes to address as a team of researchers from the University of Utah compared the fish species of zebrafish and medaka since the former possesses heart regeneration capabilities while the latter does not. This study holds the potential to help researchers better understand the physiological processes responsible for fixing heart tissue after damage from a heart attack or other ailment that could lead to more advanced human treatments.

“We thought by comparing these two fish that have similar heart morphology and live in similar habitats, we could have a better chance of actually finding what the main differences are,” said Dr. Clayton Carey, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah and lead author of the study.

Continue reading “Understanding heart regeneration and the potential for human applications” »

Apr 18, 2024

How a Single Gene Could Become a Volume Knob for Pain

Posted by in category: genetics

Harnessing rare genetic mutations could help end America’s opioid epidemic.

Apr 18, 2024

Symmetry’s guide to AI in particle physics and astrophysics

Posted by in categories: internet, particle physics, robotics/AI

On November 30, 2022, Silicon Valley-based company OpenAI launched its artificial-intelligence-powered chatbot, ChatGPT. Overnight, AI transformed in the popular imagination from a science fiction trope to something anyone with an internet connection could try. ChatGPT was free to use, and it responded to typed prompts naturally enough to seem almost human. After the launch of the chatbot, worldwide Google searches for the term “AI” began a steep climb that still does not seem to have reached its peak.

Physicists were some of the earliest developers and adopters of technologies now welcomed under the wide umbrella term “AI.” Particle physicists and astrophysicists, with their enormous collections of data and the need to efficiently analyze it, are just the sort of people who benefit from the automation AI provides.

So we at Symmetry, an online magazine about particle physics and astrophysics, decided to explore the topic and publish a series on artificial intelligence. We looked at the many forms AI has taken; the ways the technology has helped shape the science (and vice versa); and the ways scientists use AI to advance experimental and theoretical physics, to improve the operation of particle accelerators and telescopes, and to train the next generation of physics students. You can expect to see the result of that exploration here in the coming weeks.

Apr 18, 2024

CBN: A Potential Neuroprotective Compound from Cannabis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, neuroscience

Cannabinol (CBN) is a chemical found in cannabis that exhibits milder psychoactive properties than most cannabis chemicals, though research pertaining to its medical applications remains limited. Now, a team of researchers led by The Salk Institute for Biological Studies have published a study in Redox Biology that addresses the potential for CBN to serve as a method for neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, the researchers produced four CBN analogs that exhibited greater neuroprotective capabilities compared to the traditional CBN molecule and tested them on Drosophila fruit flies. In the end, the researchers discovered these CBN analogs possessed neuroprotective capabilities that surpassed traditional CBN molecules, including the treating of traumatic brain injuries. While not tested during this study, these CBN analogs could be used to also treat a myriad of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

“Our findings help demonstrate the therapeutic potential of CBN, as well as the scientific opportunity we have to replicate and refine its drug-like properties,” said Dr. Pamela Maher, who is a research professor in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk and a co-author on the study. “Could we one day give this CBN analog to football players the day before a big game, or to car accident survivors as they arrive in the hospital? We’re excited to see how effective these compounds might be in protecting the brain from further damage.”

Apr 18, 2024

Rapidly Dropping Battery Prices, Cheaper Electric Vehicles, & Solar Energy Ahead

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Battery prices are dropping significantly, leading to a future of cheaper electric vehicles, battery storage, solar energy, and cleaner air Questions to inspire discussion What is the impact of dropping battery prices? —Dropping battery prices will lead to cheaper electric vehicles, battery storage, solar energy, and.

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