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May 29, 2021

Quantum Nanoscience Experiment in ‘Science’ Raises Questions

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

JÜLICH, Germany, May 28, 2021 — Quantum systems are considered extremely fragile. Even the smallest interactions with the environment can result in the loss of sensitive quantum effects. In the renowned journal Science, however, researchers from TU Delft, RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich now present an experiment in which a quantum system consisting of two coupled atoms behaves surprisingly stable under electron bombardment. The experiment provide an indication that special quantum states might be realised in a quantum computer more easily than previously thought.

The so-called decoherence is one of the greatest enemies of the quantum physicist. Experts understand by this the decay of quantum states. This inevitably occurs when the system interacts with its environment. In the macroscopic world, this exchange is unavoidable, which is why quantum effects rarely occur in daily life. The quantum systems used in research, such as individual atoms, electrons or photons, are better shielded, but are fundamentally similarly sensitive.

“Systems subject to quantum physics, unlike classical objects, are not sharply defined in all their properties. Instead, they can occupy several states at once. This is called superposition,” Markus Ternes explains. “A famous example is Schrödinger’s thought experiment with the cat, which is temporarily dead and alive at the same time. However, the superposition breaks down as soon as the system is disturbed or measured. What is left then is only a single state, which is the measured value,” says the quantum physicist from Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University.

May 29, 2021

New Solid-State Lithium Battery Can Be Recharged 10,000 Times

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Harvard University researchers have made a breakthrough in battery tech: a long-lasting solid-state lithium battery.

“A lithium-metal battery is considered the holy grail for battery chemistry,” researcher Xin Li told the Harvard Gazette.

Strong, cheaper, faster: Most of today’s electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by lithium-ion batteries, the same type of battery you’ll find in your laptop or smartphone.

May 29, 2021

Mouse plague deals fresh blow to Australian farmers — BBC News

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

O,.o yikes!

Rural Australia has taken a battering over the last few years, with drought, fires and floods — and many farms in New South Wales are now having to deal with a plague of mice.

Continue reading “Mouse plague deals fresh blow to Australian farmers — BBC News” »

May 29, 2021

Same difference: Two halves of the hippocampus have different gene activity

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

A study of gene activity in the brain’s hippocampus, led by UT Southwestern researchers, has identified marked differences between the region’s anterior and posterior portions. The findings, published today in Neuron, could shed light on a variety of brain disorders that involve the hippocampus and may eventually help lead to new, targeted treatments.

“These new data reveal molecular-level differences that allow us to view the anterior and posterior hippocampus in a whole new way,” says study leader Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D., associate professor of neuroscience at UTSW.

She and study co-leader Bradley C. Lega, M.D., associate professor of neurological surgery, neurology, and psychiatry, explain that the human hippocampus is typically considered a uniform structure with key roles in memory, spatial navigation, and regulation of emotions. However, some research has suggested that the two ends of the hippocampus—the anterior, which points downward toward the face, and the posterior, which points upward toward the back of the head—take on different jobs.

May 29, 2021

Electrons waiting for their turn: New model explains 3D quantum material

Posted by in categories: chemistry, quantum physics

Scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat—Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter have developed a new understanding of how electrons behave in strong magnetic fields. Their results explain measurements of electric currents in three-dimensional materials that signal a quantum Hall effect—a phenomenon thus far only associated with two-dimensional metals. This new 3D effect can be the foundation for topological quantum phenomena, which are believed to be particularly robust and therefore promising candidates for extremely powerful quantum technologies. These results have just been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Dr. Tobias Meng and Dr. Johannes Gooth are early career researchers in the Würzburg-Dresdner Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat that researches topological quantum materials since 2019. They could hardly believe the findings of a recent publication in Nature claiming that electrons in the topological zirconium pentatelluride (ZrTe5) move only in two-dimensional planes, despite the fact that the material is three-dimensional. Meng and Gooth therefore started their own research and experiments on the material ZrTe5. Meng from the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) developed the theoretical model, Gooth from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids designed the experiments. Seven measurements with different techniques always lead to the same conclusion.

May 29, 2021

US Navy conducts first live-fire test of hypersonic missile motor

Posted by in category: military

The Navy conducted the first live-fire test of the rocket motor that will eventually propel the Navy’s and Army’s hypersonic weapons.

May 29, 2021

After uncertainty around its future, Pentagon will continue defending the JEDI cloud

Posted by in categories: futurism, military

After the Pentagon said it would “reassess” its JEDI strategy, the department has decided to continue defending the cloud contract in court.

May 29, 2021

Simulations examine performance of materials in NIF experiments

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

Scientists have examined the performance of pure boron, boron carbide, high-density carbon and boron nitride ablators—the material that surrounds a fusion fuel and couples with the laser or hohlraum radiation in an experiment—in the polar direct drive exploding pusher (PDXP) platform, which is used at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The platform uses the polar direct drive configuration to drive high ion temperatures in a room-temperature capsule and has potential applications for plasma physics studies and as a neutron source.

The key findings of the work, featured in High Energy Density Physics, show that these alternate ablators do not improve the symmetry of the PDXP implosion, according to lead author Heather Whitley, associate program director for High Energy Density Science in the Fundamental Weapon Physics section at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

“While our simulations predict that the platform is not amenable to the electron-ion coupling measurements due to a lack of implosion symmetry, the alternate materials do enable better coupling between the laser and capsule,” she said. “We plan to test those predicted impacts on future experiments.”

May 29, 2021

The dream of supersonic passenger flight hits turbulence

Posted by in categories: business, energy, transportation

While the remaining supersonic contenders duke it out to bring faster jets to market, private jet operators are doing their best to address the business traveler’s appetite for speed with aircraft that are as close to the sound barrier as they can be without actually breaking it, which poses all kinds of environmental issues.

With the news that supersonic planemaker Aerion has unexpectedly folded, is the dream of a successor to Concorde running out of fuel?

May 29, 2021

New Research Shows How to Boost Muscle Regeneration and Rebuild Tissue

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

In the myofiber-specific model, they found that adding the Yamanaka factors accelerated muscle regeneration in mice by reducing the levels of a protein called Wnt4 in the niche, which in turn activated the satellite cells.

Salk research reveals clues about molecular changes underlying muscle loss tied to aging.

One of the many effects of aging is loss of muscle mass, which contributes to disability in older people. To counter this loss, scientists at the Salk Institute are studying ways to accelerate the regeneration of muscle tissue, using a combination of molecular compounds that are commonly used in stem-cell research.

Continue reading “New Research Shows How to Boost Muscle Regeneration and Rebuild Tissue” »