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Jun 10, 2020

Acoustics put a fresh spin on electron transitions

Posted by in categories: electronics, quantum physics

Electrons are very much at the mercy of magnetic fields, which scientists can manipulate to control the electrons and their angular momentum—i.e. their “spin.”

A Cornell team led by Greg Fuchs, assistant professor of applied and engineering physics in the College of Engineering, in 2013 invented a new way to exert this control by using acoustic waves generated by mechanical resonators. That approach enabled the team to control electron spin transitions (also known as spin resonance) that otherwise wouldn’t be possible through conventional magnetic behavior.

The finding was a boon for anyone looking to build quantum sensors of the sort used in mobile navigation devices. However, such devices still required a magnetic control field—and therefore a bulky magnetic antenna—to drive certain spin transitions.

Jun 10, 2020

Cephalopod-inspired optical engineering of human cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Although many animals have evolved intrinsic transparency for the purpose of concealment, the development of dynamic, that is, controllable and reversible, transparency for living human cells and tissues has remained elusive to date. Here, by drawing inspiration from the structures and functionalities of adaptive cephalopod skin cells, we design and engineer human cells that contain reconfigurable protein-based photonic architectures and, as a result, possess tunable transparency-changing and light-scattering capabilities. Our findings may lead to the development of unique biophotonic tools for applications in materials science and bioengineering and may also facilitate an improved understanding of a wide range of biological systems.

Jun 10, 2020

After a century of searching, scientists find new liquid phase

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Soft Materials Research Center (SMRC) have discovered an elusive phase of matter, first proposed more than 100 years ago and sought after ever since.

The team describes the discovery of what scientists call a “ferroelectric nematic” phase of liquid crystal in a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery opens a door to a new universe of materials, said co-author Matt Glaser, a professor in the Department of Physics.

Nematic liquid crystals have been a hot topic in materials research since the 1970s. These materials exhibit a curious mix of fluid- and solid-like behaviors, which allow them to control light. Engineers have used them extensively to make the liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in many laptops, TVs and cellphones.

Jun 10, 2020

Astrophysicists confirm cornerstone of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

Posted by in category: space

An international collaboration of scientists has recorded the most accurate confirmation to date for one of the cornerstones of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, ‘the universality of free fall.”

The new research shows that the theory holds for strongly self-gravitating objects such as neutron stars. Using a radio telescope, scientists can very accurately observe the signal produced by pulsars, a type of neutron star and test the validity of Einstein’s theory of gravity for these extreme objects. In particular, the team analyzed the signals from a pulsar named “PSR J0337+1715’ recorded by the large radio telescope of Nançay, located in the heart of Sologne (France).

The universality of free fall principle states that two bodies dropped in a gravitational field undergo the very same acceleration independently of their composition. This was first demonstrated by Galileo who famously would have dropped objects of different masses from the top of Pisa’s tower to verify that they both reach the ground simultaneously.

Jun 10, 2020

We can no longer ignore the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat depression

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

At Imperial College we’ve been comparing psilocybin to conventional antidepressants – and the results are likely to be game-changing, says Robin Carhart-Harris.

Jun 10, 2020

J&J moves up start of coronavirus vaccine human trials to July

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government

(Reuters) — Johnson & Johnson moved up the start of human clinical trials for its experimental vaccine against the highly contagious coronavirus by two months to the second half of July, as the drugmaker rushes to develop a prevention for COVID-19, the company said on Wednesday.

The acceleration should allow J&J to take part in the massive clinical trials program planned by the U.S. government, which aims to have an effective vaccine by year end.

J&J shares rose nearly 2% to $148.69.

Jun 10, 2020

Early SpaceX Starship Will Stay as Moon Bases

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Good idea. I wonder how much of his attention will shift from Mars to the Moon.


Elon has tweeted out that early Starships will stay on the moon as part of moon base alpha.

The SpaceX plan is what Nextbigfuture described in last months article “A Sky Full of Starships”.

Continue reading “Early SpaceX Starship Will Stay as Moon Bases” »

Jun 10, 2020

Why We Should Really Put a Particle Accelerator on the Moon

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

In the March 1988 issue of Popular Mechanics, the legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote an article describing his vision for humanity’s return to the moon.

Jun 10, 2020

This summer could be a make or break moment for US Air Force’s next fighter program

Posted by in category: military

The Next Generation Air Dominance program is set to have a finalized acquisition strategy within the next few months.

Jun 10, 2020

IBM Director: Get Ready For Quantum Computing App Stores

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Plug And Play

The underlying mechanics of a quantum computer won’t be any less difficult to comprehend under Gil’s vision of the future. But, he argues, it won’t matter because programming quantum computing software would become far more automated along the way.

“You’ll simply have to write a line of code in any programming language you work with,” Gil wrote, “and the system will match it with the circuit in the library and the right quantum computer.”