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Jan 27, 2017

Quantum Breakthrough: Physicists Have Once More Created Time Crystals

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

In Brief

  • Two more teams of researchers have found ways to create time crystals, lattices that repeat not in space but in time, breaking time-translation symmetry.
  • Though applications are unclear, the research could help us better understand quantum properties and solve the problem of quantum memory associated with quantum computing.

Time crystals are strange. At the very least, they are a contradiction. A time crystal is quantum phenomenon that demonstrates movement while remaining in its ground, or lowest energy, state. Essentially a non-equilibrium form of matter, time crystals are lattices that repeat not in space but in time, breaking time-translation symmetry.

When the idea of a time crystal was proposed in 2012 by physicist and Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, it was only a theoretical possibility that would challenge many of the laws of physics. Then, in October 2016, a team of researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) managed to make a “floquet time crystal.”

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Jan 27, 2017

AT&T: Virtualization Ahead of Schedule

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Another ISP going QC?

News this week included AT&T’s network virtualization, a quantum 2000Q, SIPconnect updates, Comcast cellular plans, and a fix for WebEx.

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Jan 27, 2017

Simulating particle physics in a quantum computer

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

Particle physics is an interesting and complicated field of study. Its theoretical framework, the Standard Model, was developed during the second half of the twentieth century and it opened he possibility to explaining the behavior of the basic blocks of the Universe. It also classified all the particles, from the electron (discovered in 1897) to the Higgs Boson (found in 2012). It is not pretentious to claim that it is one of the most successful theories in Science.

Unfortunately, the Standard Model is also a very difficult theory to handle. By using an analytic approach many problems cannot be solved and computational methods require a huge computational power. Most of the simulations about this theory are performed in supercomputers and they have severe limitations. For instance, the mass of the proton can be calculated by the use of a technique called Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (lattice QCD), but even using a supercomputer of the Blue Gene type the error was around 2% . This is a huge achievement that shows the utility of the theory, but it is also a signal about the necessity of developing new numerical tools to handle this kind of calculations.

One potential solution to this problem is to use quantum systems in order to perform the simulations. This idea is at the core of the field of quantum computing and it was first proposed by one of the pioneers in the study of particle physics, Richard Feynman . Feynman’s idea is easy to explain. Quantum systems are very difficult to simulate by the use of ordinary classical computers but by using quantum systems we can simulate different quantum systems. If we have a quantum system that we cannot control but we can mimic its dynamics to a friendly quantum system we have solved the problem. We can just manipulate the second system and infer the results to the first one.

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Jan 27, 2017

Chiral Quantum Optics: A New Research Field with Bright Perspectives

Posted by in categories: education, quantum physics

Recently, surprising physical effects were observed using special microscopic waveguides for light. Such “photonic structures” currently are revolutionizing the fields of optics and photonics, and have opened up the new research area of “Chiral Quantum Optics”. Physicists from Copenhagen, Innsbruck, and Vienna, who are leading figures in this field, have now written an overview on the topic which just appeared in the scientific journal “Nature”.

What one learns at school is that light oscillates under a right angle (transversal) with respect to its direction of propagation. Among experts, however, it was already known that light behaves differently when it is confined strongly in the transversal plane using so-called “photonic structures”. In particular, this is the case for special ultra-thin glass fibers which have a diameter of only a few hundred nanometers (one nanometer is a millionth part of a millimeter) and which are thereby smaller than the wavelength of light. Also waveguides based on so-called “photonic crystals” (two-dimensional structures with periodically arranged holes) can confine light in this way.

In this situation, the light also oscillates along its propagation direction (longitudinal). The combination of transversal and longitudinal oscillation leads to a rotating electric field which physicist call circular polarization. Without the spatial confinement, the electric field associated with circularly polarized light behaves like the propeller of an aircraft whose axis is parallel to the direction of propagation. “However, in narrow photonic waveguides, the electric field of the light resembles the rotor of a helicopter,” explains Arno Rauschenbeutel from the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology at the Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics of TU Wien, Austria. Here, the spin of the light points along the axis of the rotor and is therefore oriented perpendicular to the propagation direction of the light.

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Jan 27, 2017

5 Things That Happened at The Couture Shows

Posted by in category: 3D printing

Bummed that I missed 3D Print Fashion Week.

To capture the most memorable moments, CNN Style commissioned fashion illustrator Velwyn Yossy to illustrate the highlights in her distinctive water colors.

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Jan 27, 2017

New Insight Describes Connection between Salmonella Infection and Appetite Loss

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

A Salmonella pathogen manages a trade-off between virulence and transmission by manipulating the gut–brain axis and blocking appetite loss.

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Jan 27, 2017

Researchers uncover how brain circuit elicits hunger responses during starvation

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

Could we eventually see a day where we have cell circuitry nanobot pill that eliminates hunger and obesity as replacement to gastric bypasses? Maybe.

The human body responds to starving conditions, such as famine, to promote the chance of survival. It reduces energy expenditure by stopping heat production and promotes feeding behavior. These “hunger responses” are activated by the feeling of hunger in the stomach and are controlled by neuropeptide Y (NPY) signals released by neurons in the hypothalamus. However, how NPY signaling in the hypothalamus elicits the hunger responses has remained unknown.

Sympathetic motor neurons in the medulla oblongata are responsible for heat production by brown adipose tissue (BAT). Researchers centered at Nagoya University have now tested whether the heat-producing neurons respond to the same hypothalamic NPY signals that control hunger responses. They injected NPY into the hypothalamus of rats and tested the effect on heat production. Under normal conditions, blocking inhibitory GABAergic receptors or stimulating excitatory glutamatergic receptors in the sympathetic motor neurons induced heat production in BAT. After NPY injection, stimulating glutamatergic receptors did not produce heat, but inhibiting GABAergic receptors did. The study was recently reported in Cell Metabolism.

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Jan 27, 2017

GM, Honda to announce fuel cell technology advance: sources

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

On Wed we saw Tata’s new hydrogen bus; and now this.

DETROIT (Reuters) — General Motors Co and Honda Motor Co are expected on Monday to announce an expansion of their collaboration on fuel cell technology development, people familiar with the plans said following a notice of a press conference.

GM and Honda on Friday said two senior executives would hold a news conference in Detroit with Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor, Brian Calley.

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Jan 27, 2017

Senolytics – Taking Out The Trash Might Keep You Fit And Healthy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Clearing out senescent cells could lead to better fitness and health as we age.

From around age forty we start to lose muscle mass due to various aging processes, one of these processes is the accumulation of senescent cells. Senescent cells are simply cells that have become damaged or have reached their maximum number of divisions. Normally these cells are shut down by a kind of self destruct program inside the cell, ready to be disposed of by the immune system.

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Jan 27, 2017

GWU’s Innovations in Electric Propulsion Technology Help Vector Provide Unprecedented Access to Space

Posted by in categories: materials, satellites

Since our launch in 2016, Vector has focused on connecting space startups and innovators with affordable and reliable space by dramatically increasing access and speed to orbit. And as a result, Vector is reshaping the multi-billion launch market. Building on over 10 years of research to develop the Vector-R launch vehicle, Vector is truly at the forefront of innovation and revolutionizing the next generation of rocket launches. George Washington University has developed ground-breaking plasma steering thrusters which will help put Vector ahead in the great “New Space” race. Our collaboration with George Washington University will help us move closer to achieving our long-term vision of furthering the technological achievements for our industry.

Through this agreement, Vector will license the plasma thruster technology created by the School of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University for the Vector-R launch vehicle. The technology will allow us to propel miniature satellites, which are significantly less expensive and made from common materials, and control them while in space. As part of the collaboration, Vector will develop the thruster for commercial space use, and the University will continue to develop the next generation of the technology.

Small spacecraft and satellites are extreme ly difficult to maneuver and control once in space, and George Washington University’s plasma thruster technology helps us manage this problem. The thrusters use titanium as a propellant, which is converted into a gas-like plasma to provide propulsion. The plasma then accelerates and expands into a vacuum at high velocities to produce thrust. This thrust helps the craft overcome drag and maintain the small satellite’s orbit. We plan to use the technology as part of our launch system dedicated to micro spacecraft.

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