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Description: News on quantum physics. Read current research on everything from quantum mechanics to quantum dots. Was Albert Einstein right?

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ScienceDaily: Quantum Physics News


Scientists set quantum speed limit
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:48:47 EST:
The flip side of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the energy time uncertainty principle, establishes a speed limit for transitions between two states. Physical chemists have now proved this principle for transitions between states that are not entirely distinct, allowing the calculation of speed limits for processes such as quantum computing and tunneling. The proof puts on sound footing a relationship that most physicists use daily.
Exotic, gigantic molecules fit inside each other like Russian nesting dolls
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:27:30 EST:
Scientists have experimentally observed for the first time a phenomenon in ultracold, three-atom molecules predicted by Russian theoretical physicist Vitaly Efimov in 1970.
Wild west physics: Bridging the gap between the study of 'outer space' and 'inner space'
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:43:54 EST:
The next frontier in physics may require teeny-tiny answers to big questions, and vice versa. Call it macro-micro physics: the study of the huge paired with the study of the very, very small.
Graphene brings quantum effects to electronic circuits
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:07:50 EST:
Scientists have revealed a superfluid phase in ultra-low temperature 2D materials, creating the potential for electronic devices which dissipate very little energy.
Individual protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei do not behave according to predictions
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:50:11 EST:
Individual protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei turn out not to behave according to the predictions made by existing theoretical models. This surprising conclusion, reached by an international team of physicists, forces us to reconsider how we have been describing large atomic nuclei for the past several decades.
Nano-beaker offers insight into the condensation of atoms
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 08:36:44 EST:
Physicists have succeeded in mapping the condensation of individual atoms, or rather their transition from a gaseous state to another state, using a new method.The team was able to monitor for the first time how xenon atoms condensate in microscopic measuring beakers, or quantum wells, thereby enabling key conclusions to be drawn as to the nature of atomic bonding.
Atoms can be in two places at the same time
by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:59:19 EST:
Can a penalty kick simultaneously score a goal and miss? For very small objects, at least, this is possible: according to the predictions of quantum mechanics, microscopic objects can take different paths at the same time.  The world of macroscopic objects follows other rules: the football always moves in a definite direction. But is this always correct? Physicists have constructed an experiment designed to possibly falsify this thesis. Their first experiment shows that Caesium atoms can indeed take two paths at the same time.
Shining a light on quantum dots measurement
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:35:39 EST:
Using the cadmium selenide quantum dot, researchers collaborated to understand how protein corona forms and what is different about the quantum dot before and after the formation of the corona.
Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:23:53 EST:
Researchers have built a rice grain-sized microwave laser, or 'maser,' powered by single electrons that demonstrates the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons. It is a major step toward building quantum-computing systems out of semiconductor materials.
Physicists detect 'charge instability' across all flavors of copper-based superconductors
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:17:04 EST:
Physicists have detected 'charge ordering' in electron-doped cuprate superconductors for the first time. Charge ordering is a ripple-like instability at the electron level that competes with superconductivity and likely suppresses the temperature at which materials demonstrate superconducting properties. Until now, researchers had only observed the phenomenon in other forms of cuprate materials.
Physicists observe light-matter interaction of two atoms for the first time
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:30:42 EST:
If two children splash in the sea high water waves will emerge due to constructive superposition. Different observations are made for the microscopic world in an experiment where physicists used a laser beam to generate light waves from two cesium atoms. The light waves were reflected back from two parallel mirrors. It turned out that this experimental arrangement suppressed the emergence of high light waves. With their experiment the scientists observed the most fundamental scenario of light-matter interaction with two atoms.
Improved interface for a quantum internet
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:30:34 EST:
A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back. Physicists now show how this information transfer can be optimized by taking advantage of a collective quantum phenomenon.
Race of the electrons: Laser pulses can be used to track the motion of electrons in metals with attosecond precision
by on Wed, 14 Jan 2015 14:05:25 EST:
Light can rip electrons out of a piece of metal. This 'photoelectric effect' is extremely fast. But now modern attosecond technology can resolve the time evolution of such processes. A new article discusses the race of electrons in a layered structure made of magnesium and tungsten.
Decoding the gravitational evolution of dark matter halos
by on Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:15:35 EST:
Researchers have revealed that considering environmental effects such as a gravitational tidal force spread over a scale much larger than a galaxy cluster is indispensable to explain the distribution and evolution of dark matter halos around galaxies. A detailed comparison between theory and simulations made this work possible.
Physicist makes the case for studying the strong nuclear force
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:44:07 EST:
Physicists are making the case for nuclear physics and its big experiments. A proton- and nuclei-smashing PHENIX Experiment is helping physicists study a new state of matter and the basic bits and forces of nature.
Toward quantum chips: Packing single-photon detectors on an optical chip is crucial for quantum-computational circuits
by on Fri, 09 Jan 2015 10:10:47 EST:
A team of researchers has built an array of light detectors sensitive enough to register the arrival of individual light particles, or photons, and mounted them on a silicon optical chip. Such arrays are crucial components of devices that use photons to perform quantum computations.
From the lab to your digital device, quantum dots have made quantum leaps
by on Fri, 09 Jan 2015 04:51:36 EST:
Quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now researchers are exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications.
Quantum optical hard drive breakthrough
by on Thu, 08 Jan 2015 10:06:58 EST:
Scientists developing a prototype optical quantum hard drive have improved storage time by a factor of over 100. The team's record storage time of six hours is a major step towards a secure worldwide data encryption network based on quantum information which could be used for banking transactions and personal emails.
Magic numbers of quantum matter revealed by cold atoms
by on Thu, 08 Jan 2015 08:44:39 EST:
Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications. The great stability of topological states relies on a set of magic integers, the so-called Chern numbers, which remain immune to defects and deformations. For the first time scientists have succeeded in measuring the topological Chern number in a non-electronic system with high precision.
Shedding light on why blue LEDS are so tricky to make
by on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:39:36 EST:
Scientists have uncovered the mystery of why blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are so difficult to make, by revealing the complex properties of their main component -- gallium nitride -- using sophisticated computer simulations.
Doing more with less: Steering a quantum path to improved internet security
by on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 08:22:23 EST:
New research may lead to greatly improved security of information transfer over the internet. Physicists have demonstrated the potential for 'quantum steering' to be used to enhance data security over long distances, discourage hackers and eavesdroppers and resolve issues of trust with communication devices.
Electromagnetic waves linked to particle fallout in Earth's atmosphere, new study finds
by on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 12:59:14 EST:
In a new study that sheds light on space weather's impact on Earth, researchers show for the first time that plasma waves buffeting the planet's radiation belts are responsible for scattering charged particles into the atmosphere.
Atoms queue up for quantum computer networks
by on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 10:14:27 EST:
In order to develop future quantum computer networks, it is necessary to hold a known number of atoms and read them without them disappearing. To do this, researchers have developed a method with a trap that captures the atoms along an ultra-thin glass fiber, where the atoms can be controlled.
Quantum channel made of light
by on Fri, 02 Jan 2015 15:04:49 EST:
In experiments using ultracold atoms and laser light, researchers have measured a stepwise change in conductivity as the atoms pass through tiny structures. This is the first time that this quantum effect has been observed for electrically neutral particles.
Neutrinos can deliver not only full-on hits but also 'glancing blows'
by on Tue, 30 Dec 2014 10:19:19 EST:
In what they call a 'weird little corner' of the already weird world of neutrinos, physicists have found evidence that these tiny particles might be involved in a surprising reaction. Neutrinos are famous for almost never interacting. As an example, ten trillion neutrinos pass through your hand every second, and fewer than one actually interacts with any of the atoms that make up your hand. However, when neutrinos do interact with another particle, it happens at very close distances and involves a high-momentum transfer.
New half-light half-matter quantum particles created
by on Mon, 29 Dec 2014 14:14:47 EST:
Prospects of developing computing and communication technologies based on quantum properties of light and matter may have taken a major step forward thanks to new research.
A qubit candidate shines brighter
by on Mon, 29 Dec 2014 12:26:13 EST:
Scientists taken a major step forward in effectively enhancing the fluorescent light emission of diamond nitrogen vacancy centers -- a key step to using the atom-sized defects in future quantum computers. The technique hinges on the very precise positioning of NV centers within a structure called a photonic cavity that can boost the light signal from the defect.
Hunt for Big Bang particles offering clues to the origin of the universe
by on Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:38:21 EST:
Billions upon billions of neutrinos speed harmlessly through everyone's body every moment of the day, according to cosmologists. The bulk of these subatomic particles are believed to come straight from the Big Bang, rather than from the sun or other sources. Experimental confirmation of this belief could yield seminal insights into the early universe and the physics of neutrinos. But how do you interrogate something so elusive that it could zip through a barrier of iron a light-year thick as if it were empty space?
Universality of charge order in cuprate superconductors
by on Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:15:39 EST:
Scientists have now identified charge order in HgBa2CuO4 , a pristine cuprate material. A further important result of the study is the finding that the charge order is closely related to quantum oscillations under a magnetic field. Finding a universal connection between the period of these quantum oscillations and the spatial period of the charge order is one of the achievements of the study.
Quantum world without queues could lead to better solar cells
by on Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:40:33 EST:
Scientists have used new technology to study extremely fast processes in solar cells. The research results form a concrete step towards more efficient solar cells.
Quantum physics just got less complicated: Wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty are same thing
by on Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:51:53 EST:
Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has demonstrated that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing.
Physicists characterize electronic, magnetic structure in transition metal oxides
by on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:45:11 EST:
Scientists have characterized the electronic and magnetic structure in artificially synthesized materials called transition metal oxides.
Revealing the quantum geometry of the graphene lattice
by on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:09:06 EST:
Among the most revolutionary concepts of modern physics is that the laws of nature are inherently non-local. One striking manifestation of this non-locality was famously predicted by Aharonov and Bohm: a magnetic field confined to the interior of a solenoid can alter the behavior of electrons outside it, shifting the phase of their wave-like interference although they never directly encounter the magnetic field. Originally regarded as a mere curiosity, such "geometric phase shifts" are now known to have dramatic consequences for electron transport in solid-state materials, e.g., allowing unimpeded current flow along the edges of a material that is insulating in the bulk.
The simplest element: Turning hydrogen into 'graphene'
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:29 EST:
New work delves into the chemistry underlying some surprising recent observations about hydrogen, and reveals remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene under extreme pressures.
Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars: Are nanoparticles getting in our food?
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:23 EST:
In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists tracked uptake and accumulation of quantum dot nanoparticles from water to plant roots, plant leaves and leaf-eating caterpillars.
Exact solution to model Big Bang and quark gluon plasma
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:17 EST:
Scientists have published an exact solution that applies to a wide array of physics contexts and will help researchers to better model galactic structure, supernova explosions and high-energy particle collisions, such as those studied at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.
Researchers generate tunable photon-pair spectrum using room-temperature quantum optics silicon chip
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:07:17 EST:
A team of researchers have demonstrated a way to emit and control quantum light generated using a chip made from silicon -- one of the most widely used materials for modern electronics.
Is the Higgs Boson a piece of the matter-antimatter puzzle?
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:04:39 EST:
Several experiments, including the BaBar experiment have helped explain some – but not all – of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now theorists have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs Boson is involved. Why there's more matter than antimatter is one of the biggest questions confounding particle physicists and cosmologists, and it cuts to the heart of our own existence.
Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture
by on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:48:16 EST:
Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow -- umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have now proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number theory to geometry to quantum physics.
Control of shape of light particles opens the way to 'quantum internet'
by on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:44:11 EST:
In the same way as we now connect computers in networks through optical signals, it could also be possible to connect future quantum computers in a ‘quantum internet’. The optical signals would then consist of individual light particles or photons. One prerequisite for a working quantum internet is control of the shape of these photons. Researchers have now succeeded for the first time in getting this control within the required short time.
Researchers detect possible signal from dark matter
by on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:55:20 EST:
Scientists have picked up an atypical photon emission in X-rays coming from space, and say it could be evidence for the existence of a particle of dark matter. If confirmed, it could open up new perspectives in cosmology.
New way to plug 'leaky' light cavities demonstrated
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:08:42 EST:
Engineers have demonstrated a new and more efficient way to trap light, using a phenomenon called bound states in the continuum that was first proposed in the early days of quantum wave mechanics.
Physicists explain puzzling particle collisions
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:13:54 EST:
An anomaly spotted at the Large Hadron Collider has prompted scientists to reconsider a mathematical description of the underlying physics. By considering two forces that are distinct in everyday life but unified under extreme conditions, they have simplified one description of the interactions of elementary particles. Their new version makes specific predictions about events that future experiments should observe and could help to reveal 'new physics,' particles or processes that have yet to be discovered.
Where are the helium atoms in the molecule? As in a cloud
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:59:57 EST:
Physicists have now resolved a disputed matter of theoretical physics. Science has long since known that, contrary to the old school of thought, helium forms molecules of two, three or even more atoms. Exactly what helium consisting of three atoms looks like, however, has been disputed by theoretical physicists for about 20 years. Besides the intuitive assumption that the three identical components form an equilateral triangle, there was also the hypothesis that the three atoms are arranged linearly, in other words in a row. Scientists, using the COLTRIMS reaction microscope, were able to demonstrate that the truth lies somewhere in between.
Nanoscale resistors for quantum devices
by on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:19:07 EST:
The electrical characteristics of new thin-film chromium oxide resistors can be tuned by controlling the oxygen content. Researchers have made new compact, high-value resistors for nanoscale quantum circuits. The resistors could speed the development of quantum devices for computing and fundamental physics research.
Composite materials can be designed in a supercomputer 'virtual lab'
by on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:18:03 EST:
Scientists have shown how advanced computer simulations can be used to design new composite materials. Nanocomposites, which are widely used in industry, are revolutionary materials in which microscopic particles are dispersed through plastics. But their development until now has been largely by trial and error.
World record for compact particle accelerator: Researchers ramp up energy of laser-plasma 'tabletop' accelerator
by on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:56:41 EST:
Using one of the most powerful lasers in the world, researchers have accelerated subatomic particles to the highest energies ever recorded from a compact accelerator. The team used a specialized petawatt laser and a charged-particle gas called plasma to get the particles up to speed. The setup is known as a laser-plasma accelerator, an emerging class of particle accelerators that physicists believe can shrink traditional, miles-long accelerators to machines that can fit on a table.
Ultrafast complex molecular simulations by ‘cutting up molecules’
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:51:28 EST:
Scientists have developed an ultrafast quantum chemical method, which allows rapid and accurate simulations of complex molecular systems consisting of thousands of molecules.
45-year physics mystery shows a path to quantum transistors
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:24:32 EST:
An odd, iridescent material that's puzzled physicists for decades turns out to be an exotic state of matter that could open a new path to quantum computers and other next-generation electronics.
New technique offers spray-on solar power
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:43:49 EST:
Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. Scientists have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) -- a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.
New revelations on dark matter and relic neutrinos
by on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:13:56 EST:
Satellite have been studying relic radiation (the most ancient light in the Universe). This light has been measured precisely across the entire sky for the first time, in both intensity and polarization, thereby producing the oldest image of the Universe. This primordial light lets us "see" some of the most elusive particles in the Universe: dark matter and relic neutrinos. Between 2009 and 2013, the Planck satellite observed relic radiation, sometimes called cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. Today, with a full analysis of the data, the quality of the map is now such that the imprints left by dark matter and relic neutrinos are clearly visible.
Controlled emission and spatial splitting of electron pairs demonstrated
by on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:40:20 EST:
In quantum optics, generating entangled and spatially separated photon pairs (e.g. for quantum cryptography) is already a reality. So far, it has, however, not been possible to demonstrate an analogous generation and spatial separation of entangled electron pairs in solids. Physicists have now taken a decisive step in this direction. They have demonstrated for the first time the on-demand emission of electron pairs from a semiconductor quantum dot and verified their subsequent splitting into two separate conductors.
Laser physicists 'see' how electrons make atomic and molecular transitions
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:44:13 EST:
By solving a six-dimensional equation that had previously stymied researchers, physicists have pinpointed the characteristics of a laser pulse that yields electron behavior they can predict and essentially control.
Engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip: Device could improve wireless communications systems
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:44:09 EST:
Engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light.
The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:38:59 EST:
For several years, it has been known that superfluid helium housed in reservoirs located next to each other acts collectively, even when the channels connecting the reservoirs are too narrow and too long to allow for substantial flow. A new theoretical model reveals that the phenomenon of mysterious communication 'at a distance' between fluid reservoirs is much more common than previously thought.
Particles, waves and ants
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:42:44 EST:
Particles or waves traveling through disordered media are scattered at small impurities. Surprisingly, the density of these impurities does not affect the overall dwell time the particle -- or wave -- spends inside the medium. This remarkable finding applies not only to particles and waves, but also to crawling ants or drunken sailors hitting streetlamps.
Global quantum communications: No longer the stuff of fiction?
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:42:40 EST:
Neither quantum computers nor quantum cryptography will become prevalent technologies without memory systems able to manipulate quantum information easily and effectively. Scientists have recently made inroads into popularizing quantum information technologies by creating an atomic memory with outstanding parameters and an extremely simple construction.
It's particle-hunting season! Scientists launch Higgs Hunters Project
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:40:53 EST:
Scientists have launched the Higgs Hunters project, which will allow members of the general public to study images recorded at the Large Hadron Collider and to help search for previously unobserved particles.
Van der Waals force re-measured: Physicists verified nonlinear increase with growing molecular size
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:51:01 EST:
Van der Waals forces act like a sort of quantum glue on all types of matter. Using a new measuring technique, scientists experimentally determined for the first time all of the key details of how strongly the single molecules bind to a surface. With an atomic force microscope, they demonstrated that the forces do not just increase with molecular size, but that they even grow disproportionately fast.
Cooling with the coldest matter in the world
by on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:18:21 EST:
Physicists have developed a new cooling technique for mechanical quantum systems. Using an ultracold atomic gas, the vibrations of a membrane were cooled down to less than 1 degree above absolute zero. This technique may enable novel studies of quantum physics and precision measurement devices.