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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


Seeing a molecule breathe through scattering of light pulses
by on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:04:38 EDT:
For the first time, chemists have succeeded in measuring vibrational motion of a single molecule with a femtosecond time resolution. The study reveals how vibration of a single molecule differs from the behavior of larger molecular groups. Seeing a single organic bipyridylethylene (BPE) molecule vibrate as a function of time was possible through the scattering of the light pulses. The method is known as time-resolved coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (tr-CARS).
First indirect evidence of so-far undetected strange baryons
by on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:30:54 EDT:
New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions but never before observed are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
Scientists unveil new technology to better understand small clusters of atoms
by on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:32:47 EDT:
Physicists have developed new technology to study atomic vibration in small particles, revealing a more accurate picture of the structure of atomic clusters where surface atoms vibrate more intensively than internal atoms. Using new computer technology based on gaming machines, scientists were able to use a combination of molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics calculations to simulate the electron microscopy of gold particles.
'Cavity protection effect' helps to conserve quantum information
by on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 22:00:25 EDT:
Two different quantum systems are being coupled by researchers to create a powerful hybrid quantum system. Using a strong coupling effect, the coherence time could now be considerably prolonged.
Possible extended symmetries of field theoretic systems
by on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:22:33 EDT:
Many physical systems, from superfluids to pi mesons, are understood to be manifestations of spontaneous symmetry breaking, whereby the symmetries of a system are not realized by its lowest energy state. A consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking is the existence of excitations known as Goldstone bosons, which account for the broken symmetries. Here the authors investigate systems with larger than usual amounts of broken symmetry.
Molecular engineers record an electron's quantum behavior
by on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:21:14 EDT:
Scientists have developed a technique to record the quantum mechanical behavior of an individual electron contained within a nanoscale defect in diamond. Their technique uses ultrafast pulses of laser light both to control the defect's entire quantum state and observe how that single electron state changes over time.
Neutrino detectors could help detect nuclear weapons
by on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:16:44 EDT:
Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and even in the fictional world of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" look to subatomic particles called neutrinos to answer the big questions about the universe. Scientists now believe neutrinos could be used to monitor nuclear power plants for signs of nuclear proliferation.
Therapy for ultraviolet laser beams: Hydrogen-treated fibers
by on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:16:36 EDT:
Scientists have known for years that hydrogen can alter the performance of optical fibers, which are often used to transmit or even generate laser light in optical devices. Now researchers have put this to practical use to make optical fibers that transmit stable, high-power ultraviolet laser light for hundreds of hours without damage.
Quantum simulators explained
by on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:46:38 EDT:
Everything you ever wanted to know about quantum simulators summed up in a new review. A quantum simulator is a device that actively uses quantum effects to answer questions on model systems. This review outlines various approaches used in quantum simulators.
Water tractor beam: Complex waves generate flow patterns to manipulate floating objects
by on Sun, 10 Aug 2014 21:42:02 EDT:
Physicists have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.
Electrons moving in a magnetic field exhibit strange quantum behavior
by on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:07:07 EDT:
Researchers have made the first direct observations of free-electron Landau states -— a form of quantized states that electrons adopt when moving through a magnetic field- — and found that the internal rotational dynamics of quantum electrons, or how they move through the field, is surprisingly different from the classical model, and in line with recent quantum-mechanical predictions.
Grass really is greener on TV, computer screens, thanks to quantum dots

by on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:00:28 EDT:
High-tech specks called quantum dots could bring brighter, more vibrant color to mass market TVs, tablets, phones and other displays. A new technology called 3M quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF) that efficiently makes liquid crystal display (LCD) screens more richly colored is described by an expert.
Diamonds are a quantum computer's best friend
by on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:52:25 EDT:
The quantum computer is not yet quite around the corner: calculations show that to implement a useful quantum algorithm, billions of quantum systems have to be used. The elements of a newly proposed quantum computer concept, nitrogen atoms trapped in diamonds, could in principle be miniaturized and mass produced. This system could be to quantum computing what the transistor was for microelectronics.
Ion duet offers tunable module for quantum simulator
by on Wed, 06 Aug 2014 13:45:17 EDT:
Physicists have demonstrated a pas de deux of atomic ions that combines the fine choreography of dance with precise individual control. The ion duet is a component for a flexible quantum simulator that could be scaled up in size and configured to model quantum systems of a complexity that overwhelms traditional computer simulations.
Scientists introduce new cosmic connectivity: Quantum pigeonhole paradox
by on Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:25:26 EDT:
Recently physicists at Chapman University's Institute for Quantum Studies introduced the Quantum Cheshire Cat. Now they have introduced another quantum animal: the Quantum Pigeon. They introduced a new kind of quantum connectivity between particles which transcends these limitations. This connectivity is happening all the time on a much bigger, cosmic scale.
Diamond defect interior design: Planting imperfections at specific spots within a diamond lattice could advance quantum computing
by on Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:17:16 EDT:
By carefully controlling the position of an atomic-scale diamond defect within a volume smaller than what some viruses would fill, researchers have cleared a path toward better quantum computers and nanoscale sensors.
On-chip topological light: First measurements of transmission and delay
by on Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:11:18 EDT:
First came the concept of topological light. Then came images of topological light moving around a microchip. Now full measurements of the transmission of light around and through the chip.
When particles fall left and right at the same time: Physicists develop new method to verify quantum entanglement
by on Fri, 01 Aug 2014 09:11:06 EDT:
It takes only a slight disturbance for a pencil standing on its tip to fall in one direction or another. In the quantum world it is possible in principle for particles of a system to fall both left and right at the same time. Differentiating this "and" state -- the quantum entanglement of particles -- from the classical "or" is an experimental challenge. Scientists have now devised a novel and universal method that enables entanglement verification for states of large atomic systems.
Spin Diagnostics: MRI for a quantum simulation
by on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:09:48 EDT:
Recently physicists have executed an MRI-like diagnostic on a crystal of interacting quantum spins. They predict that their method is scalable and may be useful for validating experiments with large ensembles of interacting spins.
Surprise: Biological microstructures light up after heating
by on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:25:08 EDT:
Physicists have investigated tubular biological microstructures that showed unexpected luminescence after heating. Optical properties of bioinspired peptides, like the ones investigated, could be useful for applications in optical fibers, biolasers and future quantum computers.
Finding quantum 'lines of desire': Physicists track quantum system's wanderings through quantum state space
by on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:24:31 EDT:
What paths do quantum particles, such as atoms or photons, follow through quantum state space? Scientists have used an "artificial atom" to continuously and repeatedly record the paths through quantum state space. From the cobweb of a million paths, a most likely path between two quantum states emerged, much as social trails emerge as people round off corners or cut across lawns between buildings.
The Quantum Cheshire Cat: Can neutrons be located at a different place than their own spin?
by on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:38:03 EDT:
Can neutrons be located at a different place than their own spin? A quantum experiment demonstrates a new kind of quantum paradox. The Cheshire Cat featured in Lewis Caroll's novel "Alice in Wonderland" is a remarkable creature: it disappears, leaving its grin behind. Can an object be separated from its properties? It is possible in the quantum world. In an experiment, neutrons travel along a different path than one of their properties -- their magnetic moment. This "Quantum Cheshire Cat" could be used to make high precision measurements less sensitive to external perturbations.
Physicists unlock nature of high-temperature superconductivity
by on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:40:34 EDT:
Physicists have identified the 'quantum glue' that underlies a promising type of superconductivity -- a crucial step towards the creation of energy superhighways that conduct electricity without current loss.
Measuring the smallest magnets: Physicists measure magnetic interactions between single electrons
by on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:44:08 EDT:
Imagine trying to measure a tennis ball that bounces wildly, every time to a distance a million times its own size. The bouncing obviously creates enormous "background noise" that interferes with the measurement. But if you attach the ball directly to a measuring device, so they bounce together, you can eliminate the noise problem. Physicists have used a similar trick to measure the interaction between the smallest possible magnets -- two single electrons -- after neutralizing magnetic noise that was a million times stronger than the signal they needed to detect.
A transistor-like amplifier for single photons
by on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:43:25 EDT:
Scientists have achieved a twentyfold amplification of single-photon signals with the help of an ultracold quantum gas.
Superconductivity could form at high temperatures in layered 2-D crystals
by on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:05:54 EDT:
An elusive state of matter called superconductivity could be realized in stacks of sheetlike crystals just a few atoms thick, new analysis determined. Electrons and 'holes' would accumulate in separate layers of a 2D semiconductor compound in response to an electrical field forming a superfluid gas of indirect excitons. Counterflow superconductivity would result.
Unleashing the power of quantum dot triplets
by on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:40:23 EDT:
Another step towards faster computers relies on three coherently coupled quantum dots used as quantum information units. Quantum computers have yet to materialize. Yet, scientists are making progress in devising suitable means of making such computers faster. One such approach relies on quantum dots-a kind of artificial atom, easily controlled by applying an electric field. A new study demonstrates that changing the coupling of three coherently coupled quantum dots (TQDs) with electrical impulses can help better control them.
The birth of topological spintronics: New material combo could lead to more efficient computers
by on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:17:24 EDT:
The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic is the first promising indication that it may be possible to build a practical technology with a novel material known as a 'topological insulator.' The research team's results show that such a scheme can be 10 times more efficient for controlling magnetic memory or logic than any other combination of materials measured to date.
Scientists find way to maintain quantum entanglement in amplified signals
by on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:10:32 EDT:
Physicists have found a way to preserve quantum entanglement of particles passing through an amplifier and, conversely, when transmitting a signal over long distances.
Quantum leap in lasers brightens future for quantum computing
by on Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:07:36 EDT:
Scientists have devised a breakthrough laser that uses a single artificial atom to generate and emit particles of light. The laser may play a crucial role in the development of quantum computers, which are predicted to eventually outperform today's most powerful supercomputers.
Boosting the force of empty space: Theorists propose way to amplify force of vacuum fluctuations
by on Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:14:25 EDT:
Vacuum fluctuations may be among the most counter-intuitive phenomena of quantum physics. Theorists have now proposed a way to amplify their force. The researchers believe that their proposed enhancement of the power of vacuum fluctuations can have profound implications for understanding Casimir and Van der Waals forces and it may even be used for applications in quantum information processing and other emerging quantum technologies.
Massive neutrinos and new standard cosmological model: No concordance yet
by on Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:13:26 EDT:
Neutrinos, also known as ‘ghost particles’ because they barely interact with other particles or their surroundings, are massless particles according to the standard model of particle physics. However, there is a lot of evidence that their mass is in fact non-zero, but it remains unmeasured. In cosmology, neutrinos are suspected to make up a fraction —- small but important -— of the mysterious dark matter, which represents 90% of the mass of the galaxy. Modifying the standard cosmological model in order to include fairly massive neutrinos does not explain all the physical observations simultaneously.
Carbyne morphs when stretched: Calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor
by on Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:40:28 EDT:
Applying just the right amount of tension to a chain of carbon atoms can turn it from a metallic conductor to an insulator. The research has implications for mechanically activated nanoscale electronics and optics.
Highly charged ions: Multiply ionized atoms for clocks, qubits, and constants
by on Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:15:16 EDT:
Why can't neodymium be more like tin? Well it can, if you ionize it enough. Why strip atoms of a dozen or more electrons? To make them more amenable for use in atomic clocks and quantum computers.
It's go time for LUX-Zeplin dark matter experiment
by on Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:15:14 EDT:
From the physics labs at Yale University to the bottom of a played-out gold mine in South Dakota, a new generation of dark matter experiments is ready to commence. The go-ahead has been given to the Large Underground Xenon-Zeplin, a key experiment in the hunt for dark matter, the invisible substance that may make up much of the universe.
Universal three-body relation: Physicists succeed in revealing the scaling behavior of exotic giant molecules
by on Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:14:36 EDT:
When a two-body relation becomes a three-body relation, the behavior of the system changes and typically becomes more complex. While the basic physics of two interacting particles is well understood, the mathematical description of a three- or many-body system becomes increasingly difficult, such that calculating the dynamics can blast the capacities of even modern supercomputers. However, under certain conditions, the quantum mechanical three-body problem may have a universal scaling solution. The predictions of such a model have now been confirmed experimentally.
Future electronics may depend on lasers, not quartz
by on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:05:40 EDT:
Nearly all electronics require devices called oscillators that create precise frequencies -- frequencies used to keep time in wristwatches or to transmit reliable signals to radios. For nearly a century, these oscillators have relied upon quartz crystals to provide a frequency reference, much like a tuning fork is used as a reference to tune a piano. A new approach could ultimately replace the quartz crystal frequency reference -- technology in use since the 1920s.
Scientists experimentally re-create conditions deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter and many exo-planets
by on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:20:11 EDT:
Using the largest laser in the world, scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter, Uranus and many of the planets recently discovered outside our solar system.
Physicists detect process even rarer than the long-sought Higgs particle
by on Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:55:17 EDT:
Scientists running the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and most powerful "atom smasher," report the first evidence of a process that can be used to test the mechanism by which the recently discovered Higgs particle imparts mass to other fundamental particles.
Labs characterize carbon for lithion-ion batteries
by on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:24:10 EDT:
Researchers have found a universal descriptor of charge-transfer binding properties for carbon-based lithium-ion batteries. The model is based on intrinsic electronic characteristics of materials used as battery anodes. These include the material's quantum capacitance (the ability of the material to absorb charge) and the material's absolute Fermi level, which determines how many lithium ions may bond to the electrodes.
Quantum computers? First photonic router demonstrated
by on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:41:03 EDT:
Scientists have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router -- a quantum device based on a single atom that enables routing of single photons by single photons. This achievement is another step toward overcoming the difficulties in building quantum computers.
Making quantum connections: The speed of information in a spin network
by on Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:15:31 EDT:
Physicists are pretty adept at controlling quantum systems and even making certain entangled states. Researchers are putting these skills to work to explore the dynamics of correlated quantum systems. Recent results investigated how information flows through a quantum many-body system.
New paths into the world of quasiparticles
by on Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:59:14 EDT:
Quasiparticles can be used to explain physical phenomena in solid bodies even though they are not actual physical particles. Physicists have now realized quasiparticles in a quantum system and observed quantum mechanical entanglement propagation in a many-body system.
Highway for ultracold atoms in light crystals
by on Wed, 09 Jul 2014 09:56:22 EDT:
When a superconductor is exposed to a magnetic field, a current on its surface appears which creates a counter field that cancels the magnetic field inside the superconductor. This phenomenon, known as "Meissner-Ochsenfeld effect" after its discoverers, was first observed in 1933. Physicists have now succeeded in realizing an analogue of the Meissner effect by measuring edge currents in a ladder-like crystal of light.
Building much smaller, greener electronics: Atom-scale, ultra-low-power computing devices to replace transistor circuits
by on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:25:14 EDT:
The digital age has resulted in a succession of smaller, cleaner and less power-hungry technologies since the days the personal computer fit atop a desk, replacing mainframe models that once filled entire rooms. Desktop PCs have since given way to smaller and smaller laptops, smartphones and devices that most of us carry around in our pockets. Scientists are now developing atom-scale, ultra-low-power computing devices to replace transistor circuits.
The quantum dance of oxygen: Proposal for a new phase of the element, when atoms dance in quartets
by on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:23:12 EDT:
Under extremely high pressure conditions oxygen molecules group into quartets and give rise to a “dance of their magnetic moments”. This results in magnetic properties never previously observed in these conditions and in theory points to the existence of a new phase of the element, called epsilon 1.
Ultra-cold atom transport made simple
by on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:15:05 EDT:
Techniques for controlling ultra-cold atoms traveling in ring traps currently represent an important research area in physics. A new study gives a proof of principle, confirmed by numerical simulations, of the applicability to ultra-cold atoms of a very efficient and robust transport technique called spatial adiabatic passage.
From pencil marks to quantum computers
by on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:23:06 EDT:
One of the hottest materials in condensed matter research today is graphene. Graphene had an unlikely start: it began with researchers messing around with pencil marks on paper. Pencil "lead" is actually made of graphite, which is a soft crystal lattice made of nothing but carbon atoms. When pencils deposit that graphite on paper, the lattice is laid down in thin sheets. By pulling that lattice apart into thinner sheets -- originally using Scotch tape -- researchers discovered that they could make flakes of crystal just one atom thick.
Tunable quantum behavior observed in bilayer graphene
by on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:23:42 EDT:
Researchers have observed the fractional quantum Hall effect in bilayer graphene and shown that this exotic state of matter can be tuned by an electric field.
Researchers invent 'meta mirror' to help advance nonlinear optical systems
by on Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:00:36 EDT:
Scientists have created a nonlinear mirror that could advance laser systems. The metamaterials were created with nonlinear optical response a million times as strong as traditional nonlinear materials.
Hollow optical fibers for UV light
by on Wed, 02 Jul 2014 13:16:50 EDT:
If you want to send light on a trip through optical fibers -- with as little loss as possible, you should opt for infrared light, as is the case, for example, in the telecommunication networks worldwide. For certain applications, such as spectroscopic investigations on ions or atoms, however, (laser) light in the ultraviolet range is required. But this type of light would quickly damage conventional optical fibers. Researchers have now tested a new type of optical fiber with a hollow core and have found out that this type of optical fiber was able to guide UV laser light without being damaged and with acceptable loss.
Superconducting-silicon qubits: Using a bottom-up approach to make hybrid quantum devices
by on Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:36:12 EDT:
Theorists propose a way to make superconducting quantum devices such as Josephson junctions and qubits, atom-by-atom, inside a silicon crystal. Such systems could combine the most promising aspects of silicon spin qubits with the flexibility of superconducting circuits.
'Deep learning' makes search for exotic particles easier: New computing techniques could aid hunt for Higgs bosons
by on Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:36:06 EDT:
Fully automated 'deep learning' by computers greatly improves the odds of discovering particles such as the Higgs boson, beating even veteran physicists' abilities, according to new findings.
Reigning in chaos in particle colliders yields big results
by on Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:08:32 EDT:
Physicists have published details on an important method of detecting and correcting unwanted chaotic behavior in particle colliders. The method is helping accelerator physicists design high-performing, cost-efficient accelerators in an era of constrained science budgets.
Quantum dots created with single-atom precision
by on Mon, 30 Jun 2014 09:45:35 EDT:
Physicists have used a scanning tunneling microscope to create quantum dots with identical, deterministic sizes. The perfect reproducibility of these dots opens the door to quantum dot architectures completely free of uncontrolled variations, an important goal for technologies from nanophotonics to quantum information processing as well as for fundamental studies.
Counterintuitive phenomenon: Coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation
by on Sun, 29 Jun 2014 14:21:19 EDT:
A novel way to fabricate superconducting nanocircuitry has been developed. However, the newly designed extremely small zinc nanowires did some unexpected -- and sort of funky -- things.
'Compressive sensing' provides new approach to measuring a quantum system
by on Fri, 27 Jun 2014 13:49:39 EDT:
In quantum physics, momentum and position are an example of conjugate variables. This means they are connected by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which says that both quantities cannot be simultaneously measured precisely. Recently, researchers have been developing novel techniques, such as 'weak measurement,' to measure both at the same time. Now physicists have shown that a technique called compressive sensing offers a way to measure both variables at the same time, without violating the Uncertainty Principle.
Astronomers closer to proving gravitational waves with precise measurements of rapidly rotating neutron star
by on Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:27:14 EDT:
When Albert Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves as part of his theory of relativity, he set in train a pursuit for knowledge that continues nearly a century later. These ripples in the space-time continuum exert a powerful appeal because it is believed they carry information that will allow us to look back into the very beginnings of the universe. But although the weight of evidence continues to build, undisputed confirmation of their existence still eludes scientists. Researchers have now provided another piece of the puzzle with their precise measurements of a rapidly rotating neutron star: one of the smallest, densest stars in the universe.
Not much force: Researchers detect smallest force ever measured
by on Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:09:24 EDT:
Researchers have detected the smallest force ever measured -- approximately 42 yoctonewtons -- using a unique optical trapping system that provides ultracold atoms. A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton.
Black hole trio holds promise for gravity wave hunt
by on Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:24:06 EDT:
The discovery of three closely orbiting supermassive black holes in a galaxy more than four billion light years away could help astronomers in the search for gravitational waves: the 'ripples in spacetime' predicted by Einstein.