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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


Physicists heat freestanding graphene to control curvature of ripples
by on Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:16:38 EDT:
Physicists have discovered that heating can be used to control the curvature of ripples in freestanding graphene. The finding provides fundamental insight into understanding the influence temperature exerts on the dynamics of freestanding graphene. This may drive future applications of the flexible circuits of consumer devices such as cell phones and digital cameras.
For electronics beyond silicon, a new contender emerges
by on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:37:12 EDT:
Using a quantum material called a correlated oxide, researchers have achieved a reversible change in electrical resistance of eight orders of magnitude, a result the researchers are calling 'colossal.' In short, they have engineered this material to perform comparably with the best silicon switches.
Making quantum dots glow brighter
by on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:17:04 EDT:
Researchers have found a new way to control the properties of quantum dots, those tiny chunks of semiconductor material that glow different colors depending on their size. Quantum dots, which are so small they start to exhibit atom-like quantum properties, have a wide range of potential applications, from sensors, light-emitting diodes, and solar cells, to fluorescent tags for biomedical imaging and qubits in quantum computing.
Elusive quantum transformations found near absolute zero
by on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:36:11 EDT:
To isolate quantum fluctuations that define the properties of a metallic material, scientists probed it at temperatures colder than interstellar space. The research provides new methods to identify and understand promising new materials, including superconductors.
Three's a charm: Detectors reveal entangled photon triplets
by on Sun, 14 Sep 2014 15:07:53 EDT:
Researchers have directly entangled three photons in the most technologically useful state for the first time, thanks in part to superfast, super-efficient single-photon detectors.
New math and quantum mechanics: Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy
by on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:06:34 EDT:
The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation of this conundrum has been what's called the "Copenhagen interpretation" -- which holds that, in some sense, a single particle really is a wave, smeared out across the universe, that collapses into a determinate location only when observed. But some founders of quantum physics -- notably Louis de Broglie -- championed an alternative interpretation, known as "pilot-wave theory," which posits that quantum particles are borne along on some type of wave. According to pilot-wave theory, the particles have definite trajectories, but because of the pilot wave's influence, they still exhibit wavelike statistics. Now a professor of applied mathematics believes that pilot-wave theory deserves a second look.
Scientists fabricate single-photon sources in solid matter
by on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 21:09:21 EDT:
A breakthrough in quantum information processing was achieved using state-of-the-art diamond growth technology. A research group has successfully fabricated for the first time in the world single-photon sources of SiV (silicon vacancy) centers – one of the color centers in diamond during the growth of thin film diamond, which have high purity and crystalline quality – by introducing them at extremely low concentrations.
New species of electrons can lead to better computing
by on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:54:46 EDT:
Electrons that break the rules and move perpendicular to the applied electric field could be the key to delivering next generation, low-energy computers.
'Talking' and 'listening' to atoms: Scientists make acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom
by on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:54:44 EDT:
Scientists have used sound to communicate with an artificial atom. They can thereby demonstrate phenomena from quantum physics with sound taking on the role of light.
The quantum revolution is a step closer: New way to run a quantum algorithm
by on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:30:26 EDT:
A new way to run a quantum algorithm using much simpler methods than previously thought has been discovered. These findings could dramatically bring forward the development of a 'quantum computer' capable of beating a conventional computer.
Excitonic dark states shed light on TMDC atomic layers: New promise for nanoelectronic and photonic applications
by on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:47:51 EDT:
Researchers believe they have uncovered the secret behind the unusual optoelectronic properties of single atomic layers of TMDC materials, the two-dimensional semiconductors that hold great promise for nanoelectronic and photonic applications.
Electronics that need very little energy? Nanotechnology used to help cool electrons with no external sources
by on Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:25:34 EDT:
A team of researchers has discovered a way to cool electrons to minus 228 degrees Celsius without external means and at room temperature, an advancement that could enable electronic devices to function with very little energy.
New method to detect prize particle for future quantum computing
by on Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:33:27 EDT:
Scientists have uncovered a new method to detect Majorana particles, a key element for a next-generation quantum computing platform. Quantum computing relies on the laws of quantum mechanics to process vast amounts of information and calculations simultaneously, with far more power than current computers. However, development of quantum computers has been limited as researchers have struggled to find a reliable way to increase the power of these systems, a power measured in Q-Bits.
Graphene gets a 'cousin' in the shape of germanene
by on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:21:28 EDT:
Scientists have successfully synthesized the 2-D material germanene. Dubbed a 'cousin of graphene', the material, which is made up of just a single layer of germanium atoms, is expected to exhibit impressive electrical and optical properties and could be widely integrated across the electronics industry in the future.
Two-dimensional electron liquids: Looking for novel forms of superconductivity
by on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:23:37 EDT:
Truly two-dimensional objects are rare. Even a thin piece of paper is trillions of atoms thick. When physicists do succeed in producing 2D systems, quantum interactions can lead to new phenomena and Nobel prizes. Two examples: graphene -- single-atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms -- has unique mechanical, electrical, and optical properties; and two-dimensional electron gases (2DEG) -- planar collections of electrons supported at the interface between certain semiconductors such as gallium arsenide -- allow the observation of such emergent behaviors as the quantum Hall effect and the spin Hall effect. Using an overlying bath of ionic liquid, a piece of superconductor -- divided by an insulating strip -- supports narrow tunnels which permit currents to flow between.
'Solid' light could compute previously unsolvable problems
by on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 13:08:10 EDT:
Researchers have begun crystallizing light as part of an effort to answer fundamental questions about the physics of matter. As part of an effort to develop exotic materials such as room-temperature superconductors, the researchers have locked together photons, the basic element of light, so that they become fixed in place.
Squeezed quantum communication: Flashes of light in quantum states transmitted through atmosphere
by on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:33:44 EDT:
Scientists have sent a pulse of bright light in a particularly sensitive quantum state through 1.6 kilometers of air. This quantum state, which they call squeezed, was maintained, which is something many physicists thought to be impossible. Eavesdropping on a message protected by quantum cryptography cannot be done without being noticed.
Atomically thin material opens door for integrated nanophotonic circuits
by on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:12:43 EDT:
Researchers have described a new combination of materials that could be a step towards building computer chips capable of transporting digital information at the speed of light.
A new model for a cosmological enigma -- dark matter: Solving long-standing and troublesome puzzles
by on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:12:41 EDT:
Astrophysicists believe that about 80 percent of the substance of our universe is made up of mysterious "dark matter" that can't be perceived by human senses or scientific instruments.
Nano-pea pod model widens electronics applications
by on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:27:12 EDT:
A new theoretical model explains how a nanostructure, such as the nano-pea pod, can exhibit localized electrons. Periodic chain-like nanostructures are widely used in nanoelectronics. Typically, chain elements include the likes of quantum rings, quantum dots, or quantum graphs. Such a structure enables electrons to move along the chain, in theory, indefinitely. The trouble is that some applications require localized electrons —- these are no longer in a continuous energy spectrum but in a discrete energy spectrum, instead.
Ultracold atoms juggle spins with exceptional symmetry
by on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:19:47 EDT:
Scientists have succeeded in revealing a highly symmetric exchange of spins between ytterbium atoms in different electronic orbital states.
Cool calculations for cold atoms: New theory of universal three-body encounters
by on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:13:06 EDT:
Chemical reactions drive the mechanisms of life as well as a million other natural processes on earth. These reactions occur at a wide spectrum of temperatures, from those prevailing at the chilly polar icecaps to those at work churning near earth's core. At nanokelvin temperatures, by contrast, nothing was supposed to happen. Chemistry was expected to freeze up. Experiments and theoretical work have now show that this is not true. Even at conditions close to absolute zero atoms can interact and manage to form chemical bonds. Now the first full theory that accounts for interactions at nano-kelvin temperatures -- in those situations where 3-atom states can form even while all 2-atom states are unstable has been developed.
New synthesis method may shape future of nanostructures, clean energy
by on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:12:14 EDT:
A team of physicists has published new nanoscience advances that they and other scientists say make possible new nanostructures and nanotechnologies with huge potential applications ranging from clean energy and quantum computing advances to new sensor development.
Quantum control of molecules for ultra-fast computers: Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly
by on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:34:29 EDT:
In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story. Now scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from tumbling so that its potential for new applications, such as quantum computing, can be harnessed: shine a single laser on a trapped molecule and it instantly cools to the temperature of outer space, stopping the rotation of the molecule.
Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles
by on Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:14:13 EDT:
Scientists have developed a new sensor that can detect and count nanoparticles, at sizes as small as 10 nanometers, one at a time. The researchers say the sensor could potentially detect much smaller particles, viruses and small molecules.
Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology
by on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:42:49 EDT:
One of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons (electronic circuits). First, it is necessary to create a stream of single photons and control their direction. Researchers have now succeeded in creating a steady stream of photons emitted one at a time and in a particular direction.
Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method
by on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:08:20 EDT:
Researchers have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counter-intuitive features. For the first time, an image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object.
Doing more with less: New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions
by on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:01:28 EDT:
Just two years ago, with the advent of a technique called direct measurement, scientists discovered they could reliably determine a system’s wave function by “weakly” measuring one of its variables (e.g. position) and “strongly” measuring a complementary variable (momentum). Researchers have now taken this method one step forward by combining direct measurement with an efficient computational technique.
Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun
by on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:16:52 EDT:
Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, physicists have directly detected neutrinos created by the 'keystone' proton-proton fusion process going on at the sun's core for the first time.
Atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions crafted by scientists
by on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:53:38 EDT:
Two single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless fashion known as a heterojunction, researchers say. This result could be the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, and solar technologies.
Do we live in a 2-D hologram? Experiment will test the nature of the universe
by on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:10:52 EDT:
A unique experiment called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe -- including whether we live in a hologram.
Laser pulse turns glass into a metal: New effect could be used for ultra-fast logical switches
by on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:08:08 EDT:
For tiny fractions of a second, quartz glass can take on metallic properties, when it is illuminated be a laser pulse. This has been shown by new calculations. The effect could be used to build logical switches which are much faster than today's microelectronics.
Duality principle is 'safe and sound'
by on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:10:55 EDT:
Decades of experiments have verified the quirky laws of quantum theory again and again. So when scientists in Germany announced in 2012 an apparent violation of a fundamental law of quantum mechanics, physicists were determined to find an explanation.
Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions
by on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:58:34 EDT:
A physics model helps scientists accurately predict the likely outcome of a chemical reaction as well as sheds new light on mysterious quantum states, including the Efimov effect.
Laser device may end pin pricks, improve quality of life for diabetics
by on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:16:10 EDT:
Researchers have developed a way to use a laser to measure people's blood sugar, and, with more work to shrink the laser system to a portable size, the technique could allow diabetics to check their condition without pricking themselves to draw blood. In a new article, the researchers describe how they measured blood sugar by directing their specialized laser at a person's palm.
X-ray laser probes tiny quantum tornadoes in superfluid droplets
by on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:15:44 EDT:
An experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory revealed a well-organized 3-D grid of quantum 'tornadoes' inside microscopic droplets of supercooled liquid helium -- the first time this formation has been seen at such a tiny scale. The findings by an international research team provide new insight on the strange nanoscale traits of a so-called 'superfluid' state of liquid helium.
First direct evidence of 'spin symmetry' in atoms
by on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:14:36 EDT:
Physicists have observed the first direct evidence of symmetry in the magnetic properties -- or nuclear 'spins' -- of atoms. The advance could spin off practical benefits such as the ability to simulate and better understand exotic materials such as superconductors.
Physicists have chilled the world's coolest molecule
by on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:59:24 EDT:
Physicists have chilled the world's coolest molecules. The tiny titans in question are bits of strontium monofluoride, dropped to 2.5 thousandths of a degree above absolute zero through a laser cooling and isolating process called magneto-optical trapping. They are the coldest molecules ever achieved through direct cooling, and they represent a physics milestone likely to prompt new research in areas ranging from quantum chemistry to tests of the most basic theories in particle physics.
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.