ScienceDaily: Quantum Physics News

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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

Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:41:29 EDT:
Electrons are elementary particles -- indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron's quantum state -- the electron wave function -- can be separated into many parts. That has some strange implications for the theory of quantum mechanics.
Physicists' simple solution for quantum technology challenge
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:48:08 EDT:
A solution to one of the key challenges in the development of quantum technologies has been proposed by physicists. Scientists show how to make a new type of flexibly-designed microscopic trap for atoms.
New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state
by on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:53:26 EDT:
Physicist have produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field.
New compounds for tunable OLED devices manufacturing
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:10:01 EDT:
New organic compounds characterized by a higher modularity, stability and efficiency, have been developed by researchers. These compounds could be applicable in the semiconductors industry for using them in electronics or lighting.
New experiment provides route to macroscopic high-mass superpositions
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:18:21 EDT:
Scientists have designed a new experiment to test the foundations of quantum mechanics at the large scale. Standard quantum theory places no limit on particle size and current experiments use larger and larger particles, which exhibit wave-like behavior. However, at these masses experiments begin to probe extensions to standard quantum mechanics, which describe the apparent quantum-to-classical transition. Now researchers have designed a new type of experiment which will advance the current state-of-the-art experiments by a factor of 100, from 10,000 atomic mass units (amu), roughly equal to the mass of a single proton, to one million amu.
Moving in the quantum world
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:18:17 EDT:
Simulating the behavior of a single particle can be quite a challenging task in physics; after all, it is microscopic and we usually cannot watch in real time. It becomes even more complicated when you realize that the particle has to follow the laws of quantum physics, which allow it be in two or more places at the same time through a phenomenon called superposition. Understanding how a quantum particle behaves is necessary to enhance our fundamental understanding of the laws of physics.
Quantum effects bridge the gap
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:07:38 EDT:
Quantum effects in nanometer-scale metallic structures provide a platform for combining molecular electronics and plasmonics.
Scientists disprove theory that reconstructed boron surface is metallic
by on Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:53:18 EDT:
Scientific inquiry is a hit and miss proposition, subject to constant checking and rechecking. Recently, a new class of materials was discovered called topological insulators—nonmetallic materials with a metallic surface capable of conducting electrons. The effect, based on relativity theory, exists only in special materials -— those with heavy elements —- and has the potential to revolutionize electronics.
POLARBEAR detects B-modes in the cosmic microwave background: Mapping cosmic structure, finding neutrino masses
by on Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:11:42 EDT:
The POLARBEAR experiment has made the most sensitive and precise measurements yet of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background and found telling twists called B-modes in the patterns, signs that this cosmic backlight has been warped by intervening structures in the universe.
Quantum holograms as atomic scale memory keepsake
by on Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:10:40 EDT:
A new study demonstrates that quantum holograms could be a candidate for becoming quantum information memory. Scientists have developed a theoretical model of quantum memory for light, adapting the concept of a hologram to a quantum system.
Wild molecular interactions in a new hydrogen mixture
by on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:55:18 EDT:
Hydrogen responds to pressure and temperature extremes differently. Under ambient conditions hydrogen is a gaseous two-atom molecule. As confinement pressure increases, the molecules adopt different states of matter -- like when water ice melts to liquid. Scientists have now combined hydrogen with its heavier sibling deuterium and created a novel, disordered, 'Phase IV'-material. The molecules interact differently than have been observed before, which could be valuable for controlling superconducting and thermoelectric properties of new materials.
Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam
by on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:50:43 EDT:
Physicists have built a tractor beam that can repel and attract objects, using a hollow laser beam, bright around the edges and dark in its center. It is the first long-distance optical tractor beam, 100 times larger than previous ones.
1980s American aircraft helps quantum technology take flight
by on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:50:41 EDT:
The X-29, an American experimental aircraft has inspired quantum computing researchers in a development which will bring the technology out of the lab.
New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips
by on Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:11:25 EDT:
Computer chips with superconducting circuits -- circuits with zero electrical resistance -- would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips, an attractive trait given the increasing power consumption of the massive data centers that power the Internet's most popular sites.
Light bending material facilitates the search for new particles
by on Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:33:17 EDT:
Particle physicists have a hard time identifying all the elementary particles created in their particle accelerators. But now researchers have designed a material that makes it much easier to distinguish the particles.
Inexplicable signal from unseen universe provides tantalizing clue about one of astronomy's greatest secrets -- dark matter
by on Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:54:10 EDT:
The first potential indication of direct detection of dark matter -- something that has been a mystery in physics for over 30 years -- has been attained. Astronomers found what appears to be a signature of 'axions', predicted 'dark matter' particle candidates.
New records set for silicon quantum computing
by on Sun, 12 Oct 2014 13:48:51 EDT:
Two research teams working in the same laboratories have found distinct solutions to a critical challenge that has held back the realization of super powerful quantum computers. The teams created two types of quantum bits, or "qubits" -- the building blocks for quantum computers -- that each process quantum data with an accuracy above 99%.
Revving up fluorescence for superfast LEDs
by on Sun, 12 Oct 2014 13:48:43 EDT:
Engineering researchers have made fluorescent molecules emit photons 1,000 times faster than normal -- a record in the field and an important step toward superfast light emitting diodes and quantum cryptography.
A novel platform for future spintronic technologies
by on Sun, 12 Oct 2014 13:48:34 EDT:
Spintronics is a new field of electronics, using electron spin rather than charge. Scientists have now shown that a conventional electrical insulator can be used as an optimal spintronic device.
Getting sharp images from dull detectors
by on Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:52:22 EDT:
Observing the quantum behavior of light is a big part of Alan Migdall's research at the Joint Quantum Institute. Many of his experiments depend on observing light in the form of photons -- the particle complement of light waves -- and sometimes only one photon at a time, using "smart" detectors that can count the number of individual photons in a pulse. Furthermore, to observe quantum effects, it is normally necessary to use a beam of coherent light, light for which knowing the phase or intensity for one part of the beam allows you to know things about distant parts of the same beam.
Rare 'baby rattle' molecules reveal new quantum properties of H2O and H2
by on Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:09:57 EDT:
Neutron scattering experiments have revealed the existence of quantum selection rules in molecules, the first experimental confirmation of its kind. Small molecules such as water and hydrogen were inserted into C-60 buckyballs to form rare compounds ideal for testing the predictions of quantum theory. Similar confinement techniques could open the door to new insights about the quantum properties of molecules by providing a unique testing ground for quantum theory.
Discovery of new subatomic particle, type of meson, to 'transform' understanding of fundamental force of nature
by on Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:26:44 EDT:
The discovery of a new particle will "transform our understanding" of the fundamental force of nature that binds the nuclei of atoms, researchers argue. The discovery of the new particle will help provide greater understanding of the strong interaction, the fundamental force of nature found within the protons of an atom's nucleus.
Quantum probe enhances electric field measurements
by on Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:42:24 EDT:
Scientists have demonstrated a technique based on the quantum properties of atoms that directly links measurements of electric field strength to the International System of Units. The new method could improve the sensitivity, precision and ease of tests and calibrations of antennas, sensors, and biomedical and nano-electronic systems and facilitate the design of novel devices.
A warm dark matter search using XMASS
by on Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:24:55 EDT:
The XMASS collaboration has reported its latest results on the search for warm dark matter. Their results rule out the possibility that super-weakly interacting massive bosonic particles constitute all dark matter in the universe.
Fundamentals of physics confirmed: Experiments testing Einstein's time dilation and quantum electrodynamics
by on Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:22:48 EDT:
The special theory of relativity and quantum electrodynamics are two important fundamentals of modern physics. They have been experimentally verified many times already and both have passed all the tests so far. In recent experiments, researchers in Germany accelerated ions to velocities near the speed of light and illuminated them with a laser. The results confirm the time dilation predicted for high velocities in the theory of relativity with an accuracy that has never before been achieved.
A quick look at electron-boson coupling: Researchers use ultrafast spectroscopy on many body effects
by on Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:20:53 EDT:
Using an ultrafast spectroscopy technique called time- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, researchers demonstrated a link between electron-boson coupling and high-temperature superconductivity in a high-Tc cuprate.
Pressing the accelerator on quantum robotics
by on Mon, 06 Oct 2014 08:51:24 EDT:
Quantum computing will allow for the creation of powerful computers, but also much smarter and more creative robots than conventional ones. Scientists have now confirmed that quantum tools help robots learn and respond much faster to the stimuli around them. Quantum mechanics promises to revolutionize the world of communications and computers by introducing algorithms which are much quicker and more secure in transferring information.
Physicist turns smartphones into pocket cosmic ray detectors
by on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:26:57 EDT:
A new smartphone app can essentially turn Android phones into pocket cosmic ray detectors. The app, DECO, uses the phone's camera to capture energetic subatomic light particles and log data.
Quantum environmentalism: Putting a qubit's surroundings to good use
by on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:19:00 EDT:
A qubit's environment, usually viewed as a threat to coherence, here serves as an aid to manipulating and interrogating the qubit.
Exotic matter: A closer look at the perfect fluid sheds light on what happened microseconds after the Big Bang
by on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:18:58 EDT:
By combining data from two high-energy accelerators, nuclear scientists have refined the measurement of a remarkable property of exotic matter known as quark-gluon plasma. The findings reveal new aspects of the ultra-hot, 'perfect fluid' that give clues to the state of the young universe just microseconds after the Big Bang.
Elusive particle that is its own antiparticle observed
by on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:17:57 EDT:
Scientists have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a feat of math and engineering that could yield powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.
New approach to on-chip quantum computing
by on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:11:24 EDT:
An international team of researchers is introducing a new method to achieve a different type of photon pair source that fits into the tiny space of a computer chip.
Hide and seek: Sterile neutrinos remain elusive
by on Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:31:23 EDT:
Scientists studying the subtle transformations of subatomic particles called neutrinos, is publishing its first results on the search for a so-called sterile neutrino, a possible new type of neutrino beyond the three known neutrino 'flavors,' or types. The existence of this elusive particle, if proven, would have a profound impact on our understanding of the universe, and could impact the design of future neutrino experiments.
Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom
by on Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:01:32 EDT:
Having the possibility to measure magnetic properties of materials at atomic precision is one of the important goals of today's experimental physics. Such measurement technique would give engineers and physicists an ultimate handle over magnetic properties of nano-structures for future applications. Researchers now propose a new method, utilizing properties of the quantum world – the phase of the electron beam – to detect magnetism with atom-by-atom precision.
Sensor network tracks down illegal bomb-making
by on Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:01:07 EDT:
Terrorists can manufacture bombs with relative ease, few aids and easily accessible materials such as synthetic fertilizer. Not always do security forces succeed in preventing the attacks and tracking down illegal workshops in time. But bomb manufacturing leaves its traces: Remains of the synthetic fertilizer stick to stairs and doorknobs, waste from the manufacturing process gets into the sewerage and is deposited in air ducts.
Cold Atom Laboratory chills atoms to new lows
by on Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:45:05 EDT:
NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) mission has succeeded in producing a state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, a key breakthrough for the instrument leading up to its debut on the International Space Station in late 2016.
Ultrafast remote switching of light emission
by on Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:07:15 EDT:
Researchers can now for the first time remotely control a miniature light source at timescales of 200 trillionth of a second. Physicists have developed a way of remotely controlling the nanoscale light sources at an extremely short timescale. These light sources are needed to be able to transmit quantum information.
Entanglement made tangible
by on Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:31:11 EDT:
Scientists have designed a first-ever experiment for demonstrating quantum entanglement in the macroscopic realm. Unlike other such proposals, the experiment is relatively easy to set up and run with existing semiconductor devices.
At the interface of math and science: Using mathematics to advance problems in the sciences
by on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:03:14 EDT:
In popular culture, mathematics is often deemed inaccessible or esoteric. Yet in the modern world, it plays an ever more important role in our daily lives and a decisive role in the discovery and development of new ideas -- often behind the scenes. In new research, scientists have developed new mathematical approaches to gain insights into how proteins move around within lipid bilayer membranes.
From diamonds to super computers
by on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:45:55 EDT:
By exchanging specific atoms inside the mineral structure, quantum bits, required to process complex operations faster, could be stabilized.
Turning the Moon into a cosmic ray detector
by on Fri, 26 Sep 2014 08:58:24 EDT:
Scientists are to turn the Moon into a giant particle detector to help understand the origin of Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays -- the most energetic particles in the Universe. The origin of UHE cosmic rays is one of the great mysteries in astrophysics. Nobody knows where these extremely rare cosmic rays come from or how they get their enormous energies. Physicists detect them on Earth at a rate of less than one particle per square kilometer per century.
Longstanding bottleneck in crystal structure prediction solved
by on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:08:20 EDT:
The various patterns that atoms of a solid material can adopt, called crystal structures, can have a huge impact on its properties. Being able to accurately predict the most stable crystal structure for a material has been a longstanding challenge for scientists. Researchers calculated the lattice energy of benzene, a simple yet important molecule in pharmaceutical and energy research, to sub-kilojoule per mole accuracy -- a level of certainty that allows polymorphism to be resolved.
New discovery could pave way for spin-based computing: Novel oxide-based magnetism follows electrical commands
by on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:08:18 EDT:
Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A research team has now discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures.
Putting the squeeze on quantum information
by on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:28:29 EDT:
Researchers have shown that information stored in quantum bits can be exponentially compressed without losing information. The achievement is an important proof of principle, and could be useful for efficient quantum communications and information storage.
Final proof for optimal encoding strategies in optical communication
by on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:30:37 EDT:
Theorist have demonstrated that Gaussian encoding guarantees minimum output entropy and hence ultimate capacity of optical communication channels.
Are weak values quantum? Don't bet on it: Key technique used to probe quantum systems may not be so quantum after all
by on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:28:26 EDT:
Over the past 20 years, a strange idea called a "weak value" has taken root in quantum information science. Many of the things you can do with quantum technologies entail being able to gain information from quantum systems. But there is a quantum conundrum: we can't say what a particle is doing when we're not looking at it, but when we do look at it, we change its behavior. But what if we could look "a little"?
Taking advantage of graphene defects: Security screening
by on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:51:27 EDT:
Scientists have discovered a potential application for graphene in security screening. A new theoretical model estimates electric current rectification in graphene. Electronic transport in graphene contributes to its characteristics. Now, a Russian scientist proposes a new theoretical approach to describe graphene with defects-in the form of artificial triangular holes-resulting in the rectification of the electric current within the material. Specifically, the study provides an analytical and numerical theory of the so-called ratchet effect.
Graphene: When a doughnut becomes an apple
by on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:59:31 EDT:
In experiments using the wonder material graphene, researchers have been able to demonstrate a phenomenon predicted by a Russian physicist more than 50 years ago. They analyzed a layer structure that experts believe may hold great promise.
Engineers unlock potential for faster computing
by on Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:28:11 EDT:
Engineers discovered a way to create a special material -- a metal layer on top of a silicon semiconductor -- that could lead to cost-effective, superfast computers that perform lightning-fast calculations but don’t overheat. This new "topological insulator" behaves like an insulator on the inside but conducts electricity on the outside.
Uncovering the forbidden side of molecules: Infrared spectrum of charged molecule seen for first time
by on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:50:11 EDT:
Researchers have succeeded in observing the “forbidden” infrared spectrum of a charged molecule for the first time. These extremely weak spectra offer perspectives for extremely precise measurements of molecular properties and may also contribute to the development of molecular clocks and quantum technology.
Physicists teleport quantum state of photon to crystal over 25 kilometers
by on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:50:07 EDT:
Physicists have succeeded in teleporting the quantum state of a photon to a crystal over 25 kilometers of optical fiber. The experiment constitutes a first, and simply pulverizes the previous record of 6 kilometers achieved ten years ago by the same team. Passing from light into matter, using teleportation of a photon to a crystal, shows that, in quantum physics, it is not the composition of a particle which is important, but rather its state, since this can exist and persist outside such extreme differences as those which distinguish light from matter.
Superabsorbing ring could make light work of snaps, be ultimate camera pixel
by on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:08:50 EDT:
A quantum effect in which excited atoms team up to emit an enhanced pulse of light can be turned on its head to create 'superabsorbing' systems that could make the 'ultimate camera pixel'.
Latest measurements from the AMS experiment unveil new territories in the flux of cosmic rays
by on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:38:57 EDT:
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer collaboration has just presented its latest results. These are based on the analysis of 41 billion particles detected with the space-based AMS detector aboard the International Space Station. The results provide new insights into the nature of the mysterious excess of positrons observed in the flux of cosmic rays.
Milestone in chemical studies of superheavy elements: Superheavy element and carbon atom bonded for first time
by on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:38:55 EDT:
A chemical bond between a superheavy element and a carbon atom has been established for the first time. This research opens new vistas for studying the effects of Einstein's relativity on the structure of the periodic table.
New insights into the world of quantum materials
by on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:12:53 EDT:
A team of physicists has experimentally observed how the anisotropic properties of particles deform the Fermi surface in a quantum gas. The work provides the basis for future studies on how the geometry of particle interactions may influence the properties of a quantum system.
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.