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

Quantum radar to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems
by on Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:46:28 EST:
A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has now been developed.
Top-precision optical atomic clock starts ticking
by on Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:35:12 EST:
A state-of-the-art optical atomic clock is now 'ticking away.' As the first of its kind in Poland and one of just a handful of clocks of this caliber in the world, the new clock will keep track of the passage of time with extraordinary precision.
New research predicts when, how materials will act
by on Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:23:36 EST:
A material might melt or snap in half. And for engineers, knowing when and why that might happen is crucial information. Now, a researcher has laid out an overarching theory that explains why certain materials act the way they do.
Clusters of aluminum metal atoms become superconductive at surprisingly high temperatures
by on Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:22:59 EST:
Clusters of atoms known as 'superatoms' represent an entirely new family of superconductors -- one that appears to work at temperatures well above standard superconductors.
Physicists offer a solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter in the universe
by on Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:22:55 EST:
Most of the laws of nature treat particles and antiparticles equally, but stars and planets are made of particles, or matter, and not antiparticles, or antimatter. That asymmetry, which favors matter to a very small degree, has puzzled scientists for many years. Physicists offer a possible solution to the mystery of the origin of matter in the universe.
Bending a highly energetic electron beam with crystal
by on Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:21:10 EST:
Scientists have demonstrated that a bent silicon crystal can bend the paths of focused, very energetic electron beams much more than magnets used today. The method could be of interest for particle accelerator applications such as next-generation X-ray lasers that will help scientists unravel atomic structures and motions in unprecedented detail.
Spin laser: Rapid data transfer thanks to quantum physics
by on Wed, 25 Feb 2015 08:25:32 EST:
Engineers have developed a new concept for accelerating data transfer in server farms. To this end, the team has applied a quantum-mechanical variable, i.e. the spin. Researchers are optimizing the so-called spin lasers for data transfer.
Ultra-thin nanowires can trap electron 'twisters' that disrupt superconductors
by on Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:34:26 EST:
Superconductor materials are prized for their ability to carry an electric current without resistance, a valuable trait crippled or lost when electrons swirl into tiny tornado-like formations called vortices. To keep supercurrents flowing at top speed, scientists have figured out how to constrain troublesome vortices by trapping them within extremely short, ultra-thin nanowires.
Optical nanoantennas set the stage for a NEMS lab-on-a-chip revolution
by on Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:29:27 EST:
Newly developed tiny antennas, likened to spotlights on the nanoscale, offer the potential to measure food safety, identify pollutants in the air and even quickly diagnose and treat cancer, according to the scientists who created them.
Simulating superconducting materials with ultracold atoms
by on Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:25:52 EST:
Physicists have used ultracold lithium atoms to create a state of matter that may help solve some of the mysteries of high-temperature superconductivity.
Quantum many-body systems on the way back to equilibrium
by on Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:42:40 EST:
Advances in experimental and theoretical physics enable a deeper understanding of the dynamics and properties of quantum many-body systems.
Higgs mode in superconducting materials: Tabletop technique for examining physics' most celebrated missing link
by on Thu, 19 Feb 2015 10:17:13 EST:
The Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Higgs boson -- the 'God particle' believed responsible for all the mass in the universe -- took place in 2012 at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The first hint of Higgs was inspired by the study of superconductors -- a special class of metals that, when cooled to very low temperatures, allow electrons to move without resistance. Now, a research team has reported the first-ever observations of the Higgs mode in superconducting materials.
Searching for signs of a force from the 'dark side' in particle collisions
by on Thu, 19 Feb 2015 08:49:08 EST:
Scientists searching for signs of elusive “dark photons” as an explanation for an anomaly in a groundbreaking physics experiment have nearly ruled out their role.
Getting a grip on exotic atomic nuclei
by on Wed, 18 Feb 2015 10:16:26 EST:
A new model describing atomic nuclei more accurately predicts the properties of various exotic isotopes that are created in supernova explosions or inside nuclear reactors.
Building a more versatile frequency comb: Newly developed frequency combs can operate at higher power
by on Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:12:38 EST:
Researchers have developed a room temperature frequency comb with increased power based on quantum cascade lasers. Since the discovery of optical frequency combs in the 1990s, many applications in metrology, spectroscopy, and frequency synthesis have emerged. Similar to the way a grandfather clock's pendulum ticks off the seconds before signaling the gears to turn its hands, frequency combs count oscillations and convert them into useful electronic signals.
Novel solid-state nanomaterial platform enables terahertz photonics
by on Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:40:07 EST:
Compact, sensitive and fast nanodetectors are considered to be somewhat of a "Holy Grail" sought by many researchers around the world. And now a team of scientists in Italy and France has been inspired by nanomaterials and has created a novel solid-state technology platform that opens the door to the use of terahertz (THz) photonics in a wide range of applications.
Controlling car pollution at the quantum level
by on Mon, 16 Feb 2015 09:20:49 EST:
Researchers are working towards a new generation of automotive catalytic converters.
What’s new for LHC Run II
by on Sat, 14 Feb 2015 09:23:56 EST:
The most powerful particle accelerator on Earth soon will reawaken for its second run. Scientists explain how the upgraded capabilities of the Large Hadron Collider and its experiments will give access to a previously inaccessible realm of physics.
Exotic states materialize with supercomputers
by on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:46:37 EST:
Supercomputers used to find new class of materials that exhibit exotic matter state known as the quantum spin Hall effect. The researchers propose a new type of transistor made from these materials.
Weird 'strings' attached to future high temperature superconductivity
by on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 06:51:35 EST:
The behavior of strongly correlated electron systems, such as high temperature superconductors, defies explanation in the language of ordinary quantum theory. A seemingly unrelated area of physics, string theory, might give physicists a better understanding of the weird behavior of this kind of collective electron systems.
CERN experiment brings precision to a cornerstone of particle physics
by on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 08:31:58 EST:
The COMPASS experiment at CERN reports a key measurement on the strong interaction. The strong interaction binds quarks into protons and neutrons, and protons and neutrons into the nuclei of all the elements from which matter is built. Inside those nuclei, particles called pions made up of a quark and an antiquark mediate the interaction. Strong interaction theory makes a precise prediction on the polarisability of pions – the degree to which their shape can be stretched. This polarisability has baffled scientists since the 1980s, when the first measurements appeared to be at odds with the theory. New result is in close agreement with theory.
Smashing polarized protons to uncover spin and other secrets
by on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 08:29:43 EST:
If you want to unravel the secrets of proton spin, put a “twist” in your colliding proton beams. The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is the only facility in the world with the ability to collide such spin-polarized protons. The latest round of these collisions has just begun and will continue for approximately the next nine weeks.
On quantum scales, there are many second laws of thermodynamics
by on Mon, 09 Feb 2015 16:14:17 EST:
New research has uncovered additional second laws of thermodynamics which complement the ordinary second law of thermodynamics, one of the most fundamental laws of nature. These new second laws are generally not noticeable except on very small scales, at which point, they become increasingly important.
A centimeter of time: Cool clocks pave the way to new measurements of Earth
by on Mon, 09 Feb 2015 11:30:42 EST:
Two cryogenically cooled optical lattice clocks that can be synchronized to a tremendous 2.0 x 10^-18 -- meaning that they would only go out of synch by a second in 16 billion years. This is nearly 1,000 times more precise than the current international timekeeping standard cesium atomic clock.
In the quantum world, the future affects the past: Hindsight and foresight together more accurately 'predict' a quantum system’s state
by on Mon, 09 Feb 2015 08:30:11 EST:
In the quantum world, the future predicts the past. Playing a guessing game with a superconducting circuit called a qubit, a physicist has discovered a way to narrow the odds of correctly guessing the state of a two-state system. By combining information about the qubit's evolution after a target time with information about its evolution up to that time, the lab was able to narrow the odds from 50-50 to 90-10.
Nanovectors combine cancer imaging and therapy
by on Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:51:36 EST:
Researchers have designed and developed hybrid gold-silica nanoparticles, which are turning out to be genuine therapeutic “Swiss Army knives”. Tested in mice and on cultured human cells, they make it possible to combine two forms of tumor treatment and three imaging techniques. They notably have a greater drug loading and delivery capacity than carriers currently on the market, which opens interesting perspectives for cancer research.
Physicists working to understand how and why matter came about
by on Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:51:17 EST:
Physicists are engaged in a series of neutrino experiments, called NOvA, now under way at Fermilab to help answer how and why matter came about.
Full-color moving holograms in high resolution
by on Wed, 04 Feb 2015 09:01:01 EST:
Three-dimensional (3D) movies, which require viewers to wear stereoscopic (i.e. Related to the technique of creating an impression of depth by showing two slightly offset flat images to each eye) glasses, have become very popular in recent years. However, the 3D effect produced by the glasses cannot provide perfect depth cues. Furthermore, it is not possible to move one's head and observe that objects appear different from different angles -- a real-life effect known as motion parallax. Now, researchers have developed a new way of generating high-resolution, full-color, 3D videos that uses holographic technology.
Graphene displays clear prospects for flexible electronics
by on Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:43:03 EST:
Semi-transparent, flexible electronics are no longer just science-fiction thanks to graphene's unique properties, researchers have found. Researchers now show that new 2D 'designer materials' can be produced to create flexible, see-through and more efficient electronic devices.
Microscopic monitoring may yield big advances in production of consumer products, pharmaceuticals
by on Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:42:02 EST:
A team of physicists has developed a method to monitor the properties of microscopic particles as they grow within a chemical reaction vessel, creating new opportunities to improve the quality and consistency of a wide range of industrial and consumer products.
Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory
by on Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:14:01 EST:
A new study adds to the growing evidence supporting a theory that strange electronic behaviors -- including high-temperature superconductivity and heavy fermion physics -- arise from quantum fluctuations of strongly correlated electrons.
Crystal light: New family of light-converting materials points to cheaper, more efficient solar power and LEDs
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:03:25 EST:
Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs. The materials, called perovskites, are particularly good at absorbing visible light, but had never been thoroughly studied in their purest form: as perfect single crystals. Using a new technique, researchers grew large, pure perovskite crystals and studied how electrons move through the material as light is converted to electricity.
Generating Mobius strips of light
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:16:21 EST:
Physicists have experimentally produced Möbius strips from the polarization of light, confirming a theoretical prediction that it is possible for light's electromagnetic field to assume this peculiar shape.
Nanomedicines of the future will build on quantum chemistry
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:41:12 EST:
Quantum chemical calculations have been used to solve big mysteries in space. Soon the same calculations may be used to produce tomorrow’s cancer drugs, experts say.
Could a new proposed particle help to detect Dark Matter?
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:41:10 EST:
Researchers have proposed a new fundamental particle which could explain why no one has managed to detect 'Dark Matter', the elusive missing 85 per cent of the Universe's mass. Dark Matter is thought to exist because of its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing (the bending of light rays) around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (the afterglow of the Big Bang). Despite compelling indirect evidence and considerable experimental effort, no one has managed to detect Dark Matter directly.
Researchers use sound to slow down, speed up, and block light
by on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:35:53 EST:
How do you make an optical fiber transmit light only one way? Researchers have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, the phenomenon of Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency (BSIT), which can be used to slow down, speed up, and block light in an optical waveguide. The BSIT phenomenon permits light to travel in the forward direction while light traveling in the backward direction is strongly absorbed. This non-reciprocal behavior is essential for building isolators and circulators.
Nanoscale mirrored cavities amplify, connect quantum memories
by on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:18:47 EST:
Constructing tiny "mirrors" to trap light increases the efficiency with which photons can pick up and transmit information about electronic spin states -- which is essential for scaling up quantum memories for functional quantum computing systems and networks.
New pathway to valleytronics: Femtosecond laser used to manipulate valley excitons
by on Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:24:57 EST:
Researchers have uncovered a promising new pathway to valleytronics, a potential quantum computing technology in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain 2-D semiconductors.
Visualizing interacting electrons in a molecule
by on Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:59:13 EST:
Scientists have succeeded in directly imaging how electrons interact within a single molecule. Understanding this kind of electronic effects in organic molecules is crucial for their use in optoelectronic applications, for example in organic light-emitting diodes, organic field-effect transistors and solar cells.
Entanglement on a chip: Breakthrough promises secure communications and faster computers
by on Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:57:07 EST:
A team of scientists has developed, for the first time, a microscopic component that is small enough to fit onto a standard silicon chip that can generate a continuous supply of entangled photons.
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.