Radio waves are used for many measurements and applications, for example, in communication with mobile phones, MRI scans, scientific experiments and cosmic observations. But 'noise' in the detector of the measuring instrument limits how sensitive and precise the measurements can be. Now researchers have developed a new method where they can avoid noise by means of laser light and can therefore achieve extreme precision of measurements.
D-Wave quantum processor passes tests indicating that it uses special laws of quantum mechanics to operate. A key task for researchers has been to determine whether D-Wave processors operate as hoped -- using the special laws of quantum mechanics to offer potentially higher-speed processing, instead of operating in a classical, traditional way.
With the explosive growth of bandwidth demand in telecommunications networks, experts are continually seeking new ways to transmit increasingly large amounts of data in the quickest and cheapest ways possible. Photonic devices -- which convert light to electricity and vice versa -- offer an energy-efficient alternative to traditional copper network links for information transmission. Unfortunately, these devices are also almost always prohibitively pricey.
There's promising news from the front on efforts to produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis. A new study shows that nearly 90 percent of the electrons generated by a hybrid material designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in the target hydrogen molecules.
Nitrogen-vacancy centers -- flaws in a diamond's crystal lattice that produce color -- have received much attention for their sensitivity to magnetic fields. Researchers have now used N-V diamond sensors to detect the tiny magnetic fluctuations that occur on the surface of high-temperature superconductors in hopes of discovering how these much ballyhooed but still mysterious materials work. With their chip sensor, they hope to measure the properties of a single magnetic vortex.
Minuscule waves that propagate across atom -- thin layers of crystal could carry information, light, and heat in nanoscale devices. For the first time, the frequency and amplitude of these waves, called surface phonon polaritons, can be tuned by altering the number of layers of crystals, and they travel far making practical applications for these signals feasible.
Scientists have made major improvements in computer processing using an emerging class of magnetic materials called 'multiferroics,' and these advances could make future devices far more energy-efficient than current technologies.