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Physics News - Physics News, Material Sciences, Science News, Physics provides the latest news on physics, materials, nanotech, science and technology. Updated Daily.


Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:21:06 EDT

For the first time, an experiment has directly imaged electron orbits in a high-magnetic field, illuminating an unusual collective behavior in electrons and suggesting new ways of manipulating the charged particles.

When quantum scale affects the way atoms emit and absorb particles of light

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:27:55 EDT

In 1937, US physicist Isidor Rabi introduced a simple model to describe how atoms emit and absorb particles of light. Until now, this model had still not been completely explained. In a recent paper, physicists have for the first time used an exact numerical technique: the quantum Monte Carlo technique, which was designed to explain the photon absorption and emission phenomenon. These findings were recently published in EPJ D by Dr Flottat from the Nice -Sophia Antipolis Non Linear Institute (INLN) in France and colleagues. They confirm previous results obtained with approximate simulation methods.

Nanoantenna lighting-rod effect produces fast optical switches

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:10:09 EDT

A team of scientists, led by the University of Southampton, have produced a fast nanoscale optical transistor using gold nanoantenna assisted phase transition.

Converting optical frequencies with 10^(-21) uncertainty

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:06:15 EDT

Frequency synthesizers from audio frequency to the microwave region have been widely used in daily life, high technology and scientific research. Those frequency synthesizers can output a signal with frequency related to the input light frequency (fin) as fin/R. Meanwhile, the phase coherence, frequency stability and accuracy of the output signal inherit from the input signal. While in the optical region, there was no such a device. Since the invention of lasers, scientists are able to realize optical frequency conversion with nonlinear optical process. For example, second harmonic generation can convert optical frequencies as fout = fin/0.5, where fout is the output light frequency. However, optical frequency conversion with arbitrary ratios has not been realized for a long time.

A new class of materials could realize quantum computers

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:40:05 EDT

Scientists at EPFL and PSI have discovered a new class of materials that can prove ideal for the implementation of spintronics.

Scientists manipulate surfaces to make them invisible

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:03 EDT

Most lenses, objectives, eyeglass lenses, and lasers come with an anti-reflective coating. Unfortunately, this coating works optimally only within a narrow wavelength range. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now introduced an alternative technology. Instead of coating a surface, they manipulate the surface itself. By comparison with conventional procedures, this provides the desired anti-reflective effect across a wider wavelength range. But more than this, it largely increases the light transmittance through surfaces. In the future, the nanostructured surfaces may improve high-energy lasers as well as touchscreens and the output of solar modules.

Computer simulation breaks virus apart to learn how it comes together

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 16:41:02 EDT

Researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University physicist Markus Deserno and University of Konstanz (Germany) chemist Christine Peter have developed a computer simulation that crushes viral capsids. By allowing researchers to see how the tough shells break apart, the simulation provides a computational window for looking at how viruses and proteins assemble. The study is published in the October issue of The European Physical Journal Special Topics.

Molecular selfie reveals how a chemical bond breaks: Proton is seen escaping the molecule

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:24:55 EDT

Imagine what it would be like to watch how the individual atoms of molecules rearrange during a chemical reaction to form a new substance, or to see the compounds of DNA move, rearrange and replicate. Such capability would give unprecedented insight to understand and potentially control the processes.

Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:22:57 EDT

For the first time, a team including scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used neutron beams to create holograms of large solid objects, revealing details about their interiors in ways that ordinary laser light-based visual holograms cannot.

Researchers posit way to locally circumvent Second Law of Thermodynamics

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:13:26 EDT

For more than a century and a half of physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that entropy always increases, has been as close to inviolable as any law we know. In this universe, chaos reigns supreme.

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:00:02 EDT

The nuclei of atoms of heavy elements are not necessarily spherical; they may be variously extended or flattened along one, two or even three axes. An international team of physicists, led by scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow (IFJ PAN) and the Heavy Ion Laboratory at the University of Warsaw (HIL), has recently presented the results of experiments showing that complex superdeformed nuclei occur in much lighter elements, as well.

Researchers demonstrate extension of electronic metrology to the multi-petahertz frequency range

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:00:01 EDT

(—A team of researchers with the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik has found a way to link previously demonstrated laser light-induced high-speed switching of an insulator between conducting states and high-frequency light emissions from insulators blasted with laser pulses. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes the techniques they used to pull off this feat. Michael Chini with the University of Central Florida offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue, and explains what hurdles still need to be overcome before devices making use of the technology can be developed.

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:15:51 EDT

As data demands continue to grow, scientists predict that it's only a matter of time before today's telecommunication networks reach capacity unless new technologies are developed for transporting data. A new technique could help avert this bandwidth crunch by allowing light-based optical networks to carry more than one hundred times more data than is possible with current technologies.

Subnatural-linewidth biphotons generated from a Doppler-broadened hot atomic vapor cell

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:30:48 EDT

Entangled photon pairs, termed as biphotons, have been the benchmark tool for experimental quantum optics. The quantum-network protocols based on photon-atom interfaces have stimulated a great demand for single photons with bandwidth comparable to or narrower than the atomic natural linewidth. In the past decade, laser-cooled atoms have often been used for producing such biphotons, but the apparatus is too large and complicated for engineering.

Spontaneous decays of magneto-elastic excitations in non-collinear antiferromagnets

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:28:30 EDT

Professor Park Je-Geun of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and colleagues have created a new theoretical model of the coupling of two forms of collective atomic excitation, known as magnons and phonons in crystals of the antiferromagnet manganite (Y,Lu)MnO3, a mineral made of manganese oxide and the rare-earth elements yttrium (Y) and lutetium (Lu).

Scientists gain insight on mechanism of unconventional superconductivity

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:21:04 EDT

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and partner institutions conducted a systematic investigation into the properties of the newest family of unconventional superconducting materials, iron-based compounds. The study may help the scientific community discover new superconducting materials with unique properties.

Working under pressure: Diamond micro-anvils will produce immense pressures to make new materials

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:07:44 EDT

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers will use pressures greater than those found at the center of the Earth to potentially create as yet unknown new materials. In the natural world, such immense forces deep underground can turn carbon into diamonds, or volcanic ash into slate.

New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:30:38 EDT

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

Lessons from the 'unearthly' behavior of enormous droplets in space

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:00:04 EDT

Droplets in space can grow freakishly large and bounce off nonwetting surfaces in truly unearthly ways. Astronauts frequently encounter huge droplets, and Scott Kelly recently demonstrated their unusual behavior aboard the International Space Station (ISS) via water balls and a hydrophobic (water repellant) ping pong paddle.

Full-circle viewing: 360-degree electronic holographic display

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:57:04 EDT

Princess Leia, your Star Wars hologram moment may be redeemed.

How an army of engineers battles contamination and sleep deprivation to take Large Hadron Collider to new heights

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:50:01 EDT

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is the world's largest particle accelerator, and experiments like this have reached a scale where physicists are no longer able to build them alone. Instead, qualified engineers now lead the construction of these behemoths. And we are part of a team of engineers and physicists working on upgrading the LHC and eventually constructing a successor.

A clean room for making sensors to find light from the birth of the universe

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:23:03 EDT

It takes a very, very clean room to build a detector sensitive enough to see the light from the beginning of the universe.

Researchers road-test powerful method for studying singlet fission

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:56:49 EDT

In a new study, researchers measure the spin properties of electronic states produced in singlet fission – a process which could have a central role in the future development of solar cells.

Quantum computers: 10-fold boost in stability achieved

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:32:49 EDT

Australian engineers have created a new quantum bit which remains in a stable superposition for 10 times longer than previously achieved, dramatically expanding the time during which calculations could be performed in a future silicon quantum computer.

'Shadow method' reveals locomotion secrets of water striders

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:30:58 EDT

While walking beside the creek in the Beijing Botany Garden one autumn, Yu Tian, a professor of mechanical engineering at Tsinghua University in China, noticed the beautiful shadows cast by water striders on the bottom of a shallow creek. If you've spent any time in or around water you've likely seen these water insects zipping along—they appear to walk or glide swiftly on the surface of still water.

Scientists create most efficient quantum cascade laser ever

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:26:01 EDT

A team of UCF researchers has produced the most efficient quantum cascade laser ever designed - and done it in a way that makes the lasers easier to manufacture.

How quantum effects could improve artificial intelligence

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:30:02 EDT

(—Over the past few decades, quantum effects have greatly improved many areas of information science, including computing, cryptography, and secure communication. More recently, research has suggested that quantum effects could offer similar advantages for the emerging field of quantum machine learning (a subfield of artificial intelligence), leading to more intelligent machines that learn quickly and efficiently by interacting with their environments.

A more durable material for the power industry

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:20:34 EDT

New research published in Nature is challenging a theory that is more than 50 years old and could change how some materials are designed in the future.

Ripples in space key to understanding cosmic rays

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:22:21 EDT

In a new study researchers at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics have used measurements from NASA's MMS (Magnetospheric MultiScale) satellites to reveal that there are ripples, or surface waves, moving along the surface of shocks in space. Such ripples in shocks can affect how plasma is heated and are potential sites of particle acceleration. These results have been published in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters.

Diamonds aren't forever: Team create first quantum computer bridge

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 15:12:43 EDT

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link "People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer but a connected cluster of small ones."