Physics



31 July 2014

Physicists map quantum to classical collapse


Extracting information from a system as it collapses from a quantum state to a classical state was never considered possible by the original founders of quantum theory, but Berkeley physicists have managed to extract information from a system continuously throughout its change of state, an achievement they say is like monitoring Schrodinger's cat through the whole life or death process...

17 June 2014

Algae turn quantum coherence on and off


A team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on-and-off a quantum phenomenon known as coherence. The function of coherence in the algae remains a mystery, but the researchers think it could help the organisms harvest energy from the Sun much more efficiently. They add that working out its precise role in a living organism could lead to technological advances, such as much-improved organic solar cells...

16 May 2014

Researchers go beyond quantum limit


Scientists are capable of measuring the position of an object with unprecedented accuracy, but the Heisenberg uncertainty principle ultimately places a fundamental limit on such measurements. Now, however, Caltech researchers have found a way to make measurements that go beyond the limits imposed by quantum physics...

17 March 2014

First direct evidence supporting cosmic inflation


Scientists announced today that they have successfully measured a B-mode polarization signal in the Universe's cosmic microwave background. The signal, detected using a telescope at the South Pole, represents an important confirmation of the theory of cosmic inflation and provides insights into how the Universe may have behaved in the first fractions of a second of its existence...

25 February 2014

Spinning nanoparticles hint at origin of life


Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what researchers call "living rotating crystals," a self-organizing behavior where the crystals take on a life of their own...

21 February 2014

Quasars at opposite ends of the Universe could close a loophole in quantum mechanics


Physicists have proposed an experiment that may close the last major loophole of Bell's inequality - a 50-year-old theorem that, if violated by experiments, would mean that our Universe is based not on the laws of classical physics, but on the probabilities of quantum mechanics...

12 February 2014

Fusion lab reports important boot-strapping milestone


Being able to generate more energy from a fusion reaction than the energy required to control the reaction is a key step needed before nuclear fusion power becomes a reality. This milestone of achieving fuel gains greater than unity (greater than 1) has now been reached for the first time ever...

17 January 2014

Recent discovery of quantum vibrations in brain neurons lends weight to his controversial theory of consciousness, says Sir Roger Penrose


Incorporating the recent discovery of quantum vibrations inside brain neurons, a new assessment of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness presents compelling evidence for the idea that consciousness derives from very fine scale activities inside brain neurons...

16 January 2014

Single-use computer memories may emerge as gold standard for secure transactions


Computer security systems may one day get a boost from quantum physics, as a result of recent research into a "one-shot" memory unit, whose contents can be read only a single time...

3 January 2014

The entropy of nations


Scientists have been investigating the similarities between nations and molecules and found that the distribution of energies among molecules in a gas and the distribution of per-capita energy consumption among nations both obey the same exponential law...

13 December 2013

Collapse of Universe may be sooner rather than later


It could happen tomorrow, it could happen in a billion years, but whenever it is, calculations by physicists at the University of Southern Denmark indicate that the risk of a collapse via The Big Slurp is even greater than previously thought...

8 December 2013

The cloning of quantum information from the past may be Achilles' heel of quantum cryptography


While the notion of physically travelling through time may still be the stuff of science fiction, a new research paper shows that it is theoretically possible to copy quantum data from the past. The new work has surprising ramifications for the field of quantum cryptography, which is widely touted as the future of secure communication...

5 December 2013

Entangled quarks hint at reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity


Building on related research that showed how two entangled black holes could be linked by a wormhole, an MIT physicist has shown that two entangled quarks could also give rise to a wormhole that connects the pair of elementary particles. The new work bolsters the relatively new idea that the laws of gravity holding together the universe may not be fundamental, but arise instead from quantum entanglement...

24 November 2013

Novel synchrotron X-ray generator could revolutionize security, medicine


Compared to ordinary X-rays, synchrotron X-rays produce much higher quality images with less radiation, but their use has been limited by their size and very high cost. Now, researchers say they have designed a device that uses a "tabletop" laser to produce synchrotron X-rays...

25 September 2013

Photonic molecules behave like light saber, say scientists


Photons have long been described as massless particles which don't interact with each other, but Harvard and MIT scientists have created molecules made from light that behave as though they have mass...

10 June 2013

Dark matter observations: missed it by that much


A theory which endows dark matter particles with a rare form of electromagnetism has been strengthened by a detailed analysis from Vanderbilt University which indicates that attempted observations of the mysterious substance are falling short by only the tiniest of margins...

22 May 2013

Physics-defying magnetic field behavior in solar flares explained


When a solar flare filled with charged particles erupts from the Sun, its magnetic lines of force sometimes break apart and then quickly reconnect in a way that has mystified astrophysicists, but an explanation for this flouting of a widely accepted rule of physics may be in the offing...

9 May 2013

Pear-shaped atoms may hold clues to unsolved physics


Physicists have found the first direct evidence of exotic pear shaped nuclei in atoms, a discovery that could advance the search for a new fundamental force in nature and explain why the Big Bang created more matter than antimatter...

10 April 2013

Radiation exposure from "dark lightning" quantified


Physicists have developed a new model of how thunderstorms manage to produce high-energy gamma-ray radiation and what the likely risk is for air travelers who happen to be near the lightning strike...

10 January 2013

Telling time with matter waves


Berkeley scientists say they have discovered a way to tell time by measuring matter waves, the oscillations of matter whose frequency is 10 billion times higher than that of visible light. Intriguingly, the researchers say the technique can also be reversed, using time to measure mass...

11 December 2012

Are we living in a computer simulation? Physicists propose test to find out


In 2003, a British philosopher published a probabilistic analysis examining the possibility that we might all be living in a computer simulation. His conclusion - that we quite likely are living in a computer simulation - might soon be put to the test by US physicists...

29 November 2012

New experimental findings challenge theory of electromagnetism


A cornerstone of physics may require a rethink if the results from a series of new experiments are confirmed. They suggest that predictions based on the fundamental theory of electromagnetism may not accurately account for the behavior of atoms in exotic states...

26 November 2012

Brain, Universe, Internet governed by same fundamental laws, suggests supercomputer simulation


Structural and dynamical similarities between the human brain and other complex networks such as the Internet or the Universe itself suggest that some fundamental laws might govern them all, although the nature and origin of such laws remain elusive...

1 November 2012

Synthetic magnetism used to control light


Stanford physicists and engineers have demonstrated a device that produces synthetic magnetism to exert virtual force on photons similar to the effect of a magnetic field on electrons...

29 October 2012

Experiment could reveal mechanism behind quantum entanglement


European and Asian physicists have devised a do-able experiment that could reveal the precise workings of Einstein's "spooky action at a distance." The results would show that either faster-than-light communication is possible, or, that the Universe is fundamentally nonlocal, in the sense that every bit of the Universe is connected to every other bit...

20 October 2012

Ball lightning an ion discharge, contends Aussie scientist


No explanation of how ball lightning occurs has been universally accepted by science, but an Australian researcher thinks eye-witness accounts from airline pilots may offer an important clue...

8 September 2012

New uncertainty over uncertainty principle


One of the fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics, Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, is being freshly challenged by University of Toronto researchers who say that Heisenberg's pessimistic assessment of the limits of measurement may be incorrect...

24 August 2012

Flat lens focuses without distortion


Physicists at Harvard have created an ultrathin, flat lens that focuses light without imparting the distortions that occur with conventional lenses...

10 August 2012

Banking regulations could create financial chaos, say physicists


Imposing minimal capital levels for banks in an effort to stabilize the banking sector will not prevent insolvency and may lead to even greater financial chaos, say the creators of a new theoretical framework for bank stability...

5 July 2012

New boson could be Higgs particle, say CERN boffins


CERN physicists say they have enough statistical evidence to claim discovery of a new fundamental particle - a boson that may, pending further investigation, prove to be the so-called "god" particle responsible for the elusive Higgs field that gives other particles mass...

4 July 2012

Atom shadow photographed using traditional microscopy


For the first time, Australian scientists have managed to photograph the shadow of an atom using only visible light and an extremely powerful optical microscope...

15 February 2012

"Cloaked" buildings could withstand earthquakes, say UK scientists


While much media attention has been paid to the development of an invisibility "cloak" that works with electromagnetic waves such as light, mathematicians from the University of Manchester have been looking at cloaking other wave-types, specifically, the damaging elastic waves generated by earthquakes...

14 December 2011

Higgs boson: no news is God news


The Higgs boson, the elusive so-called "God particle" that gives other particles mass, is still proving to be elusive, with the release of nebulous findings from the Large Hadron Collider that physicists say "hint" at the particle's existence...

5 November 2011

Fine structure constant may vary across universe


Electromagnetism, measured by the so-called fine-structure constant, is one of the four fundamental forces of nature and underpins Einstein's general theory of relativity. But an Australian physicist's observations of distant galaxies indicate that this constant may in fact be a variable...

23 September 2011

Unfashionably early neutrinos trigger faster-than-light brouhaha


Neutrinos shot out of the CERN particle research center have been arriving at their destination too early; suggesting, say the physicists involved, that the sub-atomic particles are travelling faster than the speed of light...

28 July 2011

Acoustic diode allows one-way sound transmission


Based on a simple assembly of granular crystals that transmit sound vibrations, Caltech researchers have created the first tunable acoustic diode that allows sound to travel only in one direction...

19 July 2011

Galactic spin theory neatly explains Charge Parity violation


Experimental observations of sub-atomic particles known as Kaons and B Mesons have revealed significant differences in how their matter and anti-matter versions decay. This "Charge Parity violation" is an awkward anomaly for physicists but a radical new theory suggests that the rotation of our galaxy may explain the discrepancy...

16 June 2011

Experimental results hint at neutrino flavor change


By shooting a beam of neutrinos through a small slice of the Earth under Japan, physicists say they've caught the particles changing their stripes in intriguing new ways...

6 June 2011

Antimatter bottled-up for 16 minutes


Antimatter remains an enigma, but researchers at CERN may soon be able to ascertain some of its key properties thanks to groundbreaking techniques they've developed that trap and store antimatter for more than 15 minutes...

2 June 2011

Physicists explore negative entropy in computation


A team of physicists have discovered that not only do computational processes sometimes generate no heat; under certain conditions they can even have a cooling effect...

15 April 2011

Bicycle design: back to the drawing board


How a bicycle stays upright while moving has always been something of a mystery to science, with a vague cocktail of gyroscopic effects being the accepted explanation. Now, however, scientists have determined the complex interplay of design characteristics that make a bike stay upright, and radically different bicycle designs may be in the offing...

8 April 2011

Physics community buzzing over possible new particle


Experiments at the Tevatron particle accelerator have produced results that indicate the existence of a new, unknown particle that is not predicted by the fundamental laws of physics...

1 April 2011

Spin sensitivity of DNA surprises researchers


Researchers investigating quantum interactions in biological molecules have shown that DNA is extremely sensitive to particle "spin." Their experiment shows that DNA can somehow discern and "filter" electrons moving through it, a finding that could impact both medical science and electronics research...

16 March 2011

LHC may produce time travelling particles


If the Large Hadron Collider does produce the elusive Higgs boson, then physicists speculate that it will also create a second particle, known as the Higgs singlet, that can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past...

1 February 2011

First demonstration of coherent control of a quantum multi-resonator architecture


Physicists have put a new slant on the shell game by demonstrating the ability to hide and shuffle "quantum-mechanical peas" - in this case single photons - under and between three microwave resonators acting as quantized shells...

21 January 2011

Naturally quantum critical material identified


In what researchers are calling a "dream system," an exotic new superconductor based on the element ytterbium appears to exist in a quantum critical state naturally; a highly desirable property that could have profound implications for the manufacture of superconductors and electronics...

12 January 2011

Satellite catches thunderstorm producing antimatter bursts


Astronomers using the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in orbit above the Earth have detected beams of antimatter produced above terrestrial thunderstorms, a phenomenon never seen before...

19 November 2010

Getting to grips with spookiness


Physicists say they have found an equation which shows that non-locality and uncertainty, the two defining properties of quantum physics, are quantitatively linked and that the "amount" of non-locality is determined by the uncertainty principle...

26 August 2010

Solar flares spookily linked to radioactive decay on Earth


Researchers have found that the radioactive decay of some elements sitting in laboratories on Earth seems to be influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away. This surprising finding, they speculate, may indicate a previously unknown particle emitted by the sun...

17 August 2010

New insight into matter-antimatter conundrum


Physicists have observed that short-lived B meson particles produced from proton collisions break down into debris that includes slightly more matter than antimatter, just the sort of matter/antimatter asymmetry that could explain the prevalence of matter over antimatter in the universe...

30 July 2010

Graphene stress produces gigantic pseudo-magnetic fields


Researchers have reported the creation of pseudo-magnetic fields far stronger than the strongest magnetic fields ever sustained in a laboratory - just by putting the right kind of strain onto a patch of graphene...

3 June 2010

Scientists' frustration with frustration at an end


Frustration, the term used to describe a system's interacting components when they cannot settle into a state that minimizes each interaction, has been extremely difficult to study because even systems with few components have interactions so complex that they cannot be modeled effectively on the most powerful computers. Now, however, a team of researchers has simulated frustration in a quantum system in a precisely controllable experimental arrangement. The breakthrough should provide new insights into a host of puzzling phenomena that affect systems from neural networks and social structures to protein folding and magnetism...

19 May 2010

Ball lightning all in the mind, say physicists


Physicists have shown that the magnetic fields produced by lightning discharges have the same properties as transcranial magnetic stimulation, a technique used in psychiatry that can produce images of luminous shapes in the brain...

11 May 2010

Robustness of quantum entanglement in photosynthesis surprises researchers


Scientists have conducted the first study in which quantum entanglement has been examined and quantified in a real biological system...

27 April 2010

Atomic spin captured in image


The use of atomic spin to create nanoscale magnetic storage devices - a field known as spintronics - is a hot topic in physics and computing, but until now no one had actually seen the spin...

22 April 2010

Physicists get a glimpse of fault-tolerant qubits


Rice University physicists have uncovered a bizarre state of matter which possesses what the researchers call a "quantum registry," making it immune to information loss from external quantum perturbations...

7 April 2010

Black hole effect created with nanotube


Harvard physicists have found that a high-voltage nanotube can cause cold atoms to spiral inward under dramatic acceleration before disintegrating violently - an atomic scale destructive force that is eerily similar to the inexorable attractive force that black holes exert on matter at the cosmic scale...

29 March 2010

E8 "theory of everything" looking rocky


The exceptionally simple theory of everything - known as E8 - proposed by a physicist surfer dude in 2007, does not hold water, says a rock-climbing Emory mathematician...

12 March 2010

Physicists to probe flu virus for macro quantum effects


European scientists have described an experiment to test for quantum superposition states in objects composed of as many as one billion atoms, specifically, a flu virus...

16 February 2010

Mirror symmetry broken at 4 trillion degrees


Mirror symmetry, the behavior that normally characterizes the interactions of quarks and gluons, has been observed to break down during extremely energetic particle collisions, raising the tantalizing prospect of different symmetries governing space, time and the behavior of fundamental particles...

18 January 2010

Tying light in knots


A team of physicists has used knot theory - a branch of abstract mathematics - to create holograms where light can flow in whirls and eddies, forming lines in space called optical vortices...

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