Physics News Feeds

  • To capture single photons, researchers create an interference ‘wall’
    on December 3, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Photons are the basis for many next-generation quantum technologies, including ultra-secure quantum communications and potentially game-changing quantum computers.

  • Understanding mouthfeel of food using physics
    on December 3, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Food texture can make the difference between passing on a plate and love at first bite. To date, most studies on food texture center on relating a food’s overall composition to its mechanical properties. Our understanding of how microscopic structure and changes in the shape of food affect food texture, however, remains underdeveloped.

  • Two-dimensional bipolar magnetic semiconductors with electrically controllable spin polarization realized
    on December 3, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Two dimensional (2D) magnetic semiconductors, integrating semiconductivity, ferromagnetism and low dimensionality, serve as the cornerstone for high-speed nanospintronic devices. However, the practical applications of nowadays 2D magnetic semiconductors face two key problems: the rather low magnetic Curie temperature compared to room temperature, and the lack of a simple and efficient method to control the carrier’s spin polarization direction. Thus, exploring 2D magnetic semiconductors with room temperature magnetic ordering and controllable spin polarization is highly desirable.

  • BESIII experiment: Search for new physics in charm energy region, progress and prospect
    on December 3, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    In a recent review article published online in National Science Review, Prof. Shenjian Chen (Nanjing University) and Prof. Stephen Olsen (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences) review the major progress of the BESIII experiment in searching for new physics in Charm physics energy region, and prospect the potential of new physics search in the future.

  • Development of a single-process platform for the manufacture of graphene quantum dots
    on December 3, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    Graphene consists of a planar structure, with carbon atoms connected in a hexagonal shape that resembles a beehive. When graphene is reduced to several nanometers (nm) in size, it becomes a graphene quantum dot that exhibits fluorescent and semiconductor properties. Graphene quantum dots can be used in various applications as a novel material, including display screens, solar cells, secondary batteries, bioimaging, lighting, photocatalysis, and sensors. Interest in graphene quantum dots is growing, because recent research has demonstrated that controlling the proportion of heteroatoms (such as nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous) within the carbon structures of certain materials enhances their optical, electrical, and catalytic properties.

  • CMS collaboration homes in on Higgs boson’s lifetime
    on December 3, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    The Higgs boson doesn’t stick around for long. Once it is created in particle collisions, the famed particle lives for a mere less than a trillionth of a billionth of a second or, more precisely, 1.6 x 10-22 seconds. According to theory, that is, for so far experiments have only been able to set bounds on the value of the particle’s lifetime or to determine this property with a large uncertainty. Until now. In a new study, the CMS collaboration reports a value for the particle’s lifetime that has a small enough uncertainty to confirm that the Higgs boson does have such a short lifetime.

  • Artificial material protects light states on smallest length scales
    on December 3, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Light not only plays a key role as an information carrier for optical computer chips, particularly for the next generation of quantum computers. Its lossless guidance around sharp corners on tiny chips and the precise control of its interaction with other light are the focus of research worldwide. Scientists at Paderborn University have now demonstrated the spatial confinement of a light wave to a point smaller than the wavelength in a topological photonic crystal. These are artificial electromagnetic materials that facilitate robust manipulation of light. The state is protected by special properties and is important for quantum chips, for example. The findings have now been published in Science Advances.

  • Iron selenide film reveals clues about superconductivity
    on December 3, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Through their study of two-dimensional iron selenide (FeSe) films, a research team has unlocked some intriguing clues about superconductivity.

  • Researchers one step closer to optoacoustic endoscopic probe for microsurgery
    on December 3, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Skoltech researchers and their colleagues have come one step closer to a working optoacoustic endoscopic probe—a device that could slip inside a blood vessel and analyze atherosclerotic plaques by shining laser light on them to make them wobble like a loudspeaker membrane and betray their chemical composition with an ultrasound signature. This could prove useful in robotized microsurgery and medical diagnostics. The study recently came out in ACS Photonics.

  • Never-before-seen electron behavior could help scientists create superwires for supercharged technology
    on December 3, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Wakanda, the mythical setting for Marvel’s superhero film “Black Panther,” is home to some not-so-mythical technology. An indestructible cape might not yet be possible, but Wakanda’s levitating high-speed trains could zoom into reality with the help of superconductors.

  • Physicists exploit space and time symmetries to control quantum materials
    on December 3, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Physicists from Exeter and Trondheim have developed a theory describing how space reflection and time reversal symmetries can be exploited, allowing for greater control of transport and correlations within quantum materials.

  • Lego down! Focused vibrations knock over minifigures
    on December 2, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    A tabletop covered in miniature Lego minifigures. There is a whooshing sound, a pause, and then a single minifigure in the center of the table topples over, leaving the remaining minifigures standing.

  • Shaping up nicely: Adjusting the plasma edge can improve the performance of a star on Earth
    on December 2, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    While trying out a new device that injects powder to clean up the walls of the world’s largest stellarator, a twisty fusion device known as Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) in Greifswald, Germany, scientists were pleased to find that the bits of atoms confined by magnetic fields within the device got temporarily hotter after each injection. Researchers led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Germany found that pulsed injections of boron carbide, an ingredient in sandpaper, increased the density and temperature of the ultrahot atom fragments, or plasma, leading to better fusion performance.

  • Green information technologies: Superconductivity meets spintronics
    on December 2, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    When two superconducting regions are separated by a strip of non-superconducting material, a special quantum effect can occur, coupling both regions: The Josephson effect. If the spacer material is a half-metal ferromagnet, novel implications for spintronic applications arise. An international team has now, for the first time, designed a material system that exhibits an unusually long-range Josephson effect. Here, regions of superconducting YBa2Cu3O7 are separated by a region of half-metallic, ferromagnetic manganite (La2/3Sr1/3MnO3) one micron wide.

  • Scientists use quantum processor to simulate 2D states of quantum matter
    on December 2, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    What would it be like if we lived in a flat two-dimensional world? Physicists predict that quantum mechanics would be even stranger in that case, resulting in exotic particles—so-called “anyons”— that cannot exist in the three-dimensional world we live in. This unfamiliar world is not just a curiosity but may be key to unlocking quantum materials and technologies of the future.

  • Molecular device turns infrared into visible light
    on December 2, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Light is an electromagnetic wave: It consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields propagating through space. Every wave is characterized by its frequency, which refers to the number of oscillations per second, measured in Hertz (Hz). Our eyes can detect frequencies between 400 and 750 trillion Hz (or terahertz, THz), which define the visible spectrum. Light sensors in cell phone cameras can detect frequencies down to 300 THz, while detectors used for internet connections through optical fibers are sensitive to around 200 THz.

  • Color-changing magnifying glass gives clear view of infrared light
    on December 2, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Detecting light beyond the visible red range of our eyes is hard to do, because infrared light carries so little energy compared to ambient heat at room temperature. This obscures infrared light unless specialized detectors are chilled to very low temperatures, which is both expensive and energy-intensive.

  • Scientists document the presence of quantum spin liquids, a never-before-seen state of matter
    on December 2, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    In 1973, physicist Philip W. Anderson theorized the existence of a new state of matter that has been a major focus of the field, especially in the race for quantum computers.

  • Filtering unwanted sounds from baby monitors
    on December 2, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    New parents often keep a constant ear on their children, listening for any signs of distress as their baby sleeps. Baby monitors make that possible, but they can also inundate parents with annoying background audio.

  • Sounding off on Seattle Space Needle renovation
    on December 2, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The Seattle Space Needle, a city landmark for nearly 60 years, recently underwent a renovation to enhance the visitor experience. Acoustic designers were tasked with ensuring that the new design is a quiet one.

  • Researchers engineer magnetic complexity into atomically thin magnets
    on December 2, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Magnets are used in so many of our everyday objects including cell phones and in the strip of a credit card or a hotel key. They even power the engine in your vacuum.

  • Researchers develop a two-photon microscope that provides unprecedented brain-imaging ability
    on December 2, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Advancing our understanding of the human brain will require new insights into how neural circuitry works in mammals, including laboratory mice. These investigations require monitoring brain activity with a microscope that provides resolution high enough to see individual neurons and their neighbors.

  • Novel quantum device design promises a regular flow of entangled electrons on demand
    on December 2, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Quantum computer and many other quantum technologies rely on the generation of quantum-entangled pairs of electrons. However, the systems developed so far typically produce a noisy and random flow of entangled electrons, which hinders synchronized operations on the entangled particles. Now, researchers from Aalto University in Finland propose a way to produce a regular flow of spin-entangled electrons.

  • Tracing European conflicts using lead isotopes in paints used by Dutch masters
    on December 2, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    A team of researchers from Vrije University, Conservation & Science, Rijksmuseum and the University of Amsterdam has found that it is possible to trace conflicts in Europe by analyzing lead isotopes in paint used by Dutch master painters. They have published their results in the journal Science Advances.

  • Three-dimensional imaging with optical frequency combs
    on December 2, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Holography is a powerful technique of photography of a light field without a lens for 3D imaging and display. Now, scientists at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics are moving holography forward by implementing it with optical frequency combs. Thousands of holograms over all colors of the rainbow can be recorded. Via digital processing, each hologram provides a three-dimensional image of the scene in which the focusing distance can be chosen at will. Combining all these holograms renders the geometrical shape of the three-dimensional object with high precision and no ambiguity. At the same time, other diagnostics can be performed by the frequency combs: Here, the scientists show molecule-selective imaging of a cloud of ammonia vapor.

  • Safely delivering radiation to cancer patients in a ‘FLASH’
    on December 1, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have shown for the first time the potential for linear induction accelerators (LIAs) to deliver effective, targeted doses of “FLASH” radiation to cancer patients. The new technique selectively kills cancer cells with minimal damage to healthy cells. The approach is outlined in a Scientific Reports paper.

  • Thriving in non-equilibrium
    on December 1, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Equilibrium may be hard to achieve in our lives, but it is the standard state of nature.

  • Particle accelerator magnet sets record using high-temperature superconductor
    on December 1, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Cost- and energy-efficient rapid cycling magnets for particle accelerators are critical for particle physics research. Their performance determines how frequently a circular particle accelerator can receive a bunch of particles, propel them to higher energy, send them to an experiment or target station, and then repeat all over again.

  • Atoms vibrating in a twisted crystal spin waves that carry heat
    on December 1, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    A discovery by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers may aid the design of materials that better manage heat. The team observed that atoms vibrating in a twisted crystal drive winding energetic waves that carry heat, like a corkscrew drives a cork from a bottle.

  • Magnons vs electrons: A new spin on computer processing
    on December 1, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    In 1965, Gordon Moore of Intel predicted that microprocessors would double in speed and capacity every couple of years. This prediction, now known as “Moore’s Law,” has with some modification in 1975 been reliably prophetic until now. We’re fast approaching the limits of Moore’s Law at the same time as demands on microprocessor performances are continuing to grow at an ever more rapid pace. The solution may be in a burgeoning technology whose name reads like a character in the Marvel Universe —magnonics.