Physics

Blueprint for an artificial brain: Physicist takes nature as his model

Scientists have long been dreaming about building a computer that would work like a brain. This is because a brain is far more energy-saving than a computer, it can learn by itself, and it doesn't need any programming. Privatdozent [senior lecturer] Dr. Andy Thomas from Bielefeld University's Faculty of Physics is experimenting with memristors – electronic microcomponents that imitate natural nerves. Thomas and his colleagues proved that they could do this a year ago. They constructed a memristor that is capable of learning.

Connecting the (quantum) dots: First viable high-speed quantum computer moves closer

Scientists have developed a new method that better preserves the units necessary to power lightning-fast electronics, known as qubits. Hole spins, rather than electron spins, can keep quantum bits in the same physical state up to 10 times longer than before, the report finds.

Light particles illuminate the vacuum

Researchers from the Finnish Aalto University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland succeeded in showing experimentally that vacuum has properties not previously observed. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, it is a state with abundant potentials. Vacuum contains momentarily appearing and disappearing virtual pairs, which can be converted into detectable light particles.

Updating the textbook: Is the radius of a proton wrong?

Striving for agreement between theory and experiment and pushing the boundaries of precision are important parts of the scientific process.

Newly observed properties of vacuums: Light particles illuminate the vacuum

Researchers have succeeded in showing experimentally that vacuums have properties not previously observed. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, it is a state with abundant potentials. Vacuums contain momentarily appearing and disappearing virtual pairs, which can be converted into detectable light particles.

NASA Announces Fourth Round of CubeSat Space Mission Candidates

NASA has selected 24 small satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

NASA Announces Fourth Round of CubeSat Space Mission Candidates

NASA has selected 24 small satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Sounds of Science

Turning raw feeds from Voyager 1's magnetometer into a space odyssey symphony.

Study shows hovering hummingbirds generate two trails of vortices under their wings, challenging one-vortex consensus

As of today, the Wikipedia entry for the hummingbird explains that the bird's flight generates in its wake a single trail of vortices that helps the bird hover. But after conducting experiments with hummingbirds in the lab, researchers at the University of California, Riverside propose that the hovering hummingbird instead produces two trails of vortices—one under each wing per stroke—that help generate the aerodynamic forces required for the bird to power and control its flight.

Research to probe deep within a solar cell

Engineers and scientists from the University of Sheffield have pioneered a new technique to analyse PCBM, a material used in polymer photovoltaic cells, obtaining details of the structure of the material which will be vital to improving the cell's efficiency. The findings are published in Applied Physics Letters.

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