Physics

A mathematical model to explain the paradox of plankton

A pair of researchers, one with The Simons Centre for the Study of Living Machines in India, the other with the University of Illinois in the U.S., has built a model to explain a paradox of plankton. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Akshit Goyal and Sergei Maslov describe their model and how well they believe it portrays actual bacterial communities.

NASA Announces Winners of Weather-shortened Rover Challenge

NASA has announced the winners of the 2018 Human Exploration Rover Challenge, held April 13 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Individual impurity atoms detectable in graphene

Physicists have succeeded in using atomic force microscopy to clearly obtain images of individual impurity atoms in graphene ribbons. Thanks to the forces measured in the graphene's two-dimensional carbon lattice, they were able to identify boron and nitrogen for the first time.

When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube

Predicting the behavior of electrons in a material is not easily done. Physicists have replaced the electrons with ultra-cold neutral lithium atoms that they had circulated in a one-dimensional quantum tube. The scientists were able to confirm an unusual state of matter that retains its insulation regardless of the level of attraction between the particles. This work opens the way to new materials with atypical properties.

Quantum physicists achieve entanglement record

Entanglement is of central importance for the new quantum technologies of the 21st century. A research team is now presenting the largest entangled quantum register of individually controllable systems to date, consisting of a total of 20 quantum bits. The physicists are pushing experimental and theoretical methods to the limits of what is currently possible.

Measurement of the fine-structure constant casts doubt on dark photon theories

A team of researchers from the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has conducted an ultra-precise measurement of the fine-structure constant, and in so doing, have found evidence that casts doubts on dark photon theory. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their measurement process and what they found by using it.

A powerful new source of high-energy protons

Nearly 20 years ago, researchers conducting experiments on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Nova Petawatt laser system—the world's first quadrillion-watt laser—discovered that when the system's intense short-pulse laser beams struck a thin foil target, an unexpected torrent of high-energy electrons and protons streamed off the back of the target.

Wiggling atoms switch the electric polarization of crystals

Ferroelectric crystals display a macroscopic electric polarization, a superposition of many dipoles at the atomic scale that originate from spatially separated electrons and atomic nuclei. The macroscopic polarization is expected to change when the atoms are set in motion but the connection between polarization and atomic motions has remained unknown.

Wiggling atoms switch the electric polarization of crystals

A time-resolved x-ray experiment now elucidates that tiny atomic vibrations shift negative charges over a 1000 times larger distance between atoms and switch the macroscopic polarization on a time scale of a millionth of a millionth of a second.

Plan for quantum supremacy

Things are getting real for researchers in the UC Santa Barbara John Martinis/Google group. They are making good on their intentions to declare supremacy in a tight global race to build the first quantum machine to outperform the world's best classical supercomputers.

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