Physics

The fundamental physics of frequency combs sheds light on nature's problem-solving skills

Nature has a way of finding optimal solutions to complex problems. For example, despite the billions of ways for a single protein to fold, proteins always fold in a way that minimizes potential energy. Slime mold, a brainless organism, always finds the most efficient route to a food source, even when presented with an obstacle. A jump rope, when held on both ends, always ends up in the same shape, a curve known as catenary.

Shell increases versatility of nanowires

Nanowires promise to make LEDs more colorful and solar cells more efficient, in addition to speeding up computers. That is, provided that the tiny semiconductors convert electric energy into light, and vice versa, at the right wavelengths. Researchers have managed to produce nanowires with operating wavelengths that can be freely selected over a wide range. Fine-tuned nanowires could take on several roles in optoelectronic components, thus making them more powerful, more cost-effective, and easier to integrate.

The fundamental physics of frequency combs sheds light on nature's problem-solving skills

Nature has a way of finding optimal solutions to complex problems. For example, despite the billions of ways for a single protein to fold, proteins always fold in a way that minimizes potential energy. This kind of optimization is explained by what's known as a variational principle: any other deformation -- or variation -- of the shape found by the protein would require more energy. Now, researchers have found that some lasers use the same principle.

Experimental physicists redefine ultrafast, coherent magnetism

For the first time ever, experimental physicists have been able to influence the magnetic moment of materials in sync with their electronic properties. The coupled optical and magnetic excitation within one femtosecond corresponds to an acceleration by a factor of 200 and is the fastest magnetic phenomenon that has ever been observed.

Experimental physicists redefine ultrafast, coherent magnetism

Electronic properties of materials can be directly influenced via light absorption in under a femtosecond (10-15 seconds), which is regarded as the limit of the maximum achievable speed of electronic circuits. In contrast, the magnetic moment of matter has only been able to be influenced up to now by a light and magnetism-linked process and roundabout way by means of magnetic fields, which is why magnetic switching takes that much longer and at least several hundred femtoseconds.

The observation of topologically protected magnetic quasiparticles

A team of researchers conducted an in-depth study of magnetic quasiparticles called 'triplons.' The team conducted the study with a low-dimensional quantum magnet, Ba2CuSi2O6Cl2, using neutron inelastic scattering by AMATERAS at J-PARC. Their findings lead to the discovery of a new 'topologically protected triplon edge state' in the aforementioned compound.

First snapshots of trapped CO2 molecules shed new light on carbon capture

Scientists have taken the first images of carbon dioxide molecules within a molecular cage -- part of a highly porous nanoparticle known as a MOF, or metal-organic framework, with great potential for separating and storing gases and liquids.

Quantum ghost imaging improved by using five-atom correlations

In conventional imaging methods, a beam of photons (or other particles) is reflected off the object to be imaged. After the beam travels to a detector, the information gathered there is used to create a photograph or other type of image. In an alternative imaging technique called "ghost imaging," the process works a little differently: an image is reconstructed from information that is detected from a beam that never actually interacts with the object.

Chiral zero sound found in Weyl semimetals

A pair of researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has found that a chiral zero sound (CZS) effect can be induced in Weyl semimetals. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Zhida Song and Xi Dai describe their experiments with Weyl semimetals and what they found.

What Does Absolute Zero Mean?

It's the absolute nadir of our universe's thermometer. And it gets pretty weird down there.

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