Physics

Imprisoned molecules 'quantum rattle' in their cages

Scientists have discovered that a space inside a special type of carbon molecule can be used to imprison other smaller molecules such as hydrogen or water.

Big Bang theory challenged by big chill

The start of the Universe should be modeled not as a Big Bang but more like water freezing into ice, according to a team of theoretical physicists.

Researchers make quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number into prime factors

Computing prime factors may sound like an elementary math problem, but try it with a large number, say one that contains more than 600 digits, and the task becomes enormously challenging and impossibly time-consuming. Now, a group of researchers has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number -- in this case the number 15 -- into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5. Factoring very large numbers is at the heart of cybersecurity protocols, such as the most common form of encoding, known as RSA encryption.

A new route to dissipationless electronics

A team of researchers has demonstrated a new material that promises to eliminate loss in electrical power transmission. The surprise is that their methodology for solving this classic energy problem is based upon the first realization of a highly exotic type of magnetic semiconductor first theorized less than a decade ago - a magnetic topological insulator.

Writing the book in DNA: Geneticist encodes his book in life's language

Using next-generation sequencing technology and a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest data size previously achieved in DNA, a geneticist encodes his book in life's language.

How the Wet-Dog Shake Gets Mammals Dry in No Time Flat | 80beats

There’s a certain expression a wet dog wears as it trots up to you, a kind of gleam in the eye that says, “I’m about to shake so vigorously that in a mere 4 seconds, 70 percent of the water in my fur will fly off of my coat and on to you.”
But the wet-dog shake, though it’s an annoyance to us, may be a survival technique to dogs. The water that sticks to a mammal’s fur can lower its body temperature, causing hypothermia, so it behooves wild animals to get rid of all that water as quickly and efficiently as possible.

First direct observations of quantum effects in an optomechanical system

Using a unique optical trapping system that provides ensembles of ultracold atoms, scientists have recorded the first direct observations of distinctly quantum optical effects -- amplification and squeezing -- in an optomechanical system. Their findings point the way toward low-power quantum optical devices and enhanced detection of gravitational waves among other possibilities.

Behaviors of the tiniest water droplets revealed

A new study has uncovered fundamental details about the hexamer structures that make up the tiniest droplets of water, the key component of life -- and one that scientists still don't fully understand.

Structure of superheavy elements in 'island of stability': Nucleus 256Rf can now be studied in depth

One of the most sought-after goals in nuclear physics is an understanding of the structure of superheavy elements in the so-called "island of stability". These nuclei contain a large number of protons, and would ordinarily be ripped apart by the strong Coulomb repulsion between them. However, quantum mechanical shell-effects act to stabilize the nuclei, meaning that they can then live long enough to be observed in the laboratory. Now, experimental advances make it possible to study the nucleus 256Rf in detail for the first time.

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