Physics

A theoretical boost to nano-scale devices

Researchers have developed a new approach to the underlying physics of semiconductors. They calculated the quasi-Fermi levels in molecular junctions applying an ab initio approach.

Research takes electrons for a spin in moving toward more efficient, higher density data storage

Researchers have demonstrated a new mechanism involving electron motion in magnetic materials that points to new ways to potentially enhance data storage.

Superconductors with 'zeitgeist' -- When materials differentiate between past and future

Physicists have discovered spontaneous static magnetic fields with broken time-reversal symmetry in a class of iron-based superconductors. This exceptional property calls for new theoretical models and may become important in quantum computing.

Efficient, 'green' quantum-dot solar cells exploit defects

Novel quantum dot solar cells match the efficiency of existing quantum-dot based devices, but without lead or other toxic elements that most solar cells of this type rely on.

Observing the path less traveled boosts quantum gain

When probing the subtle effects of quantum mechanics, all the parameters in the system and its measurements need to be finely tuned to observe the result you are hoping for. So what happens when you gear everything towards detecting what you least expect? Researchers at MIT and Purdue University in the U.S. took just this approach and found they could amplify quantum signals by a factor of 30 while conditionally changing the relative phase of a photon from π/80 to π/2.

A system for robust and efficient wireless power transfer

Current methods for charging electronic devices via wireless technology only work if the overall system parameters are set up to match a specific transfer distance. As a result, these methods are limited to stationary power transfer applications, which means that a device that is receiving power needs to maintain a specific distance from the source supplying it in order for the power transfer to be successful.

'Tantalizing' clues about why a mysterious material switches from conductor to insulator

Tantalum disulfide is a mysterious material. According to textbook theory, it should be a conducting metal, but in the real world it acts like an insulator. Using a scanning tunneling microscope, researchers have taken a high-resolution look at the structure of the material, revealing why it demonstrates this unintuitive behavior.

Scientists break the link between a quantum material's spin and orbital states

Until now, electron spins and orbitals were thought to go hand in hand in a class of materials that's the cornerstone of modern information technology; you couldn't quickly change one without changing the other. But a new study shows that a pulse of laser light can dramatically change the spin state of one important class of materials while leaving its orbital state intact.

The Science Books We're Reading in Summer 2020

No matter how you spend your summer, you'll need a good book to keep you company.

First Observation of a Pauli Quantum Crystal

Quantum physicists predicted the Pauli exclusion principle should create spectacular crystals. Now they’ve found them for the first time.

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