Physics

Travel With Apollo 9 As They Launch to Space 50 Years Ago

Images from the mission that tested the lunar module Apollo 11 would use to land on the moon just months later.

The Cheater's Guide to Interstellar Travel: A Conversation with Slava Turyshev

Science fiction is a genre committed to the concept of "run before you can walk." Long before anyone knew whether heavier-than-air flight was possible, writers were imagining travel to other planets. By the time interplanetary space probes were a reality in the 1960s, the storytellers had long since moved on to thinking interstellar.

Today, two or three generations of happy nerds have grown up in a world saturated with science fiction TV shows and movies featuring the word "star" in their

I Left a Piece of My Heart on the Dusty Sands of Mars

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." The quote is so familiar that most people have no idea where it originally comes from (I'll admit, I had to look it up myself to be sure: It is Mediation XVII from John Donne's Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.) In recent years, though, the words have taken on new meaning, at least for those of us who are devoted to astronomical exploration. Any spa

Graphite offers up new quantum surprise

Researchers have discovered the quantum Hall effect in bulk graphite -- a layered crystal consisting of stacked graphene layers.

Hybrid material may outperform graphene in several applications

A structure comprising a molybdenum disulfide monolayer on an azobenzene substrate could be used to build a highly compactable and malleable quasi-two-dimensional transistor powered by light.

Moving closer to practical photonic quantum computing

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated a way to map and measure large-scale photonic quantum correlation with single-photon sensitivity. The ability to measure thousands of instances of quantum correlation is critical for making photon-based quantum computing practical.

Life is a Highway (of Flying Space Rocks)

It has been a great week for humans banging on things around the solar system. Japan's Hayabusa2 probe touched down and grabbed a sample of asteroid Ryugu; NASA's InSight is hammering into the surface of Mars; and a private Israeli spacecraft named Beresheet is heading toward an April landing on the Moon. But we are just beginners at the game. Nature has been banging and moving things around in the solar system for billions of years--and doing it with impressive efficiency.

Case in point:

Exchanging information securely using quantum communication in future fiber-optic networks

Searching for better security during data transmission, governments and other organizations around the world have been investing in and developing technologies related to quantum communication and related encryption methods. Researchers are looking at how these new systems -- which, in theory, would provide unhackable communication channels -- can be integrated into existing and future fiber-optic networks.

First sypersymmetric laser array

A team of researchers has overcome a long-standing problem in laser science, and the findings could have applications in surgery, drilling and 3D laser mapping.

Code used to reduce quantum error in logic gates for first time

Scientists have for the first time demonstrated improvement in quantum computers by using codes designed to detect and discard errors in the logic gates of such machines. The codes were applied to IBM's quantum computer via IBM Q.

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