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Physics News

  • Water can be very dead, electrically speaking

    In a study published in Science this week, the researchers describe the dielectric properties of water that is only a few molecules thick. Such water was previously predicted to exhibit a reduced electric response but it remained unknown by how much. The new study shows that atomically thin layers of water near solid surfaces do not respond to an electric field, a finding that has very important implications for understanding of many phenomena where water is involved, including life of course.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:00:13 EDT
  • Einstein proved right in another galaxy

    An international team of astronomers have made the most precise test of gravity outside our own solar system.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:00:11 EDT
  • Researchers engineer bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns

    How did the zebra get its stripes, or the leopard its spots? Mankind has been trying to answer such questions since our earliest recorded days, and they resonate throughout the extant mythologies and folklores of an earlier world. In modern times, we've looked to mathematical models and most recently to genomic science to uncover the explanation of how patterns form in living tissues, but a full answer has proven particularly hard to get at.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:24:55 EDT
  • 'Flamingo:' High-powered microscopy coming to a scientist near you

    Modern microscopy has given scientists a front-row seat to living, breathing biology in all its technicolor glory. But access to the best technologies can be spotty.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:22:39 EDT
  • Physicists show that it is impossible to mask quantum information in correlations

    Information is typically stored in physical systems, such as memory devices. But in a new study, physicists have investigated an alternative way to store and hide information, which is by storing it only in the quantum correlations among two or more systems, rather than in the systems themselves. This idea, which is called "masking," is a way of making the information inaccessible to everyone, without destroying it (as destroying quantum information is impossible).
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:30:01 EDT
  • 'Stealth sheet' hides hot objects from prying infrared eyes

    Infrared cameras are the heat-sensing eyes that help drones find their targets, even in the dead of night or through heavy fog.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:33:51 EDT
  • New laser technology shows success in particle accelerators

    Lasers—used in medicine, manufacturing and made wildly popular by science fiction—are finding a new use in particle physics.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 07:59:12 EDT
  • Teaching a machine to spot a crystal

    Protein crystals don't usually display the glitz and glam of gemstones. But no matter their looks, each and every one is precious to scientists.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 07:41:25 EDT
  • Laser bursts generate electricity faster than any other method

    Take a glass thread a thousand times thinner than a human hair. Use it as a wire between two metals. Hit it with a laser pulse that lasts a millionth of a billionth of a second.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 06:50:45 EDT
  • Quantum non-locality in ultra-cold atomic gases

    Non-locality, Einstein's ''spooky action at a distance," has been observed between quantum objects separated by more than one kilometer. Recent years have seen a major advancement in the quest for non-local systems. Researchers from the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, present a novel and versatile method for creating and detecting such correlations in a many-body system of ultra-cold atoms. They have published their results in Physical Review Letters.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:58:21 EDT
  • Enhanced detection of nuclear events, thanks to deep learning

    A deep neural network running on an ordinary desktop computer is interpreting highly technical data related to national security as well as—and sometimes better than—today's best automated methods or even human experts.
    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 02:59:38 EDT
  • How physics explains the evolution of social organization

    A scientist at Duke University says the natural evolution of social organizations into larger and more complex communities that exhibit distinct hierarchies can be predicted from the same law of physics that gives rise to tree branches and river deltas.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 16:53:57 EDT
  • Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

    Deep inside the Earth exist pockets of water, but the liquid there isn't like the water on the surface.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 16:51:57 EDT
  • Researchers find last of universe's missing ordinary matter

    Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have helped to find the last reservoir of ordinary matter hiding in the universe.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:22:01 EDT
  • Cooler computing through statistical physics?

    In the space inside a computer chip, where electricity becomes information, there's a scientific frontier. The same frontier can be found inside a cell, where information instead takes the form of chemical concentrations. Recent breakthroughs in the field of nonequilibrium statistical physics have revealed vast areas of research lying hidden within the "thermodynamics of computation." Advances in this field, which involves elements of statistical physics, computer science, cellular biology, and possibly even neurobiology, could have far-reaching consequences for how we understand, and engineer, our computers. To kick-start this line research, Santa Fe Institute scientists and their collaborators have launched an online wiki for collaboration. This week they also published a paper that neatly summarizes recent advances and open questions that pertain to thermodynamics and computation.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 13:41:26 EDT
  • New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression

    A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:14:37 EDT
  • Archimedes' screw inspires researchers to devise a novel particle-trapping laser beam

    An active field of research, laser optical trapping works to control the movement and position of particles of different sizes and shapes. The ability to move small particles in a precise and controlled manner is important to both basic and applied science. For example, the ability to control the movement of single atoms can be used to realize quantum computing, and the research also contributes to the study of biological specimens and pollutants.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:08:39 EDT
  • Quantum step forward in protecting communications from hackers

    Researchers at the University of York have shown that a new quantum-based procedure for distributing secure information along communication lines could be successful in preventing serious security breaches.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:34:58 EDT
  • New theory deepens understanding of Turing patterns in biology

    A team of researchers at EMBL have expanded Alan Turing's seminal theory on how patterns are created in biological systems. This work, which was partly done at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), may answer whether nature's patterns are governed by Turing's mathematical model and could have applications in tissue engineering. Their results have been published on 20 June in Physical Review X.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:00:01 EDT
  • Braiding may be key to using time crystals in quantum computing

    Over the past few years, physicists have predicted that a new form of matter called time crystals may have potential applications in quantum computing. Now in a new study, physicists Raditya Weda Bomantara and Jiangbin Gong at the National University of Singapore have taken some of the first steps toward showing exactly how that might be done. They theoretically demonstrate that, by braiding two different modes of time crystals, it's possible to generate the states that are necessary to perform universal quantum computation.
    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:30:02 EDT