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Physics News

  • Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature

    The transition from light bulbs to LEDs has drastically cut the amount of electricity we use for lighting. Most of the electricity consumed by incandescent bulbs was, after all, dissipated as heat. We may now be on the verge of a comparable breakthrough in electronic computer components. Up to now, these have been run on electricity, generating unwanted heat. If spin current were employed instead, computers and similar devices could be operated in a much more energy-efficient manner. Dr. Olena Gomonay from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany and her team together with Professor Eiji Saitoh from the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) at Tohoku University in Japan and his work group have now discovered an effect that could make such a transition to spin current a reality. This effect significantly simplifies the design of fundamental spintronic components.
    Fri, 17 Aug 2018 10:53:03 EDT
  • Physicists propose new model to study pairing properties of nuclei

    A team of Ohio University nuclear physicists has proposed a new theoretical model for calculating pairing properties of atomic nuclei including those found in extreme astrophysical environments. As in some solids in which two interacting electrons pair up to act as one object that leads to superconductivity, interacting neutrons (or protons) in nuclei pair up to cause superfluidity (or superconductivity) in nuclei.
    Fri, 17 Aug 2018 09:33:32 EDT
  • Narrow-beam laser technology enables communications between underwater vehicles

    Nearly five years ago, NASA and Lincoln Laboratory made history when the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) used a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from a satellite orbiting the moon to Earth—more than 239,000 miles—at a record-breaking download speed of 622 megabits per second.
    Fri, 17 Aug 2018 08:52:15 EDT
  • How Einstein's equivalence principle extends to the quantum world

    How Einstein's equivalence principle extends to the quantum world has been puzzling physicists for decades, but a team including a University of Queensland researcher has found the key to this question.
    Fri, 17 Aug 2018 08:46:15 EDT
  • Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation

    Ant-Man knows the quantum realm holds shocking revelations and irrational solutions. Taking a page from the Marvel Universe, researchers based at the National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Tokyo, Japan, designed a more efficient quantum transport system by adding even more noise to it. They published their results on July 24 in npj Quantum Information.
    Fri, 17 Aug 2018 08:41:12 EDT
  • Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission

    Inside your home and office, low-voltage alternating current (AC) powers the lights, computers and electronic devices for everyday use. But when the electricity comes from remote long-distance sources such as hydro-power or solar generating plants, transporting it as direct current (DC) is more efficient—and converting it back to AC current requires bulky and expensive switches. Now the General Electric (GE) company, with assistance from scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is developing an advanced switch that will convert high- voltage DC current to high-voltage AC current for consumers more efficiently, enabling reduced-cost transmission of long-distance power. As a final step, substations along the route reduce the high-voltage AC current to low-voltage current before it reaches consumers.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 18:01:03 EDT
  • New ultrathin optic cavities allow simultaneous color production on an electronic chip

    The rainbow is not just colors—each color of light has its own frequency. The more frequencies you have, the higher the bandwidth for transmitting information.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 18:00:29 EDT
  • Taking a closer look at unevenly charged biomolecules

    In clinical diagnostics, it is critical to monitor biomolecules in a simple, rapid and sensitive way. Clinicians most often monitor antibodies because these small proteins attach to antigens, or foreign substances, we face every day. Most biomolecules, however, have complicated charge characteristics, and the sensor response from conventional carbon nanotube systems can be erratic. A team in Japan recently revealed how these systems work and proposed changes to dramatically improve biomolecule detection. They report their findings in the Journal of Applied Physics.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:23:46 EDT
  • Physicists fight laser chaos with quantum chaos to improve laser performance

    To tame chaos in powerful semiconductor lasers, which causes instabilities, scientists have introduced another kind of chaos.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:00:09 EDT
  • More workers working might not get more work done, ants (and robots) show

    For ants and robots operating in confined spaces like tunnels, having more workers does not necessarily mean getting more work done. Just as too many cooks in a kitchen get in each other's way, having too many robots in tunnels creates clogs that can bring the work to a grinding halt.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:00:05 EDT
  • Why X-rays could become a lot more personal

    X-rays could be about to change. Since its discovery at the end of the 19th century, the radiation has provided a window into the inner workings of the body, and later gave us the power to "see" inside everything from buildings to suitcases. But the technology has remained in principle the same: the rays are fired through whatever object is being inspected onto a fixed, rigid and usually small detector that can produce the desired image.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 10:49:38 EDT
  • Scientists create anti-laser for a condensate of ultracold atoms

    An international team of scientists developed the world's first anti-laser for a nonlinear Bose-Einstein condensate of ultracold atoms. For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to absorb the selected signal completely, even though the nonlinear system makes it difficult to predict the wave behaviour. The results can be used to manipulate superfluid flows, create atomic lasers, and also study nonlinear optical systems. The study was published in Science Advances.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 09:58:58 EDT
  • Gravitational wave detectors to search for dark matter

    Gravitational wave detectors might be able to detect much more than gravitational waves. According to a new study, they could also potentially detect dark matter, if dark matter is composed of a particular kind of particle called a "dark photon." In the future, LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) scientists plan to implement a search for dark photons, which will include certain previously unexplored regions of the dark photon parameter space.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 09:30:01 EDT
  • Noise in the biorhythm: biological clocks respond differently to light fluctuations

    Anyone who has experienced jet lag knows the power of the biological clock. Almost all organisms, from humans to the smallest of bacteria, have a built-in system that tells them whether it is time to rest or to be active. Most biological clocks 'tick' autonomously, but some bacteria depend on light to synchronize their clock every day. Using mathematical calculations, researchers from AMOLF and the University of Michigan have now demonstrated that an autonomous clock suffers far less from noise, such as fluctuations in sunlight due to clouds. The research results were published online on August 14th, 2018, in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 07:30:36 EDT
  • Controlling hole spin for future quantum spin-based devices, topological materials

    The 'spins' of electrons (and holes) in semiconductors have potential applications in spintronics, spin-based quantum computing, and topological systems.
    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 07:10:01 EDT
  • Mapping the future direction for quantum research

    The way research in quantum technology will be taken forward has been laid out in a revised roadmap for the field.
    Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:00:05 EDT
  • Quantum material is promising 'ion conductor' for research, new technologies

    Researchers have shown how to shuttle lithium ions back and forth into the crystal structure of a quantum material, representing a new avenue for research and potential applications in batteries, "smart windows" and brain-inspired computers containing artificial synapses.
    Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:20:15 EDT
  • Hole-based artificial atoms could be key to spin-based qubit

    A UNSW study published this week resolves key challenges in creation of hole-based artificial atoms, with excellent potential for more-stable, faster, more scalable quantum computing.
    Wed, 15 Aug 2018 10:48:00 EDT
  • Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies

    Nanosized magnetic particles called skyrmions are considered highly promising candidates for new data storage and information technologies. Now, physicists have revealed new behavior involving the antiparticle equivalent of skyrmions in a ferromagnetic material. The researchers demonstrated their findings using advanced computer simulations that can accurately model magnetic properties of nanometer-thick materials. The results, which were obtained by scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden, at Kiel University and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany, and at Université Paris-Saclay in France, were recently published in Nature Electronics.
    Wed, 15 Aug 2018 10:10:01 EDT
  • What do physicists mean when they talk about nothing?

    Philosophers have debated the nature of "nothing" for thousands of years, but what has modern science got to say about it? In an interview with The Conversation, Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, explains that when physicists talk about nothing, they mean empty space (vacuum). This may sound straightforward, but experiments show that empty space isn't really empty – there's a mysterious energy latent in it which can tell us something about the fate of the universe.
    Wed, 15 Aug 2018 10:06:26 EDT