Whats the most important development in physics in the last 10 years?

Someone asked me this today, and I couldn't think of one thing that was obviously more important than the rest. What's your opinion?
 

FZ+

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Mentor: Shuffle to philosophy forum please...

Well, it's very hard to categorise what is or is not important scientifically speaking. Seemingly usely developments - eg. discovering of jerking frogs legs can often lead to huge advances, eg. electricity, and significant discoveries can turn out to be red herrings. Eg. formulation of ether theory, alchemy. While M-theory, LQG, DSR , Higgs fields and so on all seem pretty important right now, only time will tell.
 

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Quantum Dots.

Quantum dots are small devices that contain a tiny droplet of free electrons. They are fabricated in semiconductor materials and have typical dimensions between nanometres to a few microns. The size and shape of these structures and therefore the number of electrons they contain, can be precisely controlled; a quantum dot can have anything from a single electron to a collection of several thousands. The physics of quantum dots shows many parallels with the behaviour of naturally occurring quantum systems in atomic and nuclear physics. As in an atom, the energy levels in a quantum dot become quantized due to the confinement of electrons. Unlike atoms however, quantum dots can be easily connected to electrodes and are therefore excellent tools to study atomic-like properties. There is a wealth of interesting phenomena that have been measured in quantum dot structures over the past decade. This page shows a few examples from our group. The next paragraph first discusses briefly the parallels between atoms and quantum dots.
http://qt.tn.tudelft.nl/grkouwen/qdotsite.html [Broken]

Biological quantum dots go live
http://physicsweb.org/article/world/16/3/3

Quantum dots count microwave photons
http://physicsweb.org/article/news/6/6/1

Scientists activate neurons with quantum dots
http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20011204S0068

Sandia researchers use quantum dots as a new approach to solid-state lighting:
http://www.sandia.gov/news-center/news-releases/2003/elect-semi-sensors/quantum.html [Broken]

etc...etc...etc...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Claude Bile

Science Advisor
1,471
19
Photonic band gaps could be big....
 

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