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Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category: Page 3

Oct 30, 2019

US dark-matter detector heads underground

Posted by in category: particle physics

The main component of the LUX-ZEPLIN dark-matter detector has been installed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.

The central cryostat for the experiment, which weighs about 2200 kg, was successfully lowered some 1500 m underground last week. Over the coming months, the detector will be wrapped in layers of insulation and then next year be filled with around 10 tonnes of ultra-pure liquid xenon.

LUX-ZEPLIN is expected to begin operation in July 2020 when it will become the largest direct detection dark-matter experiment in the US. It will search for weakly interacting massive particles – a leading dark-matter candidate – with scientists hoping to capture flashes of light that are produced when dark-matter particles interact with the heavy xenon atoms.

Oct 30, 2019

Is a New Particle Changing the Fate of the Universe?

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

A brand-new particle has possibly emerged and is altering the future destiny of our entire cosmos, a physicist says.

Oct 30, 2019

Dielectric metasurfaces for next-generation holograms

Posted by in categories: computing, holograms, information science, nanotechnology, particle physics, transportation

Metasurfaces are optically thin metamaterials that can control the wavefront of light completely, although they are primarily used to control the phase of light. In a new report, Adam C. Overvig and colleagues in the departments of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at the Columbia University and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, U.S., presented a novel study approach, now published on Light: Science & Applications. The simple concept used meta-atoms with a varying degree of form birefringence and angles of rotation to create high-efficiency dielectric metasurfaces with ability to control optical amplitude (maximum extent of a vibration) and phase at one or two frequencies. The work opened applications in computer-generated holography to faithfully reproduce the phase and amplitude of a target holographic scene without using iterative algorithms that are typically required during phase-only holography.

The team demonstrated all-dielectric holograms with independent and complete control of the amplitude and phase. They used two simultaneous optical frequencies to generate two-dimensional (2-D) and 3D holograms in the study. The phase-amplitude metasurfaces allowed additional features that could not be attained with phase-only holography. The features included artifact-free 2-D holograms, the ability to encode separate phase and amplitude profiles at the object plane and encode intensity profiles at the metasurface and object planes separately. Using the method, the scientists also controlled the surface textures of 3D holographic objects.

Light waves possess four key properties including amplitude, phase, polarization and optical impedance. Materials scientists use metamaterials or “metasurfaces” to tune these properties at specific frequencies with subwavelength, spatial resolution. Researchers can also engineer individual structures or “meta-atoms” to facilitate a variety of optical functionalities. Device functionality is presently limited by the ability to control and integrate all four properties of light independently in the lab. Setbacks include challenges of developing individual meta-atoms with varying responses at a desired frequency with a single fabrication protocol. Research studies previously used metallic scatterers due to their strong light-matter interactions to eliminate inherent optical losses relative to metals while using lossless dielectric platforms for high-efficiency phase control—the single most important property for wavefront control.

Oct 30, 2019

Researchers uncover an anomaly in the electromagnetic duality of Maxwell Theory

Posted by in categories: information science, particle physics, quantum physics, space

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (WPI) and Tohoku University in Japan have recently identified an anomaly in the electromagnetic duality of Maxwell Theory. This anomaly, outlined in a paper published in Physical Review Letters, could play an important role in the consistency of string theory.

The recent study is a collaboration between Yuji Tachikawa and Kazuya Yonekura, two string theorists, and Chang-Tse Hsieh, a condensed matter theorist. Although the study started off as an investigation into string theory, it also has implications for other areas of physics.

In current physics theory, classical electromagnetism is described by Maxwell’s equations, which were first introduced by physicist James Clerk Maxwell around 1865. Objects governed by these equations include electric and magnetic fields, electrically charged particles (e.g., electrons and protons), and magnetic monopoles (i.e. hypothetical particles carrying single magnetic poles).

Oct 29, 2019

‘First Light’ Achieved on an Experiment That Could Crack The Mystery of Dark Energy

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mapping, particle physics

As an astronomer, there is no better feeling than achieving “first light” with a new instrument or telescope. It is the culmination of years of preparations and construction of new hardware, which for the first time collects light particles from an astronomical object.

This is usually followed by a sigh of relief and then the excitement of all the new science that is now possible.

On October 22, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) on the Mayall Telescope in Arizona, US, achieved first light. This is a huge leap in our ability to measure galaxy distances – enabling a new era of mapping the structures in the Universe.

Oct 26, 2019

Lattice QCD Calculations Predict Exotic Nuclei Not on Periodic Table

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, quantum physics

Have you ever wondered how the Sun creates the energy that we get from it every day and how the other elements besides hydrogen have formed in our universe? Perhaps you know that this is due to fusion reactions where four nuclei of hydrogen join together to produce a helium nucleus. Such nucleosynthesis processes are possible solely due to the existence, in the first place, of stable deuterons, which are made up of a proton and a neutron.

Probing deeper, one finds that a deuteron consists of six light quarks. Interestingly, the strong interaction between quarks, which brings stability to deuterons, also allows for various other six-quark combinations, leading to the possible formation of many other deuteron-like nuclei. However, no such nuclei, though theoretically speculated about and searched for experimentally many times, have yet been observed.

All this may get changed with an exciting new finding, where, using a state-of-the-art first-principles calculation of lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the basic theory of strong interactions, a definite prediction of the existence of other deuteron-like nuclei has been made by TIFR’s physicists. Using the computational facility of the Indian Lattice Gauge Theory Initiative (ILGTI), Prof. Nilmani Mathur and postdoctoral fellow Parikshit Junnarkar in the Department of Theoretical Physics have predicted a set of exotic nuclei, which are not to be found in the Periodic Table. The masses of these new exotic nuclei have also been calculated precisely.

Oct 26, 2019

Directed-energy weapon (DEW) full documentary

Posted by in categories: drones, military, mobile phones, particle physics

A directed-energy weapon (DEW) emits highly focused energy, transferring that energy to a target to damage it.

Potential applications of this technology include anti-personnel weapon systems, potential missile defense system, and the disabling of lightly armored vehicles such as cars, drones, watercraft, and electronic devices such as mobile phones.

Continue reading “Directed-energy weapon (DEW) full documentary” »

Oct 25, 2019

IBM quantum computing research breakthrough controls individual atoms

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

IBM has made a breakthrough in quantum computing by demonstrating a way to control the quantum behavior of individual atoms. The discovery has demonstrated a new building block for quantum computation. The team demonstrated the use of single atoms as qubits for quantum information processing.

Oct 25, 2019

Mix master: Modeling magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasma

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Many of the most dramatic events in the solar system—the spectacle of the Northern Lights, the explosiveness of solar flares, and the destructive impact of geomagnetic storms that can disrupt communication and electrical grids on Earth—are driven in part by a common phenomenon: fast magnetic reconnection. In this process the magnetic field lines in plasma—the gas-like state of matter consisting of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions—tear, come back together and release large amounts of energy (Figure 1).

Astrophysicists have long puzzled over whether this mechanism can occur in the cold, relatively dense regions of interstellar space outside the where stars are born. Such regions are filled with partially ionized plasma, a mix of free charged electrons and ions and the more familiar neutral, or whole, atoms of gas. If magnetic reconnection does occur in these regions it might dissipate magnetic fields and stimulate .

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a model and simulation that show the potential for reconnection to occur in interstellar space.

Oct 25, 2019

The Scientists Who Look for Nothing to Understand Everything

Posted by in category: particle physics

Physicist Usama Hussain laughed uncomfortably every time the conversation even got close to the question, “Do you look for nothing?” His professors would kill him if they heard him agree with that. After all, he’s technically looking for a brand new particle that may or may not exist, with the hopes that it might help explain some of the Universe’s weirdness.

But hunting for a new particle (even the famous Higgs Boson) is a search for something by finding all of the nothing. It requires confirming all of the places it can’t be, and understanding all the properties it doesn’t have, so what’s left is the discovery. It’s like carving a sculpture from marble. You spend all your effort removing the nothing, and maybe you’ll end up with something. Or maybe not.

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