Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category: Page 4

Oct 12, 2022

Taking Control of Fusion Reactor Instabilities

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

A mechanism for preventing destructive instabilities in magnetically confined plasmas provides a new way for scientists to operate future nuclear-fusion reactors.

All magnetically confined plasmas naturally develop instabilities, regions where small perturbations grow rapidly [1]. Scientists have been looking for ways to prevent instabilities in a tokamak—a leading candidate for a fusion reactor—because the instabilities can cause substantial damage to the tokamak’s walls. Now Georg Harrer at the Vienna University of Technology and his colleagues have shown how these destructive instabilities can be avoided by adjusting the properties of the plasma and its confining magnetic field [2]. The researchers’ findings offer a fresh approach to running future fusion reactors.

A tokamak uses a powerful magnetic field to confine fusion fuel in the form of a plasma (a highly ionized gas) that is shaped like a ring donut. Instabilities that originate at the plasma edge (the “glaze” of the donut) are called edge-localized modes (ELMs) [3]. ELMs transport heat and particles along magnetic-field lines, moving them from the well-confined plasma core (the “filling” of the donut) to the divertor—a region of the tokamak’s walls. ELMs come in various sizes and frequencies (repetition rates). Their size, expressed as a percentage of the energy stored in the plasma core, strongly influences how much heat and how many particles will be deposited by each ELM in the divertor.

Oct 9, 2022

Liquid hard drive could store 1TB data in a tablespoon

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, particle physics

Circa 2014 face_with_colon_three

A liquid hard drive containing a suspension of nanoparticles could be used to store impressive amounts of data: 1 terabyte per tablespoon.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and New York University have been simulating wet information storage techniques which uses clusters of nanoparticles suspended in liquid. These clusters of particles can store more data than conventional computer bits which have just two storage states: 0 and 1. The clusters of particles work a bit like Rubik’s Cubes to reconfigure in different ways to represent different storage states. A 12-particle memory cluster connected to a central sphere can have almost eight million unique states, which is equivalent to 2.86 bytes of data.

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Oct 9, 2022

Physicists push limits of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Recently published research pushes the boundaries of key concepts in quantum mechanics. Studies from two different teams used tiny drums to show that quantum entanglement, an effect generally linked to subatomic particles, can also be applied to much larger macroscopic systems. One of the teams also claims to have found a way to evade the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

One question that the scientists were hoping to answer pertained to whether larger systems can exhibit quantum entanglement in the same way as microscopic ones. Quantum mechanics proposes that two objects can become “entangled,” whereby the properties of one object, such as position or velocity, can become connected to those of the other.

Oct 9, 2022

First Experimental Proof That Quantum Entanglement Is Real

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

A Q&A with Caltech alumnus John Clauser on his first experimental proof of quantum entanglement.

When scientists, including Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger, first discovered the phenomenon of entanglement in the 1930s, they were perplexed. Disturbingly, entanglement required two separated particles to remain connected without being in direct contact. In fact, Einstein famously called entanglement “spooky action at a distance,” because the particles seemed to be communicating faster than the speed of light.

Born on December 1, 1942, John Francis Clauser is an American theoretical and experimental physicist known for contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics, in particular the Clauser–Horne–Shimony–Holt inequality. Clauser was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.”

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Oct 7, 2022

How stiff is the proton?

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

The proton is a composite particle made up of fundamental building blocks of quarks and gluons. These components and their interactions determine the proton’s structure, including its electrical charges and currents. This structure deforms when exposed to external electric and magnetic (EM) fields, a phenomenon known as polarizability. The EM polarizabilities are a measure of the stiffness against the deformation induced by EM fields. By measuring the EM polarizabilities, scientists learn about the internal structure of the proton.

This knowledge helps to validate of how nucleons (protons and neutrons) form by comparing the results to theoretical descriptions of gamma-ray scattering from nucleons. Scientists call this scattering process Compton scattering.

When scientists examine the at a distance and scale where EM responses dominate, they can determine values of EM polarizabilities with high precision. To do so, they use the theoretical frame of Effective Field Theories (EFTs). The EFTs hold the promise of matching the description of the nucleon structure at low energies to the current theory of the strong nuclear force, called (QCD). In this research, scientists validated EFTs using proton Compton scattering. This approach also validated the framework and methodology that underlie EFTs.

Oct 7, 2022

Hawking’s black hole paradox explained

Posted by in categories: cosmology, media & arts, particle physics, quantum physics

Today, one of the biggest paradoxes in the universe threatens to unravel modern science: the black hole information paradox. Every object in the universe is composed of particles with unique quantum properties and even if an object is destroyed, its quantum information is never permanently deleted. But what happens to that information when an object enters a black hole? Fabio Pacucci investigates. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by WORKPLAYWORK / Cem Misirlioglu].

Oct 7, 2022

A new method to enable efficient interactions between photons

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Photons, particles that represent a quantum of light, have shown great potential for the development of new quantum technologies. More specifically, physicists have been exploring the possibility of creating photonic qubits (quantum units of information) that can be transmitted over long distances using photons.

Despite some promising results, several obstacles still need to be overcome before photonic qubits can be successfully implemented on a large-scale. For instance, are known to be susceptible to propagation loss (i.e., a loss of energy, radiation, or signals as it travels from one point to another) and do not interact with one another.

Researchers at University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Instituto de Física Fundamental IFF-CSIC in Spain, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany have recently devised a strategy that could help to overcome one of these challenges, namely the lack of photon-photon interactions. Their method, presented in a paper published in Nature Physics, could eventually aid the development of more sophisticated quantum devices.

Oct 7, 2022

Before the Big Bang 6: Can the Universe Create Itself?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, media & arts, neuroscience, particle physics, quantum physics, time travel

Richard Gott, co author with Neil De Grasse Tyson of “Welcome to The Universe” argues the key to understanding the origin of the universe may be the concept of closed time like curves. These are solutions to Einstein’s theory that may allow time travel into the past. in this film, Richard Gott of Princeton University explains the model he developed with LIxin Li. Gott explores the possibility of a closed time like curve forming in the early universe and how this might lead to the amazing property of the universe being able to create itself. Gott is one of the leading experts in time travel solution to Einstein’s equations and is author of the book “Time Travel In Einstein’s Universe”.
This film is part of a series of films exploring competing models of th early universe with the creators of those models. We have interviewed Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, Alan Guth and many other leaders of the field. To see other episodes, click on the link below:

We would like to thank the following who helped us are this movie:
Morn 1415
David Yates.
M Buser, E Kajari, and WP Schleich.
Nina McCurdy, Anthony Aguirre, Joel Primack, Nancy Abrams.
Ziri Younsi.

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Oct 6, 2022

A “Retro” Collider Design for a Higgs Factory

Posted by in categories: government, health, particle physics

In July, particle physicists in the US completed the Snowmass process—a decadal community planning exercise that forges a vision of scientific priorities and future facilities. Organized by the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society, this year’s Snowmass meetings considered a range of plans including neutrino experiments and muon colliders. One new idea that generated buzz was the Cool Copper Collider (or C3 for short). This proposal calls for accelerating particles with conventional, or “normal-conducting,” radio frequency (RF) cavities—as opposed to the superconducting RF cavities used in modern colliders. This “retro” design could potentially achieve 500 GeV collision energies with an 8-km-long linear collider, making it significantly smaller and presumably less expensive than a comparable superconducting design.

The goal of the C3 project would be to operate as a Higgs factory, which—in particle-physics parlance—is a collider that smashes together electrons and their antimatter partners, called positrons, at energies above 250 GeV. Such a facility would make loads of Higgs bosons with less of the mess that comes from smashing protons and antiprotons together—as is done at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. A Higgs factory would give more precise measurements than the LHC of the couplings between Higgs bosons and other particles, potentially uncovering small discrepancies that could lead to new theories of particle physics. “I think the Higgs is the most interesting particle that’s out there,” says Emilio Nanni from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. “And we should absolutely build a machine that’s dedicated to studying it with as much precision as possible.”

But an outsider might wonder why another Higgs-factory proposal is being added to the particle-physics menu. A similar factory design—the International Linear Collider (ILC)—has been in the works for years, but that project is presently stalled, as the Japanese government has not yet confirmed its support for building the facility in Japan. Waiting in the wings are several other large particle-physics proposals, including CERN’s Future Circular Collider and China’s Circular Electron Positron Collider.

Oct 6, 2022

Supercomputer simulations reveal how the Sun accelerates charged particles

Posted by in categories: particle physics, satellites, supercomputing

Research could help protect satellites and astronauts from the solar wind.

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