Archive for the ‘quantum physics’ category: Page 2

Apr 25, 2019

Building a printing press for new quantum materials

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Checking out a stack of books from the library is as simple as searching the library’s catalog and using unique call numbers to pull each book from their shelf locations. Using a similar principle, scientists at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory—are teaming with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create a first-of-its-kind automated system to catalog atomically thin two-dimensional (2-D) materials and stack them into layered structures. Called the Quantum Material Press, or QPress, this system will accelerate the discovery of next-generation materials for the emerging field of quantum information science (QIS).

Structures obtained by stacking single atomic layers (“flakes”) peeled from different parent bulk crystals are of interest because of the exotic electronic, magnetic, and that emerge at such small (quantum) size scales. However, flake exfoliation is currently a manual process that yields a variety of flake sizes, shapes, orientations, and number of layers. Scientists use optical microscopes at high magnification to manually hunt through thousands of flakes to find the desired ones, and this search can sometimes take days or even a week, and is prone to .

Once high-quality 2-D flakes from different crystals have been located and their properties characterized, they can be assembled in the desired order to create the layered structures. Stacking is very time-intensive, often taking longer than a month to assemble a single layered structure. To determine whether the generated structures are optimal for QIS applications—ranging from computing and encryption to sensing and communications—scientists then need to characterize the structures’ properties.

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Apr 25, 2019

Scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant

Posted by in categories: health, nanotechnology, neuroscience, quantum physics

Graphene quantum dots drawn from common coal may be the basis for an effective antioxidant for people who suffer traumatic brain injuries, strokes or heart attacks.

Their ability to quench after such injuries is the subject of a study by scientists at Rice University, the Texas A&M Health Science Center and the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Quantum dots are semiconducting materials small enough to exhibit that only appear at the nanoscale.

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Apr 24, 2019

Nanocomponent is a quantum leap for Danish physicists

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

University of Copenhagen researchers have developed a nanocomponent that emits light particles carrying quantum information. Less than one-tenth the width of a human hair, the miniscule component makes it possible to scale up and could ultimately reach the capabilities required for a quantum computer or quantum internet. The research result puts Denmark at the head of the pack in the quantum race.

Teams around the world are working to develop quantum technologies. The focus of researchers based at the Center for Hybrid Quantum Networks (Hy-Q) at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute is on developing quantum communication technology based on light circuits, known as nanophotonic circuits. The UCPH researchers have now achieved a major advancement.

“It is a truly major result, despite the component being so tiny,” says Assistant Professor Leonardo Midolo, who has been working towards this breakthrough for the past five years.

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Apr 24, 2019

Atom interaction discovery valuable for future quantum technologies

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

By breaking with conventionality, University of Otago physicists have opened up new research and technology opportunities involving the basic building block of the world—atoms.

In a study, just published in Nature Communications, researchers put one atom inside each of two before moving them together until they started to interact with each other.

Co-author Associate Professor Mikkel F. Andersen, of the Department of Physics, says this allows the atoms to exchange properties in a way which could be “very useful” for future quantum technologies.

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Apr 24, 2019

Electron qubit non-destructively read: Silicon qubits may be better

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

I suspect that if you asked an engineer at Intel about quantum computing, they probably wouldn’t want to know about it unless the chips could be fabricated using standard fabrication technology. Using standard processes means using electrons as the basis for quantum computing.

Electrons are lovely in many respects, but they are rather extroverted. It doesn’t matter what you do, they will run off and play with the neighbors. The constantly interacting electron does not look after its quantum state, so quantum information is rapidly lost, making processing really difficult. This makes the achievement of a quantum non-demolition measurement in an electron system rather remarkable.

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Apr 24, 2019

Liquid crystals in nanopores produce a surprisingly large negative pressure

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

Negative pressure governs not only the Universe or the quantum vacuum. This phenomenon, although of a different nature, appears also in liquid crystals confined in nanopores. At the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, a method has been presented that for the first time makes it possible to estimate the amount of negative pressure in spatially limited liquid crystal systems.

At first glance, negative pressure appears to be an exotic phenomenon. In fact, it is common in nature, and what’s more, occurs on many scales. On the scale of the Universe, the cosmological constant is responsible for accelerating the expansion of spacetime. In the world of plants, attracting intermolecular forces (not: expanding thermal motions) guarantee the flow of water to the treetops of all trees taller than ten metres. On the quantum scale, the pressure of virtual particles of a false vacuum leads to the creation of an attractive force, appearing, for example, between two parallel metal plates (the famous Casimir effect).

“The fact that a negative pressure appears in liquid crystals confined in nanopores was already known. However, it was not known how to measure this pressure. Although we also cannot do this directly, we have proposed a method that allows this pressure to be reliably estimated,” says Dr. Tomasz Rozwadowski from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Cracow, the first author of a publication in the Journal of Molecular Liquids.

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Apr 24, 2019

The Casimir torque: Scientists measure previously unexamined tiny force

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, quantum physics

Researchers from the University of Maryland have for the first time measured an effect that was predicted more than 40 years ago, called the Casimir torque.

When placed together in a vacuum less than the diameter of a bacterium (one micron) apart, two pieces of metal attract each other. This is called the Casimir effect. The Casimir torque—a related phenomenon that is caused by the same quantum electromagnetic effects that attract the materials—pushes the materials into a spin. Because it is such a tiny effect, the Casimir torque has been difficult to study. The research team, which includes members from UMD’s departments of electrical and computer engineering and physics and Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, has built an apparatus to measure the decades-old prediction of this phenomenon and published their results in the December 20th issue of the journal Nature.

“This is an interesting situation where industry is using something because it works, but the mechanism is not well-understood,” said Jeremy Munday, the leader of the research. “For LCD displays, for example, we know how to create twisted liquid crystals, but we don’t really know why they twist. Our study proves that the Casimir torque is a crucial component of liquid crystal alignment. It is the first to quantify the contribution of the Casimir effect, but is not the first to prove that it contributes.”

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Apr 24, 2019

Quantum gas turns supersolid

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring rather antithetical properties, has been long sought in . However, after decades of theoretical and experimental efforts, an unambiguous proof of supersolidity in these systems is still missing. Two research teams led by Francesca Ferlaino, one at the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck and one at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, now report on the observation of hallmarks of this exotic state in ultracold atomic gases.

While so far most work has focused on helium, researchers have recently turned to atomic gases—in particular, those with strong dipolar interactions. The team of Francesca Ferlaino has been investigating quantum gases made of atoms with a strong dipolar character for a long time. “Recent experiments have revealed that such gases exhibit fundamental similarities with superfluid helium,” says Lauriane Chomaz, referring to experimental achievements in Innsbruck and in Stuttgart over the last few years. “These features lay the groundwork for reaching a state where the several tens of thousands of particles of the gas spontaneously organize in a self-determined crystalline structure while sharing the same macroscopic wavefunction—hallmarks of supersolidity.”

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Apr 24, 2019

A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, quantum physics

Quantum computers can’t selectively forget information. A new algorithm for multiplication shows a way around that problem.

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Apr 23, 2019

Atomic beams shoot straighter via cascading silicon peashooters

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space travel

To a non-physicist, an “atomic beam collimator” may sound like a phaser firing mystical particles. That might not be the worst metaphor to introduce a technology that researchers have now miniaturized, making it more likely to someday land in handheld devices.

Today, atomic collimators are mostly found in physics labs, where they shoot out atoms in a beam that produces exotic quantum phenomena and which has properties that may be useful in precision technologies. By shrinking collimators from the size of a small appliance to fit on a fingertip, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology want to make the technology available to engineers advancing devices like or accelerometers, a component found in smartphones.

“A typical device you might make out of this is a next-generation gyroscope for a precision navigation system that is independent of GPS and can be used when you’re out of satellite range in a remote region or traveling in space,” said Chandra Raman, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics and a co-principal investigator on the study.

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