Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category: Page 12

Feb 16, 2023

A unique CERN-inspired collaboration see physicists team with science-fiction titans

Posted by in categories: futurism, particle physics

This February sees the launch of Collision: Stories from the science of CERN, the culmination of a unique, two-year-long collaboration between fiction writers and pioneering physicists.

As part of Comma’s Science-into-Fiction series, the project paired award-winning UK writers with leading physicists and engineers working at CERN, to explore different aspects of CERN’s research, as well as its historical legacies, through fiction and accompanying essays (or afterwords) by the scientists.

The project began in the Summer of 2021 when particle physicists connected to CERN around the world were invited to be part of a new European-wide public engagement project. Over 150 topic submissions from scientists working on different aspects of science were received. Writers were then invited to respond to the list of ideas and were paired with the physicists whose ideas inspired them. We were overwhelmed with positive responses.

Continue reading “A unique CERN-inspired collaboration see physicists team with science-fiction titans” »

Feb 16, 2023

Grid of atoms is both a quantum computer and an optimization solver

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

Quantum computing has entered a bit of an awkward period. There have been clear demonstrations that we can successfully run quantum algorithms, but the qubit counts and error rates of existing hardware mean that we can’t solve any commercially useful problems at the moment. So, while many companies are interested in quantum computing and have developed software for existing hardware (and have paid for access to that hardware), the efforts have been focused on preparation. They want the expertise and capability needed to develop useful software once the computers are ready to run it.

For the moment, that leaves them waiting for hardware companies to produce sufficiently robust machines—machines that don’t currently have a clear delivery date. It could be years; it could be decades. Beyond learning how to develop quantum computing software, there’s nothing obvious to do with the hardware in the meantime.

But a company called QuEra may have found a way to do something that’s not as obvious. The technology it is developing could ultimately provide a route to quantum computing. But until then, it’s possible to solve a class of mathematical problems on the same hardware, and any improvements to that hardware will benefit both types of computation. And in a new paper, the company’s researchers have expanded the types of computations that can be run on their machine.

Continue reading “Grid of atoms is both a quantum computer and an optimization solver” »

Feb 16, 2023

Astrophysicists discover the perfect explosion in space

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology, particle physics

When neutron stars collide they produce an explosion that is, contrary to what was believed until recently, shaped like a perfect sphere. Although how this is possible is still a mystery, the discovery may provide a new key to fundamental physics and to measuring the age of the universe. The discovery was made by astrophysicists from the University of Copenhagen and has just been published in the journal Nature.

Kilonovae—the giant explosions that occur when two neutron stars orbit each other and finally collide—are responsible for creating both great and small things in the universe, from to the atoms in the gold ring on your finger and the iodine in our bodies. They give rise to the most extreme physical conditions in the universe, and it is under these extreme conditions that the universe creates the heaviest elements of the periodic table, such as gold, platinum and uranium.

But there is still a great deal we do not know about this violent phenomenon. When a kilonova was detected at 140 million light-years away in 2017, it was the first time scientists could gather detailed data. Scientists around the world are still interpreting the data from this colossal explosion, including Albert Sneppen and Darach Watson from the University of Copenhagen, who made a surprising discovery.

Feb 15, 2023

Finely-tuned quantum dots enhance nonlinear optics

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum dots are semiconductor particles measuring just a few nanometres across, which are now widely studied for their intriguing electrical and optical properties.

Through new research published in EPJ B (“Third-order nonlinear susceptibility in CdS/Cdx1Zn 1-x1 S/ZnS multilayer spherical quantum dot,”), Kobra Hasanirokh at Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University in Iran, together with Luay Hashem Abbud at Al-Mustaqbal University College, Iraq, show how quantum dots containing spherical defects can significantly enhance their nonlinear optical properties.

By fine-tuning these defects, researchers could tightly control the frequency and brightness of the light emitted by quantum dots.

Feb 15, 2023

Silicon nanoelectronic device hosts ‘flip-flop’ qubit

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

A team led by Professor Andrea Morello has just demonstrated the operation of a new type of quantum bit, called ‘flip-flop’ qubit, which combines the exquisite quantum properties of single atoms, with easy controllability using electric signals, just as those used in ordinary computer chips.

“Sometimes new qubits, or new modes of operations, are discovered by lucky accident. But this one was completely by design,” says Prof. Morello. “Our group has had excellent qubits for a decade, but we wanted something that could be controlled electrically, for maximum ease of operation. So we had to invent something completely new.”

Prof. Morello’s group was the first in the world to demonstrate that using the spin of an electron as well as the nuclear spin of a single phosphorus atom in silicon could be used as ‘qubits’ – units of information that are used to make quantum computing calculations. He explains that while both qubits perform exceptionally well on their own, they require oscillating magnetic fields for their operation.

Feb 15, 2023

What Stephen Hawking would have discovered if he lived longer | NASA’s Michelle Thaller | Big Think

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

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Stephen Hawking was one of the greatest scientific and analytical minds of our time, says NASA’s Michelle Thaller. She posits that Hawking might be one of the parents of an entirely new school of physics because he was working on some incredible stuff—concerning quantum entaglement— right before he died. He was even humble enough to go back to his old work about black holes and rethink his hypotheses based on new information. Not many great minds would do that, she says, relaying just one of the reasons Stephen Hawking will be so deeply missed. You can follow Michelle Thaller on Twitter at @mlthaller.

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Feb 15, 2023

Where Do Electrons Get Energy To Spin Around An Atom’s Nucleus?

Posted by in category: particle physics

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Feb 14, 2023

Searching for New Physics with the Electron’s Magnetic Moment

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Measurements of the magnetic moment of the electron have achieved unprecedented accuracy, showing great potential for the search for physics beyond the standard model.

Despite its remarkable successes, the standard model of particle physics clearly isn’t complete—dark matter, dark energy, and the matter–antimatter asymmetry of the Universe are some of its most flagrant deficiencies. Experimenters thus eagerly search for anomalies that could provide hints on a theory that could complete or replace the standard model. The electron is a key player in this quest: its magnetic moment is both the most precisely measured elementary-particle property and the most accurately verified standard model prediction to date. New measurements by Gerald Gabrielse’s group at Northwestern University in Illinois [1] have determined the value of the electron’s magnetic moment 2.2 times more accurately than the previous best estimate, which was obtained in 2008 [2].

Feb 14, 2023

Scientists Use “Acoustic Holograms” To Form Particles Into Complex 3D Shapes

Posted by in categories: biological, holograms, particle physics

That’s exactly what researchers in Germany set out to do, making use of “acoustic holograms” to form distinct 3D shapes out of particles suspended in water — all in “one shot,” said study lead author Kai Melde, a researcher from the Max Planck Institute, in a press release.

According to a study on the work, published last week in the journal Science Advances, the researchers were able to create a helix and a figure 8 out of silica gel beads, assembled biological cells into spherical clumps, and even provided a compelling concept for forming the shape of a dove in future experiments.

These acoustic holograms work by cleverly manipulating the pressure exerted by high frequency ultrasonic waves via the inexpensive use of a conventionally 3D-printed plate.

Feb 14, 2023

A guide to (not) understanding quantum mechanics

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

Quantum mechanics is simultaneously beautiful and frustrating.

Its explanatory power is unmatched. Armed with the machinery of quantum theory, we have unlocked the secrets of atomic power, divined the inner workings of chemistry, built sophisticated electronics, discovered the power of entanglement, and so much more. According to some estimates, roughly a quarter of our world’s GDP relies on quantum mechanics.

Yet despite its overwhelming success as a framework for understanding what nature does, quantum mechanics tells us very little about how nature works. Quantum mechanics provides a powerful set of tools for successfully making predictions about what subatomic particles will do, but the theory itself is relatively silent about how those subatomic particles actually go about their lives.

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