Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category: Page 12

Mar 20, 2023

New Ultralight Material Is Tougher than Steel and Kevlar

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

A joint research project’s findings have just been published in the journal Nature Materials from engineers from MIT, Caltech, and ETH Zurich that has yielded a “nano-architectured” material that could prove stronger than Kevlar and steel. This material, once scaled, could provide a means of developed lightweight, protective coverings, blast shields, and other impact-resistance materials and armors for various industries.

The material is less than a width of a human hair, but still able to prevent the tiny, high-speed particles from penetrating it. According to the researchers behind the project, when compared with steel Kevlar, aluminum rother impact-resistant materials of comparable weight, the new nanotech armor outperforms them all.

Mar 20, 2023

Electroactive bacterium generates well-defined nanosized metal catalysts with remarkable water-splitting performance

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, nanotechnology, particle physics, sustainability

A biological method that produces metal nanoclusters using the electroactive bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens could provide a cheap and sustainable solution to high-performance catalyst synthesis for various applications such as water splitting.

Metal nanoclusters contain fewer than one hundred atoms and are much smaller than nanoparticles. They have unique electronic properties but also feature numerous active sites available for catalysis on their surface. There are several synthetic methods for making nanoclusters, but most require multiple steps involving and harsh temperature and pressure conditions.

Continue reading “Electroactive bacterium generates well-defined nanosized metal catalysts with remarkable water-splitting performance” »

Mar 19, 2023

The fifth force: Is there another fundamental force of nature?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

In recent years, a group of Hungarian researchers have made headlines with a bold claim. They say they’ve discovered a new particle — dubbed X17 — that requires the existence of a fifth force of nature.

The researchers weren’t looking for the new particle, though. Instead, it popped up as an anomaly in their detector back in 2015 while they were searching for signs of dark matter. The oddity didn’t draw much attention at first. But eventually, a group of prominent particle physicists working at the University of California, Irvine, took a closer look and suggested that the Hungarians had stumbled onto a new type of particle — one that implies an entirely new force of nature.

Then, in late 2019, the Hungarian find hit the mainstream — including a story featured prominently on CNN — when they released new results suggesting that their signal hadn’t gone away. The anomaly persisted even after they changed the parameters of their experiment. They’ve now seen it pop up in the same way hundreds of times.

Mar 18, 2023

Evidence for the existence of a deeply bound dibaryon, built entirely from beauty quarks

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Dibaryons are the subatomic particles made of two baryons. Their formations through baryon-baryon interactions play a fundamental role in big-bang nucleosynthesis, in nuclear reactions including those within stellar environments, and provide a connection between nuclear physics, cosmology and astrophysics.

Interestingly, the , which is the key to the existence of nuclei and provides most of their masses, allows formations of numerous other dibaryons with various combinations of quarks. However, we do not observe them abound—deuteron is the only known stable dibaryon.

To resolve this apparent dichotomy, it is essential to investigate dibaryons and baryon-baryon interactions at the fundamental level of strong interactions. In a recent publication in Physical Review Letters, physicists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and The Institute of Mathematical Science (IMSc) have provided strong evidence for the existence of a deeply bound dibaryon, entirely built from bottom (beauty) quarks.

Mar 18, 2023

Pioneering Quantum Physicists Win Nobel Prize in Physics

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

The physicists Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger have won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for experiments that proved the profoundly strange quantum nature of reality. Their experiments collectively established the existence of a bizarre quantum phenomenon known as entanglement, where two widely separated particles appear to share information despite having no conceivable way of communicating.

Entanglement lay at the heart of a fiery clash in the 1930s between physics titans Albert Einstein on the one hand and Niels Bohr and Erwin Schrödinger on the other about how the universe operates at a fundamental level. Einstein believed all aspects of reality should have a concrete and fully knowable existence. All objects — from the moon to a photon of light — should have precisely defined properties that can be discovered through measurement. Bohr, Schrödinger and other proponents of the nascent quantum mechanics, however, were finding that reality appeared to be fundamentally uncertain; a particle does not possess certain properties until the moment of measurement.

Entanglement emerged as a decisive way to distinguish between these two possible versions of reality. The physicist John Bell proposed a decisive thought experiment that was later realized in various experimental forms by Aspect and Clauser. The work proved Schrödinger right. Quantum mechanics was the operating system of the universe.

Mar 17, 2023

Mirror-imaging in molecules can modify neuron signaling

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, particle physics

With the aid of some sea slugs, University of Nebraska–Lincoln chemists have discovered that one of the smallest conceivable tweaks to a biomolecule can elicit one of the grandest conceivable consequences: directing the activation of neurons.

Their discovery came from investigating peptides, the short chains of amino acids that can transmit signals among cells, including neurons, while populating the central nervous systems and bloodstreams of most animals. Like many other molecules, an amino acid in a peptide can adopt one of two forms that feature the same atoms, with the same connectivity, but in mirror-image orientations: L and D.

Chemists often think of those two orientations as the left and right hands of a molecule. The L orientation is by far the more common in peptides, to the point of being considered the default. But when enzymes do flip an L to a D, the seemingly minor about-face can turn, say, a potentially therapeutic molecule into a toxic one, or vice versa.

Mar 17, 2023

A scalable and programmable quantum phononic processor based on trapped ions

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

Quantum computing systems have the potential to outperform classical computers on some tasks, helping to solve complex real-world problems in shorter times. Research teams worldwide have thus been trying to realize this quantum advantage over traditional computers, by creating and testing different quantum systems.

Researchers at Tsinghua University recently developed a new programmable quantum phononic processor with trapped ions. This processor, introduced in a paper in Nature Physics, could be easier to scale up in size than other previously proposed photonic quantum processors, which could ultimately enable better performances on complex problems.

“Originally, we were interested in the proposal of Scott Aaronson and others about Boson sampling, which might show the quantum advantages of simple linear optics and photons,” Kihwan Kim, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told “We were wondering if it is possible to realize it with the in a trapped ion system.”

Mar 17, 2023

Study uncovers the fundamental mechanisms underlying the formation of polarons in 2D atomic crystals

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Polarons are localized quasiparticles that result from the interaction between fermionic particles and bosonic fields. Specifically, polarons are formed when individual electrons in crystals distort their surrounding atomic lattice, producing composite objects that behave more like a massive particles than electron waves.

Feliciano Giustino and Weng Hong Sio, two researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, recently carried out a study investigating the processes underpinning the formation of polarons in 2D materials. Their paper, published in Nature Physics, outlines some fundamental mechanisms associated with these particles’ formation that had not been identified in previous works.

“Back in 2019, we developed a new theoretical and computational framework to study polarons,” Feliciano Giustino, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told “One thing that caught our attention is that many experimental papers discuss polarons in 3D bulk materials, but we could find only a couple of papers reporting observations of these particles in 2D. So, we were wondering whether this is just a coincidence, or else polarons in 2D are more rare or more elusive than in 3D, and our recent paper addresses this question.”

Mar 16, 2023

Quantum Light Could Probe Chemical Reactions in Real Time

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

For their new study, the researchers aimed to understand how quantum correlations inside a source material, be it a gas or a mineral, would impact the quantum properties of the light bursts coming out, if at all. “High harmonic generation is a very important area. And still, until recently, it was described by a classical picture of light,” Kaminer says.

In quantum mechanics, figuring out what’s going on with more than a few particles at the same time is notoriously difficult. Kaminer and Alexey Gorlach, a graduate student in his lab, used their COVID-imposed isolation to try to make progress on a fully quantum description of light emitted in high harmonics. “It’s really crazy; Alexey built a super complex mathematical description on a scale that we’ve never had before,” Kaminer says.

Next, to fully incorporate the quantum properties of the material used to generate this light, Kaminer and Gorlach teamed up with Andrea Pizzi, then a graduate student at the University of Cambridge and now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Mar 16, 2023

How Big Is a Proton? Neutrinos Weigh In

Posted by in category: particle physics

The team’s measurement of the proton’s radius was 0.73 femtometer, even smaller than the 0.84-femtometer electric charge radius. In either case, it is almost 10,000 times smaller than a hydrogen atom.

To be clear, this apparent 13 percent shrinkage is not a blow to the electric charge radius measurements and not as shocking as it may seem. The two measurements are complementary and work together to offer a big picture view of the little proton. Because they measure different distributions of matter, the discrepancy does not challenge our understanding of the proton the same way its previous 4 percent shrinkage did. Instead it adds to that understanding.

“The thing that makes this measurement really interesting is not whether or not it agrees with the electron measurements of the electromagnetic proton radius but the fact that it didn’t have to agree at all,” says Deborah Harris, co-spokesperson for the MINERvA experiment. This is because the way neutrinos interact with up quarks versus down quarks is very different from how quarks interact with electrons. Instead of an electromagnetic interaction, neutrinos interact via a different force called the weak force. (But don’t let its name fool you—the weak force is quite strong across subatomic distances!)

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