Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner was faster than he or anyone else thought during his record-setting jump last October from 24 miles up. The Austrian parachutist known as "Fearless Felix" reached 843.6 mph, according to official numbers released Monday. That's equivalent to Mach 1.25, or 1.25 times the speed of sound. His top speed initially was estimated at 10 mph slower at 834 mph, or Mach 1.24.
Not only do optical fibers transmit information every day around the world at the speed of light, but they can also be harnessed for the transport of quantum information. Physicists in Austria have recently reported how they have directly transferred the quantum information stored in an atom onto a particle of light. Such information could then be sent over optical fiber to a distant atom.
More than eight years of effort by Advanced Photon Source (APS) physicists, engineers, and technicians culminated on Jan. 21, 2013, with the production of the first X-rays from the prototype of a novel superconducting undulator (SCU), which has been installed in the APS electron accelerator and storage ring at Argonne National Laboratory. It is the first such SCU operated at a third-generation synchrotron X-ray facility.
An international team of researchers affiliated with Göttingen University in Germany has found a way to store vast amounts of data—up to one petabyte—per square inch. The scientists developed a unique molecule with an exploitable electron that carries a spin. This serves as the memory for their electronic device, which can be read out by a magnetic reference electrode at room temperature.
Two Rutgers physics professors have proposed an explanation for a new type of order, or symmetry, in an exotic material made with uranium. When cooled to near absolute zero, the material’s electrons essentially act like electronic versions of polarized sunglasses. The new theory that explains this strange behavior may one day lead to enhanced computer displays and data storage systems and more powerful superconducting magnets for medical imaging and levitating high-speed trains.
We're now one step closer to quantum computing becoming a reality thanks to research led by a team of University of Sydney physicists, who have found a new way to detect changes in charges smaller than one electron.
New York University physicists have developed a method for moving microscopic particles with the flick of a light switch. Their work relies on a blue light to prompt colloids to move and then assemble—much like birds flock and move together in flight. The method offers the potential to enhance the design of a range of industrial products, including the architecture of electronics.
The way electrons move within and between molecules, transferring energy as they go, plays an important role in many chemical and biological processes, such as the conversion of sunlight to energy in photosynthesis and solar cells. But the fastest steps in this energy transfer have eluded detection. In a recently published paper researchers have demonstrated that they can manipulate and study these ultrafast energy transfers with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source.
Scientists from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have created, for the first time, a new type of microchip which allows information to travel in three dimensions. The chip’s design relies on spintronics, a technology that makes use of an electron's tiny magnetic moment, or “spin”, to store information. Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way—from either left to right or front to back.
Two Rutgers University physics professors have proposed an explanation for a new type of order, or symmetry, in an exotic material made with uranium—a theory that may one day lead to enhanced computer displays and data storage systems and more powerful superconducting magnets for medical imaging and levitating high-speed trains.
In a study designed to find out how smell is written into a molecule’s structure, scientists in England tested whether changing how a molecule vibrates on a nanoscale changes its smell. They found that molecular vibrations, rather than molecular shape, give substances their distinct smell.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed a new simulation capability to model a classic plasma configuration. The researchers demonstrated, for the first time, a fully kinetic model of the dense plasma focus (DPF) Z-pinch device, including the electrodes, in a realistic geometry.
The phenomenon of liquids coating rough surfaces in the form of films or droplets is commonplace. But how can we tell in what conditions a liquid will form a continuous film or just isolated drops? Existing theories generally describe ideally smooth surfaces, which are not practically relevant. Now, for the first time, scientists have developed a general theory based on simple mathematics that provides an answer to the question of film or droplets for rough surfaces.
Particle accelerators normally operate on the principle that charged particles like electrons and protons require high voltages and long acceleration paths. Researchers in India have developed a method that uses lasers to charge a lump of cooled argon particles to high energy and revert them to a neutral, uncharged, state without losing any of the high energy possessed by the particle. The finding could yield a valuable new source of particles for study.
Using laser spectroscopy to examine an exotic form of hydrogen, which has a negatively charged muon instead of an electron, physicists at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland have for the first time determined the magnetic radius of the proton. The result significantly different than the one from previous investigations of regular hydrogen.
A new way of making crystalline silicon, developed by University of Michigan researchers, could make this crucial ingredient of computers and solar cells much cheaper and greener. The researchers discovered a way to make silicon crystals, directly at just 180 F, the internal temperature of a cooked turkey, by taking advantage of a phenomenon seen in your kitchen.
Physicists have recently demonstrated that the application of a very strong alternating electric field to thin liquid crystal cells leads to a new distinct nonlinear dynamic effect in the response of the cells. Researchers were able to explain this result through spatio-temporal chaos theory. The finding has implications for the operation of liquid crystal devices because their operation depends on electro-optic switch phenomena.
The universe abounds with dark matter. Nobody knows what it consists of. Now, University of Oslo physicists have launched a very hard mathematical explanation that could solve the mystery once and for all.
Last year, a team of University of Pennsylvania physicists showed how to undo the "coffee-ring effect," a commonplace occurrence when drops of liquid with suspended particles dry, leaving a ring-shaped stain at the drop's edges. Now the team is exploring how those particles stack up as they reach the drop's edge, and they discovered that different particles make smoother or rougher deposition profiles at the drop edge depending on their shape.
In early 2011, a pair of theoretical computer scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed an optical experiment that would harness the weird laws of quantum mechanics to perform a computation impossible on conventional computers. The experiment involves generating individual photons—particles of light—and synchronizing their passage through a maze of optical components so that they reach a battery of photon detectors at the same time.
The Barkhausen Effect is the noise in the magnetic output of a ferromagnet when the magnetizing force applied to it is changed. Almost 100 years after its initial discovery, a team of scientists in Alberta have harnessed this effect as a new kind of high-resolution microscopy for the insides of magnetic materials.
Yale physicists have successfully devised a new, non-destructive measurement system for observing, tracking and documenting all changes in a qubit’s state, thus preserving the qubit’s informational value. In principle, the scientists said, this should allow them to monitor the qubit’s state in order to correct for random errors.
In December 2011, Caltech mineral-physics expert Jennifer Jackson reported that she and a team of researchers had used diamond-anvil cells to compress tiny samples of iron—the main element of the Earth's core. By squeezing the samples to reproduce the extreme pressures felt at the core, the team was able to get a closer estimate of the melting point of iron. At the time, the measurements that the researchers made were unprecedented in detail. Now, they have taken that research one step further by adding infrared laser beams to the mix.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists, in collaboration with the Imperial College London and MicroLink Devices Inc., have proposed a novel triple-junction solar cell with the potential to break the 50% conversion efficiency barrier, which is the current goal in multijunction photovoltaic development.
Yale University scientists have found a way to observe quantum information while preserving its integrity, an achievement that offers researchers greater control in the volatile realm of quantum mechanics and greatly improves the prospects of quantum computing.