Tag Archives: quantum physics

Two big steps forward for quantum teleportation

Few things will tie your cerebral lobes in a knot like quantum mechanics, and even then, fewer things are as astonishing as quantum teleportation – the “transmission” of quantum values (qubits) over a distance – not feet but hundreds of kilometers (or miles). The research into this potential form of communication has been going on […]
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The robin flies with quantum coherence

The quantum coherent robin red-breast…….Credit: NWFS In a sense most science and technology news is made up of tidbits, bits and pieces of research. Some of the tidbits are choice morsels, others are insight resistant gristle, and perhaps even more are pure confection. What’s generally missing in the news is how (or if) the tidbit […]
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Transformation optics: the light fantastic

Third in a series of posts inspired by ten topics in ‘Insights of the Decade’ from the December 17, 2010 special issue of Science Magazine The topics are: Inflammation, climatology, tricks of light, alien planets, the microbiome, cell development, Martian water, the DNA time machine, cosmology and epigenetics. The original articles are now behind a […]
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Super-photon: A Bose-Einstein condensate with practical potential

Illustrated super-photon….Credit: Jan Klaers, University of Bonn Is it time to start investing in Bose-Einstein condensates? They’re not dew drops, of course. Anything with ‘Einstein’ in it has got to be physics. So what kind of condensate is this, and what makes it (potentially) useful? The concept of Bose-Einstein condensates, often abbreviated BEC, was theorized […]
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Changing the frame of reference for quantum mechanics

Is there a relationship between the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and quantum nonlocality? Only a quantum physicist should know, or care. Wrong, at least in one way. Granted, quantum mechanics is a tough subject. So is your brain. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth knowing about. As for quantum physicists knowing about such a relationship, well […]
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The MIM diode: Another challenger for the electronics crown

Sometimes good ideas in technology languish because of serious implementation hurdles. The MIM diode (Metal-Insulator-Metal) was one of those technologies. Note the past tense. Essentially, a diode conducts an electrical current in only one direction. Like a check valve with water, it won’t allow back flow. However, more sophisticated diodes do more than act like […]
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Graphene finds mass appeal

Thanks to the 2010 Nobel Prize for physics, graphene is a hot topic. That doesn’t mean it’s a household word. Graphene is not like pencil lead, which most people know is graphite. (That may hold for another generation or two, pencils are disappearing into tiny niches.) Yet graphene is graphite. Same stuff, pure carbon, just […]
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Physics: A smaller proton, a big challenge

The proton is one of the fundamental components of the atom. For a long time scientists have believed it to be 0.8768 femtometers in size (a femtometer is one quadrillionth of a meter). Now, it looks like they may have been wrong, the size is 0.84184 femtometers. In a way, the discrepancy is very small…as […]
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Quantum dots do it: The dark pulse laser

Lasers come in many variations of light: Red, blue, infrared, ultraviolet and so on. Now there is a laser that produces non-light – the dark pulse laser. Developed by a joint project of the National Institute of Standards (NIST, USA) and Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA, University of Colorado, USA), the dark pulse laser […]
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A first: Spintronics made visible

It’s an important emerging field, spintronics; though it’s not too well known. It’s based on a quantum property of electrons – they spin. Some electrons spin ‘up,’ some spin ‘down’ and if you can get a device to read that state of up or down, that’s the basis for many kinds of electronics. This includes […]
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