Physics News

Researchers Find a Way to Tap into Long-Lived Sound Waves in Glass

January 2, 2017

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Researchers Enhance the Lifetime of Sound Waves Traveling Through Glass

A newly published study from Yale scientists reveals how to enhance the lifetime of sound waves traveling through glass — the material at the heart of fiber optic technologies. Everyday experience tells us that glass (silica) is highly transparent. In fact, silica is one of the most transparent materials on earth. Light can propagate for […]

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New Technique Reveals Internal Characteristics of Photonic Crystals

November 29, 2016

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A New Method for Analyzing Crystal Structure

Scientists at MIT have developed a new technique that reveals the inner details of photonic crystals, synthetic materials whose exotic optical properties are the subject of widespread research. Photonic crystals are generally made by drilling millions of closely spaced, minuscule holes in a slab of transparent material, using variations of microchip-fabrication methods. Depending on the […]

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Researchers Derive a Formula for Tracking the Flow of Quantum Information

November 17, 2016

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New Formula Tracks the Flow of Quantum Information

A team of reserchers has developed a formula for understanding where quantum objects land when they are transmitted. If objects in motion are like rainwater flowing through a gutter and landing in a puddle, then quantum objects in motion are like rainwater that might end up in a bunch of puddles, all at once. Figuring […]

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Particles Exhibit Their Quantum Nature Close to Absolute Zero

November 9, 2016

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Sensing the Quantum Limit in Scanning Tunnelling Spectroscopy

A newly published study from the Max Planck Institute reveals what would happen if an electric current no longer flowed, but trickled instead. What would happen if an electric current no longer flowed, but trickled instead? This was the question investigated by researchers working with Christian Ast at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State […]

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Yale Engineers Advance Quantum Technology With Photon Control

November 1, 2016

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Advancing Quantum Technology With Photon Control

Engineers from Yale University have developed a new technique to control the frequency of single photons. The ability to control the frequency of single photons is crucial to realize the potential of quantum communications and quantum computing. The current methods for changing photon frequency, however, bring with them significant drawbacks. Researchers in the lab of […]

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Scientists Generate the Fastest Electric Current Ever Measured Inside a Solid Material

October 25, 2016

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Scientists Generate the Fastest Electric Current to Date Inside a Solid Material

Using ultrafast laser flashes, physicists from the Max Planck Institute have generated the fastest electric current that has ever been measured inside a solid material. In the field of electronics, the principle ‘the smaller, the better’ applies. Some building blocks of computers or mobile phones, however, have become nearly as small today as only a […]

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MIT’s Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor Sets World Record

October 14, 2016

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Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor Sets World Record

MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor set a new world record, achieving over 2 atmospheres of pressure for the first time. On Friday, September 30, at 9:25 p.m. EDT, scientists and engineers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center made a leap forward in the pursuit of clean energy. The team set a new […]

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Yale Engineers Develop A New Chip That Could Advance Quantum Technology

October 5, 2016

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New Chip Could Advance Quantum Technology

Yale engineers have developed a new device that converts visible light to infrared light suitable for fiber-optic transmission without destroying the light’s quantum state. The lab of Hong Tang, Llewellyn West Jones, Jr. Professor of Electrical Engineering & Physics, has developed a device that converts visible light to infrared light, a crucial step in building […]

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Yale Researchers Cross the “Break Even” Point in Preserving a Bit of Quantum Information

July 21, 2016

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Researchers Cross the Break Even Point in Preserving Quantum Information

Using a novel system to encode, spot errors, decode, and correct errors in a quantum bit, researchers at Yale University have developed a device that lengthens the life of quantum information. For the first time, researchers at Yale have crossed the “break even” point in preserving a bit of quantum information for longer than the […]

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New Research Opens New Realms of Light-Matter Interaction

July 14, 2016

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MIT Study Opens New Realms of Light-Matter Interaction

A new study from MIT shows that some “forbidden” light emissions are in fact possible, and could enable new sensors and light-emitting devices. A new MIT study could open up new areas of technology based on types of light emission that had been thought to be “forbidden,” or at least so unlikely as to be […]

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Astronomers Prove the Existence of a “Gravitational Vortex” Around a Black Hole

July 13, 2016

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XMM-Newton Proves the Existence of a "Gravitational Vortex" Around a Black Hole

Using data from XMM-Newton and NuSTAR, astronomers have proved the existence of a “gravitational vortex” around a black hole. This new discovery, aided by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, solves a mystery that has eluded astronomers for more than 30 years, and will allow them to map the behavior of matter very close […]

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Graphene Provides a New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

June 15, 2016

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A New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

By slowing down light to a speed slower than flowing electrons, scientists have developed a new way to turn electricity into light. When an airplane begins to move faster than the speed of sound, it creates a shockwave that produces a well-known “boom” of sound. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a similar […]

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Physicists Amplify Light Using Sound on a Silicon Chip

June 13, 2016

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Scientists Amplify Light Using Sound on a Silicon Chip

A team of physicists has discovered a way to greatly boost the intensity of light waves on a silicon microchip using the power of sound. In a study to be published in the journal Nature Photonics, a team led by Peter Rakich describes a new waveguide system that harnesses the ability to precisely control the […]

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Schrödinger’s Cat Gets a Second Box

May 27, 2016

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A Schrödinger Cat Living in Two Boxes

A team of physicists from Yale University have given Schrödinger’s cat a second box to play in, and the result may help further the quest for reliable quantum computing. Schrödinger’s cat is a well-known paradox that applies the concept of superposition in quantum physics to objects encountered in everyday life. The idea is that a […]

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Newly Developed ‘Rochester Cloak’ Enhances Cloaking Abilities

May 19, 2016

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A Newly Designed Digital Rochester Cloak

While the Rochester Cloak relied solely on lenses, a newly developed system combines a different type of lens array combined with a digital scanning and processing technique that increases the range of angles for which it works. The Rochester researchers have shown a proof-of-concept demonstration for such a setup, which is still much lower resolution […]

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New Research May Help in the Development of Nano-Optical Transistors for a Photonic Computer

May 5, 2016

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A Step Towards the Photonic Computer

Researchers show that a single molecule allows a beam of light with a few photons to be controlled – a step towards the photonic computer. The Jedi knights of the Star Wars saga are engaged in an impossible fight. This does not result from the superiority of the enemy empire, but from physics because laser […]

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A New Approach to Designing Hydrogen-Resistant Zirconium Alloys

March 29, 2016

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Designing Hydrogen-Resistant Zirconium Alloys

Researchers from MIT have developed a new approach to designing hydrogen-resistant zirconium alloys, which could be useful in nuclear reactors. High-tech metal alloys are widely used in important materials such as the cladding that protects the fuel inside a nuclear reactor. But even the best alloys degrade over time, victims of a reactor’s high temperatures, […]

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DES Results of First Search for Visible Light Associated with Gravitational Waves

February 15, 2016

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Astronomers Report Results of First Search for Visible Light Associated with Gravitational Waves

The Dark Energy Survey has already discovered more than 1,000 supernovae and mapped millions of galaxies to help us understand the accelerating expansion of our universe and now it searches for optical signatures of gravitational waves. Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts the emission of gravitational waves by massive celestial bodies moving though space-time. For […]

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