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Quantum Mechanics

Physics Feature

A long way from everything: The search for a Grand Unified Theory

The recent confirmation of gravity waves observed by the LIGO project represents a huge breakthrough in physics, verifying Albert Einstein's predictions regarding the effect of mass on space and time and supporting his general theory of relativity published in 1916. But what of his other grand hypothesis? Einstein's unified field theory consumed the last 30 years of his life without resolution, but how much closer have we come to a theory that brings every known force in the universe together into a single, all-encompassing frame of reference? Read More

Science

Inside a photon prison, a light-and-matter hybrid is born

Scientists at Cambridge University and the Imperial College London have trapped photons inside a tiny gold cavity, forcing it to interact with matter to form a hybrid state. This unique mixture – or "strong coupling" – of light and matter, achieved for the first time at room temperature, will help scientists develop better on-chip communications, manipulate quantum information, or even tweak the chemical bonds of single molecules.Read More

Science

Researchers discover new property of light with a twist

Light is a fundamental avenue of study in physics, and its properties are well established with steadfast rules and invariable constraints. So, until recently, we thought we knew just about everything there was to know about it. But now physicists from Trinity College Dublin have added a twist to the existing canon by demonstrating a new form of light with a total angular momentum that has a half-integer spin. In other words, light that does not obey the rules.Read More

Quantum Computing

Primitive quantum computers may already outperform standard machines for very specific tasks

Quantum bits (qubits) are the building blocks of quantum computers, but putting enough of them together in the one place to run computations like those expected in a standard computer is difficult to say the least. But now researchers have come up with a way to use even primitive quantum computers to run calculations that can already outperform the capabilities of classical computing for very specific tasks.Read More

Science

Bizarre fourth state of water discovered

You already know that water can have three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. But scientists at the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) have discovered that when it's put under extreme pressure in small spaces, the life-giving liquid can exhibit a strange fourth state known as tunneling.Read More

Physics

World's smallest engine powered by a single atom

A team of German physicists has just created the world's smallest working engine. Powered by a single electrically-charged calcium atom, the new device is claimed to have the equivalent thermodynamic efficiency (if scaled to size) of an average automobile engine. Basically a heat-exchange engine, its single-atom acts as both fuel and powerplant and is heated by electrical noise and cooled by laser beam.Read More

Physics

MIT physicists build world's first fermion microscope

MIT researchers claim to have created a method to better observe fermions – the sub-atomic building blocks of matter – by constructing a microscope capable of viewing them in groups of a thousand at a time. A laser technique is used to herd the fermions into a viewing area and then freeze them in place so all of the captured particles can be imaged simultaneously.Read More

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