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— Science

Australian researchers simulate a time-traveling photon

By - June 24, 2014 1 Picture
Researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia claim to have simulated the behavior of a single photon traveling back in time and interacting with an older version of itself, in an effort to investigate how such a particle would behave. Their results suggest that, under such circumstances, the laws of quantum mechanics would stretch to become even more bizarre than they already are. Read More
— Science

Hybrid energy system mimics processes in photosynthesis

By - May 30, 2014 1 Picture
Artificially replicating the biological process of photosynthesis is a goal being sought on many fronts, and it promises to one day improve light-to-energy efficiencies of solar collection well beyond what's possible with photovoltaic cells. One of the first steps is to imitate the mechanisms at work in the transfer of energy from reception through to output. To this end, Scientists have recently experimented with a combination of biological and photonic quantum mechanical states to form new half-light half-matter particle, called the “polariton.” It could help realize fully synthetic systems by mimicking the energy transport systems of biological photosynthesis. Read More
— Science

New record efficiency for quantum-dot photovoltaics

By - May 27, 2014 1 Picture
Flexible, inexpensive, large-area, lightweight solar cells are difficult to produce as they require an inert atmosphere and high temperatures, and they often degrade in a short time after exposure to air. Researchers at MIT, however, have used a new method to craft solar cells from ultra-thin layers of quantum dots in a process that promises to avoid these problems, and at room temperature. At the same time, they have also set a new record of nine percent for the most efficient quantum-dot solar cells produced to date. Read More
— Computers

Google's "Quantum Computing Playground" lets you fiddle with quantum algorithms

By - May 25, 2014 1 Picture
Google has just launched a new web-based integrated development environment (IDE) that allows users to write, run and debug software that makes use of quantum algorithms. The tool could allow computer scientists to stay ahead of the game and get acquainted with the many quirks of quantum algorithms even before the first practical quantum computer is built. Read More
— Science

Scientists observe cosmic inflation and quantum gravity in the Big Bang

By - March 17, 2014 7 Pictures
In a discovery that has profound implications for our understanding about the beginnings of the universe, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics this morning announced evidence of so-called primordial B-modes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). These B-modes directly show quantum gravitational waves originating during the inflationary period of cosmic evolution, from about 10-36 sec to 10-32 sec after the Big Bang, and give us a direct view of physical processes taking place at 1016 GeV – a trillion times more energetic than particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. Read More
— Space

NASA's Cold Atom Lab to make the ISS the coldest spot in the Universe

By - February 13, 2014 4 Pictures
Quantum physics likes the cold. In particular, macroscopic quantum phenomena such as superconductivity, superfluidity, and Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) are only found at quite low temperatures. While current refrigeration methods can attain temperatures of a few nanoKelvins, attaining still lower temperatures is largely prevented by the need to support the cooling matter against the pull of Earth's gravity. Now NASA's Cold Atom Lab, scheduled for installation on the ISS in 2016, will aim for temperatures roughly four orders of magnitude smaller. Read More
— Electronics

New materials mimic electronic properties of graphene in 3D

By - January 22, 2014 3 Pictures
Exciting times are ahead in the high-tech industries with the discovery by three independent groups that a new class of materials mimic the special electronic properties of graphene in 3D. Research into these superfast massless charge carriers opens up a wide range of potential applications in electronics, including smaller hard drives with more storage capacity, faster transistors and more efficient optical sensors. Read More
— Science

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for foundations of computational chemistry

By - October 9, 2013 2 Pictures
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel for the development of multi-scale computer models of chemical reactions. Such computational chemical models are now the foundation for protein, enzyme, and pharmaceutical research, and combine a classical description of the motion and structure of large molecules with a quantum description of the regions within the molecule where a reaction takes place. Read More
— Science

Quantum black hole study opens bridge to another universe

By - October 6, 2013 5 Pictures
Physicists have long thought that the singularities associated with gravity (like the inside of a black hole) should vanish in a quantum theory of gravity. It now appears that this may indeed be the case. Researchers in Uruguay and Louisiana have just published a description of a quantum black hole using loop quantum gravity in which the predictions of physics-ending singularities vanish, and are replaced by bridges to another universe. Read More

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