Quantum Gas Temperature Goes Below Absolute Zero

Energy distribution of atoms in a thermal state. Positive absolute temperatures above, in blue; negative absolute temperatures below, in red. Credit: LMU/MPQ Munich

Physicists have been able to create an atomic gas that can attain a temperature below absolute zero, -273.15˚C. They were able to create this gas using negative-Kelvin materials and new quantum devices.

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Photon Devices Could Outperform Traditional Computers

Photon Devices Will Outperform Traditional Computers

Quantum computers will be able to perform tasks that silicon-based computers wouldn’t be able to do, like cracking the codes that protect bank transactions. Several research teams have revealed solid evidence that quantum physics does embody a level of complexity that classical computers could never match. The new devices these groups have built are much simpler to build than quantum computers but could some day perform some of the same tasks.

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Discovery of Magnetic Field That Can Flip Heat Flow


Scientists discovered a magnetic field that can control the flow of heat from one body to another. It was first predicted 50 years ago, and its effect could someday lead to a new generation of electronic devices that use heat rather than charge to carry information.

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Samarium Hexoboride Behaves Like a Topological Insulator


Samarium hexoboride, a compound that had been poorly understood and that can gain conducting properties at very low temperatures, may be a topological insulator in its bulk form, conducting electricity on its surface while the rest of the material behaves like an insulator.

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The Quantum Teleportation Race Goes Into Space in 2016


Three years ago, Jian-Wei Pan and his colleagues were able to quantum teleport information across 16 kilometers. This was one of the first major steps to the research team’s ultimate goal of teleporting photons to a satellite orbiting the Earth.

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Experiment Using Photons Could Detect Quantum-Scale Black Holes


A new tabletop experiment using a single photon was proposed to show whether space-time is made up of indivisible units. Space isn’t smooth, and physicists think that on the quantum scale, it is composed of indivisible subunits, like the dots of a pointillist drawing. This pixelated landscape is thought to be populated by black holes, smaller than one trillionth of one trillionth of the diameter of a hydrogen atom, which continuously pop in and out of existence.

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Truant Particles Dash Hopes of Clues to Supersymmetry from LHC

While Sherlock Holmes might have stated that the absence of any evidence is evidence itself, theoretical physicists haven’t yet been able to find any inkling to confirm supersymmetry (SUSY), a theory which predicts that every Standard-Model particle has a heavier partner. The reason why SUSY is so important is because it would be a step forward towards a grand unified theory of particles and forces.

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Photons Traverse Optical Obstacles as Both a Wave and Particle Simultaneously

Mystery of Wave-Particle Duality

A photon can act as a particle one moment, following a well-defined path like a tiny projectile, and a wave the next, overlapping with its ilk to produce interference patterns, much like a ripple on the water. Wave-particle duality is one of the key features of quantum mechanics, and it’s not easily understood in layman’s terms. New experiments show that photons not only switch from wave to particle and back again, but they can actually hold both wave and particle tendencies at the same time.

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Interpretation of Heisenberg’s Principle is Proven False


Students are taught that quantum uncertainty is always in the eye of the beholder, but that principle might have been proven false by a new experiment that measured a quantum system which doesn’t necessarily introduce uncertainty. It overthrows a common classroom explanation of quantum mechanics, but the fundamental limit of what is knowable at the smallest scales remains unchanged.

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Evidence of Elusive Majorana Fermions Raises Possibilities for Quantum Computing


It’s been reported that researchers in the Leo Kouwenhoven group, based out of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, might have beaten several competing teams in solid state and high energy physics to find the elusive Majorana fermions, a mysterious quantum-mechanical particle that might have some applications in quantum computing.

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