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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Higgs Duality: Contradictory Results At LHC


The latest data presented by scientists on Higgs boson shows that separate measurements of its properties are showing two slightly different masses.

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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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Atomic Gas Superfluid Might Help Model the Early Cosmos


Quantum physicists have shown that superfluid gases can conduct without experiencing any resistance, possibly paving a way to help model the early Universe in the lab.

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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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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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Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Quantum Physicists Serge Haroche and David Wineland

Serge Haroche (left) and David Wineland discovered ways to probe the quantum states of particles.

Serge Haroche of the College of France, Paris, and David Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, have been awarded an equal share of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics.

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