Physics

Scientists have managed to get two quantum memories entangled over 50 kilometres (31 miles) of fibre optic cables, almost 40 times the previous record. This achievement makes the idea of a super-fast, super-secure quantum internet a much more plausible one. Quantum communication relies on quantum entanglement, or what Einstein called ‘spooky action at a distance’: where
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When physicists detected signals of high-energy neutrinos coming from a rather unlikely direction in the cosmos, they naturally went looking for a powerful source that might explain it. An intense examination of the most likely origins of these more reactive forms of ‘ghost’ particles has now come up empty-handed, opening the way for more exotic
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Nothing lasts forever. Humans, planets, stars, galaxies, maybe even the Universe itself, everything has an expiration date. But things in the quantum realm don’t always follow the rules. Scientists have found that quasiparticles in quantum systems could be effectively immortal. That doesn’t mean they don’t decay, which is reassuring. But once these quasiparticles have decayed,
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As 2019 winds to a close, the journey towards fully realised quantum computing continues: physicists have been able to demonstrate quantum teleportation between two computer chips for the first time. Put simply, this breakthrough means that information was passed between the chips not by physical electronic connections, but through quantum entanglement – by linking two
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A unique material that appears to decouple an object’s temperature from the amount of thermal radiation it produces could provide a new way of hiding from infrared cameras (not to mention bloodthirsty aliens equipped with infrared vision). Thermal radiation is emitted by basically everything with a temperature above absolute zero, and the hotter things get,
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Researchers have identified a metal that conducts electricity without conducting heat – an incredibly useful property that defies our current understanding of how conductors work. The metal, found in 2017, contradicts something called the Wiedemann-Franz Law, which basically states that good conductors of electricity will also be proportionally good conductors of heat, which is why
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Under the right circumstances, individual electrons can form partnerships that allow them to zip effortlessly through special materials called superconductors – letting them conduct electrical current without resistance. That in itself is pretty impressive. But now physicists have found evidence these quantum partnerships – known as ‘Cooper pairs‘ – are also capable of acting as
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The three-body problem, one of the most notoriously complex calculations in physics, may have met its match in artificial intelligence: a new neural network promises to find solutions up to 100 million times faster than existing techniques. First formulated by Sir Isaac Newton, the three-body problem involves calculating the movement of three gravitationally interacting bodies
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Scientists have observed a quantum vibration at normal room temperature for the first time, a phenomenon that usually requires ultra-cold, carefully calibrated conditions – bringing us another step closer to understanding the behaviour of quantum mechanics in common materials. The team was able to spot a phonon, a quantum particle of vibration generated from high-frequency
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Superconductivity (passing charges through materials without losing heat) promises to revolutionise electronics and power, if we can get it working at reasonable temperatures – and scientists just reported a big step forward in our understanding of the phenomenon. The new discovery centres around the Hubbard model: a maths model of conduction and insulation in materials,
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For several years now, physicists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) have been running a landmark experiment, recording tens of billions of particles break apart in the hopes of catching a few oddballs. And they finally have some intriguing results to share. This experiment, called NA62, has researchers building and destroying pairs of quarks called
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A team of researchers has just demonstrated quantum enhancement in an actual X-ray machine, achieving the desirable goal of eliminating background noise for precision detection. The relationships between photon pairs on quantum scales can be exploited to create sharper, higher-resolution images than classical optics. This emerging field is called quantum imaging, and it has some
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Scientists have found evidence of superconductivity happening at temperatures and energy levels way above its normal boundaries – a finding which could one day go on to help revolutionise the design and workings of our electronics. A superconductor material is one that can transfer electricity without resistance. In turn, this means the electricity travels through
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