Physics


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Well, those crazy chemistry cats have done it. Nearly 200 years after the molecule was discovered by Michael Faraday, researchers have finally revealed the complex electronic structure of benzene.   This not only settles a debate that has been raging since the 1930s, this step has important implications for the future development of opto-electronic materials,
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Scientists have used super high-speed cameras to capture the moment liquid droplets combine together, providing a unique, preternatural glimpse of fluid dynamics the human eye can’t observe on its own.   Using an experimental setup involving two synchronised high-speed cameras – one shooting from the side, and the other looking upwards (courtesy of a mirror
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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’:
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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