Molecules/Matter & Energy

A quantum state is teleported, plus twisty light and foamy graphene in this week's news

Beam the cat up Packets of light that resemble Schrödinger’s hypothetical cat — existing in two states at once, both “alive” and “dead”— have been successfully teleported from one place to another. This movement of a quantum state, accomplished by a team of researchers in Japan and Australia, could be useful for sending quantum information quickly and securely. As described in the April 15 Science , the Mr. Scott-style feat destroyed the original quantum state, transmitted the information using entangled light and recreated it elsewhere. — Devin Powell Screwy light Light beams crimped in curls tighter than a prom queen’s hairdo may help scientists probe the structures of small molecules in pursuit of new drugs. A molecule with a left-handed structure absorbs different amounts of this “superchiral light” than its mirror-image right-handed form. This technique, described in the April 15 Science , is 11 times better at distinguishing these two forms than previous circularly polarized light sources. Researchers at Harvard University made the corkscrew-shaped light by colliding two beams of polarized light rotating in opposite directions. — Devin Powell
Graphene foam
A way to grow multiple layers of carbon from methane gas could lead to flexible, foldable, stretchable electronics. Graphene foam, made of carbon and polymer, conducts electricity a million times better than similar composites grown with other methods, scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported April 10 in Nature Materials . Their chemical vapor deposition technique avoids the imperfections and impurities that reduce the performance of other approaches to making graphene materials. — Devin Powell

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