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Science Ticker


Science Ticker

Split atom clouds get entangled in quantum tests

The feat takes researchers a step closer to creating ultraprecise measurement devices

Illustration of electromagnetic fields trapping a cloud of rubidium atoms above a microchip

ENTANGLED WEB  Electromagnetic fields trap a cloud of rubidium atoms above a microchip (illustrated). Quantum linkages were observed between atoms in the left and right halves of the clump.

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Clouds of linked-up atoms are doing the splits.

Scientists forged quantum connections between separate regions within clouds of ultracold atoms, demonstrating entanglement between thousands of particles in two different locations. Previous similar experiments had entangled several thousand atoms, but only within one entire cloud (SN Online: 3/25/15).

Now researchers have split up a cloud of entangled atoms into separate regions, either by considering two areas in a single cloud to be distinct or by actually forming two separate clouds, according to a trio of papers (found here, here and here) published in the April 27 Science. The new technique is a step toward quantum devices that make precise measurements, for example of electric fields.

Entanglement is a bizarre quantum phenomenon where separate objects, whether individual particles or groups of particles, behave as a conjoined entity. Measuring one object immediately reveals information about the other, even when the two are in different locations, such as distinct atomic clouds.

Genetics,, Animals

Cicadas on different schedules can hybridize

By Helen Thompson 5:00pm, April 20, 2018
A new genetic study suggests that cicadas that emerge every 17 years have swapped genetic material with those that emerge every 13 years.
Microbes,, Pollution

This plastic-gobbling enzyme just got an upgrade

By Laurel Hamers 7:00am, April 19, 2018
Scientists tweaked a bacterial enzyme and made it more efficient in breaking down plastics found in polyester and plastic bottles.
Exoplanets

NASA’s TESS spacecraft launches to begin its exoplanet search

By Lisa Grossman 7:36pm, April 18, 2018
After reaching its orbit in about two months, the telescope will start scanning nearby stars telltale dips in light that signal a passing planet.
Astronomy

Delayed launch of NASA’s next exoplanet hunter is now set for tonight

By Lisa Grossman 2:53pm, April 16, 2018
NASA’s next exoplanet hunter, TESS, launches today to seek planets in 85 percent of the sky.
Animals,, Physics

In a colony, king penguins behave like molecules in a 2-D liquid

By Dan Garisto 12:03pm, April 6, 2018
Positions of king penguins in a breeding colony resemble molecules in a 2-D liquid.
Biomedicine,, Health

A new coronavirus is killing pigs in China

By Helen Thompson 1:00pm, April 4, 2018
Genetic evidence identifies a previously unknown coronavirus that’s causing problems in pigs.
Astronomy

A Chinese space station will fall to Earth this weekend

By Lisa Grossman 8:00am, March 30, 2018
The Chinese space agency’s first space station is coming back to Earth this weekend. It probably won’t cause damage, but it will cause fireworks.
Science & Society

New spending bill mostly boosts money for science research

By Emily DeMarco 6:35pm, March 23, 2018
Here’s a quick look at how science agencies fared in the newly passed spending package.
Genetics,, Anthropology

Atacama mummy’s deformities were unduly sensationalized

By Dan Garisto 2:54pm, March 22, 2018
A malformed human mummy known as Ata has been sensationalized as alien. A DNA analysis helps overturn that misconception.
Technology,, Artificial Intelligence,, Science & Society

First pedestrian death from a self-driving car fuels safety debate

By Dan Garisto 6:24pm, March 19, 2018
A self-driving Uber kills woman in Arizona in the first fatal pedestrian strike by an autonomous car.
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