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  • News

    Major step taken toward error-free computing

    Quantum computing has overcome an important barrier: Scientists have achieved nearly perfect control over a bit of quantum information in a way that could bring them a step closer to error-free calculations.All digital information comes in tiny packets called bits. In consumer devices, bits are chunks of magnetic or electric material that flip between two distinct states. But thanks to quantum...
    04/23/2014 - 13:00 Quantum Physics, Physics, Computing
  • News in Brief

    Blender whips up graphene

    With soap, water, graphite and the whirl of a blender’s blades, researchers can serve up big batches of graphene, a material that shows promise for use in myriad high-tech applications.Graphene sheets are single-atom-thick layers of carbon that, when stacked, make up graphite.  Individual sheets are sturdy, transparent and excellent conductors of electricity, giving them enormous potential for...
    04/20/2014 - 13:00 Materials
  • Context

    Shor’s code-breaking algorithm inspired reflections on quantum information

    Second of two parts (read part 1)When the Robert Redford film Sneakers hit theaters in 1992, most moviegoers had never heard of the Internet. They’d have guessed “World Wide Web...
    04/18/2014 - 18:13 Quantum Physics, History of Science
  • The –est

    Laser kicks molecules into fastest ever spin

    The powerful kick of a laser has spun molecules faster than they’ve ever been spun before: 10 trillion rotations per second, or 600 trillion RPM. A car with tires turning at that spin rate would travel the distance to the nearest star in half an hour. “There’s definitely nothing macroscopic that can spin that fast...
    04/17/2014 - 09:48 Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Excitons' motions captured in images

    Quasiparticles called excitons transfer energy through materials such as solar cells, LEDs, semiconductor circuits and even plant cells. Now, that motion has been observed and captured in images, researchers report April 16 in ...
    04/16/2014 - 12:45 Quantum Physics
  • Context

    Quantum experts discuss the measurement problem: A transcript from 1994

    What follows is a fairly complete transcript of a discussion about quantum physics on May 19, 1994, the last day of a workshop in Santa Fe, N.M. It begins with some technical issues, posed by John Denker of Bell Labs, concerning projection operators, mathematical expressions involved in representing quantities that can be observed in quantum measurements. It soon evolves into a more...
    04/13/2014 - 14:00 Quantum Physics, Science & Society
  • Gory Details

    How urine will get us to Mars

    Every day, you flush a liter or two of urine down the toilet. Unless you live in one of the dry places considering toilet-to-tap systems, you probably never consider drinking it.But if humans are ever going to get to Mars, we’re going to get there drinking our own pee. Now scientists have built a...
    04/11/2014 - 16:38 Chemistry
  • Context

    Robert Redford film foretold Shor’s quantum computing bombshell

    First of two partsLong before scientists were talking much about it, Robert Redford fans learned about the power of quantum computers.It was 1992. A goofy movie called Sneakers warned about the dangers of computers and the massive amounts of encrypted information they controlled. Redford and cohorts acquired a small box,...
    04/10/2014 - 13:00 Quantum Physics, History of Science
  • Science Ticker

    Small step taken for quantum communication

    In two separate experiments, a single atom in an optical cavity has strongly interacted with a photon from a faint light pulse and switch the photon’s state. The results are a step toward creating quantum networks that could be used in quantum computing...
    04/09/2014 - 13:07 Quantum Physics
  • Gory Details

    This is what happens when you pee in the pool

    Let’s just start with the premise that the next pool you dive into will contain pee. Because it probably will. There’s also probably going to be a wee bit of fecal matter, a dollop of human sweat and some guy’s skin cells floating around.Swimming pools are basically huge blue toilet bowls. We’ve all peed in them — be honest — and a new study...
    04/08/2014 - 13:12 Chemistry