A Tiny, Tunable Well of Light
Photonics, the science of using photons to carry information, promises to continue improving a wide variety of technologies, from computing to high-speed communication. Now an international team of researchers from the UK, Taiwan, and Spain have discovered a compact way to produce infrared light, by firing electrons through a miniscule tunnel in a stack of gold and silica layers.
The tiny, tunable light source could be the predecessor of a new component for light-based chips. The device is outlined in Physical Review Letters and highlighted with a Synopsis in the September 21, 2009 issue of Physics (physics.aps.org).
A Toolbox for String Theorists
A new toolkit of equations will help theorists determine whether a promising agreement between particle physics and string theory is fact or fancy. The research is reported in Physical Review Letters and accompanied by a Viewpoint in the September 21, 2009 issue of Physics.
Physicists long for a single theory to describe the universe, but so far can't shoehorn Einstein's gravity and quantum mechanics into one elegant mathematical box. In 1997, a physicist named Juan Maldacena raised hopes of unification by proposing that the four-dimensional kingdom of a specific quantum theory was merely the border of a five-dimensional spacetime ruled by string theory. The possible harmony tantalized string theorists, but eluded proof, because the two theories were almost impossible to compare.
Now Nikolay Gromov, Vladimir Kazakov, and Pedro Vieira have assembled a hefty toolbox of equations to help the thwarted string theorists tackle the question. With these tools in hand, theorists can measure the predictions of string theory against a slew of the quantum theory's results with unprecedented ease, placing them closer to finding out if Maldacena's idea is rock solid or the stuff of dreams.
Also in Physics this week:
Thierry Giamarchi writes a Viewpoint on a Physical Review Letters paper probing the cocktail of standard and exotic physics that governs the electrons in a ladder-like arrangement of molecules in a metal.
About APS Physics
APS Physics (http://physics.aps.org) publishes expert written commentaries and highlights of papers appearing in the journals of the American Physical Society.
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A quantum entanglement between two physically separated ultra-cold atomic clouds
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The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
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