New $25-million center to advance quantum science and engineering

EurekAlert  July 21, 2020 A team of researchers (Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, University of Delaware, University of Oregon, University of New Mexico, NIST, Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory) led by the Colorado University is launching a new quantum science and engineering research center under a grant from NSF. Quantum Systems through Entangled Science and Engineering (Q-SEnSE) will explore several “grand challenges” including quantum phenomena, such as quantum entanglement, will advance new frontiers in measurement science; how quantum sensing can help researchers to discover new fundamental physics; and how researchers can turn those advancements into […]

New material can generate hydrogen from salt and polluted water

EurekAlert  July 21, 2020 Researchers in Czech Republic developed a three-layer structure with a lower layer made of a thin film of gold, the second one made of 10-nanometer platinum, and the third a film of metal-organic frameworks of chromium compounds and organic molecules. The total thickness is 1-micrometer. The material was watered and sealed in a container. Infrared light caused the excitation of plasmon resonance on the sample surface. Hot electrons generated on the gold film were transferred to the platinum layer. They initiated the reduction of protons at the interface with the organic layer. Periodic gas samples were […]

A new species of darkling beetle larvae that degrade plastic

Science Daily  July 20, 2020 Researchers in South Korea found that the larvae of a darkling beetle P. davidis indigenous to East Asia, including the Korean peninsula, can consume polystyrene and reduce both its mass and molecular weight. They confirmed that the proportion of Serratia bacillus in the intestinal tract of P. davidis larvae was responsible for six-fold increase in biodegradation. It was found that the gut flora of this larvae consisted of a very simple group of bacterial species unlike the gut flora of other conventional polystyrene-degrading insects. According to the researchers if we replicate the simple gut floral […]

Physicists develop technology to transform information from microwaves to optical light

Phys.org  July 23, 2020 Researchers in Canada have developed a new technology that can translate data from microwaves to optical light. It works by introducing a strong interaction between microwave radiation and atomic gas. The microwaves are then modulated with an audio signal, encoding information into the microwave. This modulation is passed through the gas atoms, which are then probed with optical light to encode the signal into the light. The transfer of information from the microwave domain to the optical domain is the key result. The wavelengths of these two carrier signals differ by a factor of 50,000. It […]

Plato was right: Earth is made, on average, of cubes

Science Daily  July 20, 2020 The question an international team of researchers (Hungary, USA- University of Pennsylvania) answered is what shapes are created when rocks break into pieces. Remarkably, they found that the core mathematical conjecture unites geological processes not only on Earth but around the solar system as well. Part of this understanding is that the components that break out of a formerly solid object must fit together without any gaps. As it turns out, the only one of the so-called platonic forms — polyhedra with sides of equal length — that fit together without gaps are cubes. To […]

Principles to enhance research integrity and avoid ‘publish or perish’ in academia

Science Daily  July 16, 2020 An international team of researchers (Canada, the Netherlands, UK, Australia, China, Austria) has developed the Hong Kong Principles (HKPs) as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity with specific focus on the need to drive research improvement through ensuring that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded for behaviors that strengthen research integrity. They present five principles: responsible research practices; transparent reporting; open science (open research); valuing a diversity of types of research; and recognizing all contributions to research and scholarly activity. For each principle, they provide a rationale for its inclusion and provide […]

Researchers diffract a beam of organic molecules

Phys.org  July 22, 2020 Physicists theorize that wave-particle duality is a fundamental feature of the universe. This suggests that all matter should have wave-like phenomena, that is, it should be able to behave similar to light and electrons. An international team of researchers (Austria, Germany) created a Bragg grating using standing light waves generated by retroreflecting a green laser from a mirror. In two separate experiments, they sent beams of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin and the dye phthalocyanine through this grating. Both experiments produced diffraction patterns with two peaks, corresponding to groups of molecules with a large momentum difference between them. […]

Scientists strengthen quantum building blocks in milestone critical for scale-up

Phys.org  July 20, 2020 Spin-orbit qubits coherence have shown limited coherence times, far too short for quantum technologies. An international team of researchers (Australia, Japan, Germany) has demonstrated that increasing the strength of that spin-orbit coupling lets us achieve significantly longer coherence times. They showed ultra-long coherence times of 10 ms for holes where spin–orbit coupling yields quantized total angular momentum. They focused on holes bound to boron acceptors in bulk silicon 28, whose wavefunction symmetry can be controlled through crystal strain, allowing direct control over the longitudinal electric dipole that causes decoherence. These results open a pathway to develop new […]

‘Seeing’ and ‘manipulating’ functions of living cells

EurekAlert  July 22, 2020 Researchers in Japan investigated the effect of indentation speed on the cell membrane perforation of living HeLa cells based on highly localized photochemical oxidation with catalytic titanium dioxide functionalized AFM probe. Based on force–distance curves obtained during the indentation process, the probability of cell membrane perforation, penetration force, and cell viability was determined quantitatively. They demonstrated that the intracellular TERS imaging has the potential to visualize distinctly different features in Raman spectra between the nucleus and the cytoplasm of a single living cell and to analyze the dynamic behavior of biomolecules inside a living cell…read more. […]

Shells and grapefruits inspire first manufactured non-cuttable material

Science Daily  July 20, 2020 An international team of researchers (UK, Germany) has created a bio-inspired metallic cellular structure (with an internal grid of large ceramic segments). It is non-cuttable by an angle grinder and a power drill, and it has only 15% steel density. The architecture derives its extreme hardness from the local resonance between the embedded ceramics in a flexible cellular matrix and the attacking tool, which produces high-frequency vibrations at the interface. The contrast between the ceramic segments and cellular material was also effective against a waterjet cutter because the convex geometry of the ceramic spheres. Shifting […]