Physicists grab individual atoms in ground-breaking experiment

Science Daily  February 20, 2020 Researchers in New Zealand trapped and cooled three individual atoms to a temperature of about a millionth of a Kelvin using highly focused laser beams in a hyper-evacuated chamber. They combined the traps containing the atoms to produce controlled interactions which were measured. When the three atoms approach each other, two form a molecule, and all receive a kick from the energy released in the process. A microscope camera allows the process to be magnified and viewed. They were able to see the exact outcome of individual processes and observed a new process where two […]

A decade of Physics World breakthroughs: 2009 – the first quantum computer

Physics World  November 29, 2019 Physics World journalists look back at the past decade of winners and explore how research in that field has moved on. Here they examine the 2009 breakthrough for the first “quantum computer”. In August 2009, a NIST team unveiled the first small-scale device that could be described as a quantum computer building up to the breakthrough where the team had used ultracold ions to demonstrate separately all of the steps needed for quantum computation; initializing the qubits; storing them in ions; performing a logic operation on one or two qubits; transferring the information between different […]

Researchers produce synthetic Hall Effect to achieve one-way radio transmission

EurekAlert  September 12, 2019 Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a method to directionally control data transmission using a principle similar to the Hall Effect. They generated a “current of light” by creating synthetic electric and magnetic fields, which affect light the same way the normal fields affect electrons. The synthetic fields are created by varying the structure that light propagates through both in space and time. By creating a specially designed circuit to enhance the interaction between the synthetic fields and radio waves, the team leveraged the principle of the Hall Effect to boost radio signals going […]

Biological ‘rosetta stone’ brings scientists closer to deciphering how the body is built

Science News  August 29, 2019 Every animal, from an ant to a human, contains in their genome pieces of DNA called Hox genes which dictate how embryos grow into adults, including where a developing animal puts its head, legs and other body parts. An international team of researchers (Spain, Columbia University) stumbled upon a small piece of regulatory DNA, called vvI1+2, that appeared to be regulated by all the fruit fly’s eight Hox genes. Their analyses provided a precise road map of Hox binding sites in vvI1+2, which could be applied to a living fruit fly. By employing a combination […]