Physics

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For something that largely exists in just two dimensions, graphene seems to be everywhere. The super-thin ‘wonder material’ is famous not only for its incredible strength, but also its unique, often surprising mix of thermal and electromagnetic properties. In recent times, many of the strangest experimental discoveries in graphene research have been made when scientists
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Magnetism and electricity are linked together in many weird and wonderful ways throughout science, including the fascinating magnetoelectric effect noticeable in some crystals – where the electrical properties of a crystal can be influenced by a magnetic field, and vice versa. Now things have gotten even weirder, because scientists have discovered a brand new magnetoelectric
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Often it’s the most minute scientific measurements that are the most important, and researchers have developed a new, super-small device that’s capable of detecting magnetic fields even when they’re extremely faint. The device, a new kind of superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), is just 10 nanometres high, or around a thousandth of the thickness of a human
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Keeping qubits stable – those quantum equivalents of classic computing bits – will be key to realising the potential of quantum computing. Now scientists have found a new obstacle to this stability: natural radiation. Natural or background radiation comes from all sorts of sources, both natural and artificial. Cosmic rays contribute to natural radiation, for
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The existence of time crystals – a particularly fascinating state of matter – was only confirmed a few short years ago, but physicists have already made a pretty major breakthrough: they have induced and observed an interaction between two time crystals. In a helium-3 superfluid, two time crystals exchanged quasiparticles without disrupting their coherence; an
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One of the major challenges in turning quantum technology from potential to reality is getting super-delicate quantum states to last longer than a few milliseconds – and scientists just raised the bar by a factor of about 10,000. They did it by tackling something called decoherence: that’s the disruption from surrounding noise caused by vibrations, fluctuations
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When an enormous explosion created a mushroom cloud over Beirut, killing dozens of people and injuring thousands more, online commentators and conspiracy theorists quickly jumped to a frightening claim: A nuclear bomb had gone off in Lebanon’s capital city. But as state officials say, and contrary to those fast-spreading rumours, the explosion was almost certainly not caused
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Longer-lasting, more efficient batteries would be a boost for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles, and scientists have now made an unexpected discovery that could help develop next-gen battery tech, as well as faster catalysts and other advanced materials. An analysis of the very earliest stages of lithium battery charging – known as nucleation –
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Nearly a century after experiments confirmed that atoms, matter’s smallest building blocks, have ethereal, wave-like characteristics, physicists have just found a new way to show how mammoth-sized molecules ripple with the same uncertainty. Researchers from the University of Vienna and the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, put a new spin on a classic experiment to create