Physics

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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
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In the strange field of quantum physics, quantum entanglement – what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” – stands out as one of the most intriguing phenomena. And now scientists just managed to successfully demonstrate it again, this time onboard a CubeSat satellite orbiting Earth. Quantum entanglement is where two particles become inextricably linked
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The famous cat-in-a-box thought experiment by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger is an illustration of one of the defining characteristics of quantum mechanics – the unpredictable behaviour of particles at the quantum level. It makes working with quantum systems incredibly difficult; but what if we could make quantum predictions? A team of physicists believes it’s possible.
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Scientists have found evidence that a fundamental physical constant used to measure electromagnetism between charged particles can in fact be rather inconstant, according to measurements taken from a quasar some 13 billion light-years away. Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces that knit everything in our Universe together, alongside gravity, weak nuclear force, and
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Scientists have observed a quantum vibration at normal room temperature for the first time, a phenomenon that usually requires ultra-cold, carefully calibrated conditions – bringing us another step closer to understanding the behaviour of quantum mechanics in common materials. The team was able to spot a phonon, a quantum particle of vibration generated from high-frequency
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Superconductivity (passing charges through materials without losing heat) promises to revolutionise electronics and power, if we can get it working at reasonable temperatures – and scientists just reported a big step forward in our understanding of the phenomenon. The new discovery centres around the Hubbard model: a maths model of conduction and insulation in materials,
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For several years now, physicists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) have been running a landmark experiment, recording tens of billions of particles break apart in the hopes of catching a few oddballs. And they finally have some intriguing results to share. This experiment, called NA62, has researchers building and destroying pairs of quarks called
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A team of researchers has just demonstrated quantum enhancement in an actual X-ray machine, achieving the desirable goal of eliminating background noise for precision detection. The relationships between photon pairs on quantum scales can be exploited to create sharper, higher-resolution images than classical optics. This emerging field is called quantum imaging, and it has some
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Scientists have found evidence of superconductivity happening at temperatures and energy levels way above its normal boundaries – a finding which could one day go on to help revolutionise the design and workings of our electronics. A superconductor material is one that can transfer electricity without resistance. In turn, this means the electricity travels through