Physics

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Scientists have just discovered something new about gold. When extreme crushing pressure is applied quickly, over mere nanoseconds, the element’s atomic structure changes, becoming more similar to metals harder than gold. It’s the first time this structural state has ever been observed in gold, suggesting properties that could help scientists refine their understanding of how
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Physicists in the US have discovered a material that could qualify as the first known three-dimensional example of a quantum spin liquid – an exotic theoretical phase of matter. Quantum spin liquids were first predicted by scientists back in the 1970s. While researchers have studied them for decades, these phases largely remain a theoretical concept, although
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Hidden underneath the Naryn-Kala fortress in Derbent, Russia, is a mysterious subterranean vault – a buried structure whose original purpose has been unknown for decades. Now, thanks to clever use of scanning technology, we might finally know what the building is. Researchers used a nuclear physics technology known as muon radiography. It works by tracking the charged
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In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of their worry was what Schrödinger later dubbed entanglement: the inability to describe two quantum systems or particles independently, after they have
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Using a new technique, scientists have performed the world’s smallest magnetic resonance imaging to capture the magnetic fields of single atoms. It’s an incredible breakthrough that could improve quantum research, as well as our understanding of the Universe on subatomic scales. “I am very excited about these results,” said physicist Andreas Heinrich of the Institute
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For the first time, scientists have clearly linked together two types of gamma-ray phenomena in thunderclouds, suggesting that weak bursts of gamma-ray activity might precede lightning flashes in certain conditions. The two phenomena in question are weak emissions called gamma-ray glows, which last about a minute, and much shorter and more intense terrestrial gamma-ray flashes
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Scientists have discovered an unexpectedly simple formula that governs one of the most seemingly unknowable limits in physics: determining how much of an electric field a water droplet can withstand before it will burst. This infinitesimal phenomenon has been studied by physicists for decades, but while the overall concept may be easy to imagine, discerning
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Nothing lasts forever. Humans, planets, stars, galaxies, maybe even the Universe itself, everything has an expiration date. But things in the quantum realm don’t always follow the rules. Now, scientists have found that quasiparticles in quantum systems could be effectively immortal. That doesn’t mean they don’t decay, which is reassuring. But once these quasiparticles have
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A new superconducting magnet has briefly sustained an astonishing 45.5 tesla magnetic field intensity. For comparison, your flimsy fridge magnets have about 1 percent of a single tesla. The measurement, achieved by researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) at Florida State University resets the bar on what’s possible in direct current magnetic
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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 in Germany have hit a new superconductivity milestone – achieving a resistance-free electrical current at the highest temperature yet: just 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The work was led by Mikhail Eremets, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, who set the previous high temperature record for superconductivity