Physics

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The secret behind a record-breaking nuclear fusion experiment that spit out 10 quadrillion watts of power in a split second has been revealed: a “self-heating” – or “burning” – plasma of neutron-heavy hydrogen inside the fuel capsule used in the experiment, according to researchers. Last year, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Northern
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A major milestone has just been reached in quantum computing. Three separate teams around the world have passed the 99 percent accuracy threshold for silicon-based quantum computing, placing error-free quantum operations within tantalizing grasp. In Australia, a team led by physicist Andrea Morello of the University of New South Wales achieved 99.95 percent accuracy with
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Scientists have observed a stunning demonstration of classic physics giving way to quantum behavior, manipulating a fluid of ultra-cold sodium atoms into a distinct tornado-like formation. Particles behave differently on the quantum level, in part because at this point their interactions with each other hold more power over them than the energy from their movement. Then,
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Just seven months after it announced a milestone record for plasma fusion, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has absolutely smashed it. Their ‘artificial Sun’ tokomak reactor is has maintained a roiling loop of plasma superheated to 120 million degrees Celsius (216 million degrees Fahrenheit) for a gobsmacking 1,056 seconds, the Institute of Plasma Physics reports. This
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“The last star will slowly cool and fade away. With its passing, the Universe will become once more a void, without light or life or meaning.” So warned the physicist Brian Cox in the recent BBC series Universe. The fading of that last star will only be the beginning of an infinitely long, dark epoch.
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Are you in the market for a loophole in the laws that forbid perpetual motion? Knowing you’ve got yourself an authentic time crystal takes more than a keen eye for high-quality gems. In a new study, an international team of researchers used Google’s Sycamore quantum computing hardware to double-check their theoretical vision of a time crystal, confirming
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Muons are everywhere. Unbeknownst to you, several hundred strike your head every second. These subatomic particles – created when cosmic rays enter the Earth’s atmosphere – are harmless and quickly decay into clusters of lighter particles. The particles penetrate objects like X-rays do, which make them useful to scientists, who used muons to uncover a
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Almost 20 years after researchers first predicted electron quadruplets, evidence of their existence has been shown to occur in experimental setups, representing a brand new state of matter that opens up a whole new field of possibilities in physics. Technically what we’re talking about here is fermionic quadrupling, referring to the type of particles involved
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In the beginning, there was … well, maybe there was no beginning. Perhaps our Universe has always existed – and a new theory of quantum gravity reveals how that could work. “Reality has so many things that most people would associate with sci-fi or even fantasy,” said Bruno Bento, a physicist who studies the nature
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Firing beams of neutrons at samples of silicon could lead us to an elusive, unknown ‘fifth force’ of nature, according to researchers. Using a technique called pendellösung interferometry, a team of physicists led by Benjamin Heacock of the National Institute of Standards and Technology have used neutron beams to probe the crystal structure of silicon
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Nuclear fusion offers the tantalizing prospect of a sustainable energy source that can never be exhausted – and scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced what they describe as a “watershed moment” in making the technology viable. Fusion happens when two or more atomic nuclei merge together to create larger elements, releasing
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Physicists sifting through old particle accelerator data have found evidence of a highly-elusive, never-before-seen process: a so-called triangle singularity.  First envisioned by Russian physicist Lev Landau in the 1950s, a triangle singularity refers to a rare subatomic process where particles exchange identities before flying away from each other. In this scenario, two particles – called