Physics

Experimental setup showing the system components and highlighting the path followed by the quantum cascade laser light (red) and terahertz radiation (blue). (Courtesy: Arman Amirzhan, Harvard SEAS) Researchers have created a new terahertz radiation emitter with highly-sought-after frequency adjustment capability. The compact source could enable the development of futuristic communications, security, biomedical and astronomical imaging
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The super-photon team. Courtesy (c) Photo: Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn Researchers at the universities of Bonn and Cologne in Germany have developed a new way of splitting photon wavepackets that involves cooling them down to a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) in a double-ridge microresonator structure. This thermodynamic method differs from the usual optical beam-splitting techniques because it
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“What’s it like to see something that no one has seen before?” I asked Tatiana Latychevskaia, a physicist at the University of Zurich. “You’re always puzzled, trying to look for something similar,” she says. She explains that you talk to colleagues, search the literature, and think back to conference presentations… Usually, you don’t know in
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Poignant and bleak, the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl revisits a difficult chapter in history to tell an important story about the role of science in society. While portions of the plot and characters have been embellished for TV, its an exceptional portrayal of what can happen when a community ignores the signs of an
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Platinum (left) and glassy carbon (right) microelectrodes for deep brain stimulation. (Courtesy: SDSU) Deep brain stimulation (DBS) – in which electrodes implanted in the brain send electrical signals to areas that control movement – is increasingly employed to treat symptoms of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor or dystonia. It is also used
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This week’s episode focuses on the interface between physics and computing, with deep dives into how artificial intelligence (AI) is contributing to medical physics and how silicon could form the basis of a future quantum computer. First, we hear from Tami Freeman, Physics World’s resident expert on medical physics, about a new positron emission tomography (PET)
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Gold standard: artist’s impression of the disc-shaped photonic switches integrated within an optical circuit. (Courtesy: C. Haffner/NIST) A highly compact, low-energy device capable of switching the paths taken by light within photonic systems has been unveiled by physicists in the US and Switzerland. The new switch could provide a basis for artificial-intelligence (AI) systems that
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Tricky technique: the new glass was made using pulsed laser deposition. (Courtesy: Jonne Renvall and Erkka Frankberg) Flexible glass that does not shatter on impact could soon be made using insights from a study of a glass-like material made from aluminium oxide. Erkka Frankberg at Tampere University in Finland and colleagues have come to this
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Phoamtonics makes it debut. Courtesy: M Klatt and colleagues Scientists at Princeton University in the US have discovered that a material known as a Weaire-Phelan foam can act as an optical filter. As well as adding to our understanding of such foams, which have been studied for more than 130 years, the discovery might also
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Most playgrounds feature slides, swings, and other structures that encourage visitors to explore cause-and-effect, test their physical limits, and try new things. Scientists like to engage in these activities too, although their playgrounds don’t look quite the same… Photo by Olivia Bauso on Unsplash In new research published in the American Physical Society’s journal Physical
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In his 1980 book Cosmos, Carl Sagan famously wrote, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Credit: Moritz Kindler on Unsplash  If you follow their threads back in time, the ingredients for a deliciously satisfying apple pie – apples, flour, cinnamon, heat, etc. – wind their
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