Theory provides roadmap in quest for quark soup ‘critical point’

Thanks to a new development in nuclear physics theory, scientists exploring expanding fireballs that mimic the early universe have new signs to look for as they map out the transition from primordial plasma to matter as we know it. The theoretical work identifies key patterns that would be proof of the existence of a so-called “critical point” in the transition among different phases of nuclear matter.

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Electrons ‘puddle’ under high magnetic fields

Researchers have used extremely high magnetic fields — equivalent to those found in the center of neutron stars — to alter electronic behavior. By observing the change in the behavior of these electrons, scientists may be able to gain an enriched understanding of material behavior.

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How to 3-D print your own sonic tractor beam

After demonstrating the first acoustically driven tractor beam platform, researchers develop a simpler, cheaper version using 3-D printable parts and open-source electronic components for the maker community.

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Quantum simulation technique yields topological soliton state in SSH model

Using atomic quantum-simulation, an experimental technique involving finely tuned lasers and ultracold atoms about a billion times colder than room temperature to replicate the properties of a topological insulator, a team of researchers has directly observed for the first time the protected boundary state of the topological insulator trans-polyacetylene. The transport properties of this organic polymer are typical of topological insulators and of the Su-Schrieffer-Heeger (SSH) model.

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The hidden inferno inside your laser pointer

Two physicists have discovered that basic concepts such as ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ apply to any system, even those far from equilibrium. Challenging established wisdom, the findings could possibly inform the design of future microelectronic devices and help bring some order around fundamental concepts in thermodynamics.

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Electron-photon small-talk could have big impact on quantum computing

In a step that brings silicon-based quantum computers closer to reality, researchers have built a device in which a single electron can pass its quantum information to a particle of light.

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The sound of quantum vacuum

Quantum mechanics dictates sensitivity limits in the measurements of displacement, velocity and acceleration. A recent experiment probes these limits, analyzing how quantum fluctuations set a sensor membrane into motion in the process of a measurement. The membrane is an accurate model for future ultraprecise quantum sensors, whose complex nature may even hold the key to overcome fundamental quantum limits.

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One step closer to reality: Devices that convert heat into electricity

The same researchers who pioneered the use of a quantum mechanical effect to convert heat into electricity have figured out how to make their technique work in a form more suitable to industry.

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