Tag: Physics

Vibrating atoms make robust qubits, physicists find

MIT physicists have discovered a new quantum bit, or “qubit,” in the form of vibrating pairs of atoms known as fermions. They found that when pairs of fermions are chilled and trapped in an optical lattice, the particles can exist simultaneously in two states — a weird quantum phenomenon known as superposition. In this case, […]

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Physicists discover “secret sauce” behind exotic properties of a new quantum material

MIT physicists and colleagues have discovered the “secret sauce” behind some of the exotic properties of a new quantum material that has transfixed physicists due to those properties, which include superconductivity. Although theorists had predicted the reason for the unusual properties of the material, known as a kagome metal, this is the first time that […]

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Scientists make first detection of exotic “X” particles in quark-gluon plasma

In the first millionths of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was a roiling, trillion-degree plasma of quarks and gluons — elementary particles that briefly glommed together in countless combinations before cooling and settling into more stable configurations to make the neutrons and protons of ordinary matter. In the chaos before cooling, a […]

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TESS Science Office at MIT hits milestone of 5,000 exoplanet candidates

The catalog of planet candidates found with NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) recently passed 5,000 TOIs, or TESS Objects of Interest. The catalog has been growing steadily since the start of the mission in 2018, and the batch of TOIs boosting the catalog to over 5,000 come mostly from the Faint Star Search led […]

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Physicists detect a hybrid particle held together by uniquely intense “glue”

In the particle world, sometimes two is better than one. Take, for instance, electron pairs. When two electrons are bound together, they can glide through a material without friction, giving the material special superconducting properties. Such paired electrons, or Cooper pairs, are a kind of hybrid particle — a composite of two particles that behaves […]

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Physicists watch as ultracold atoms form a crystal of quantum tornadoes

The world we experience is governed by classical physics. How we move, where we are, and how fast we’re going are all determined by the classical assumption that we can only exist in one place at any one moment in time. But in the quantum world, the behavior of individual atoms is governed by the […]

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Kerstin Perez is searching the cosmos for signs of dark matter

Kerstin Perez is searching for imprints of dark matter. The invisible substance embodies 84 percent of the matter in the universe and is thought to be a powerful cosmic glue, keeping whole galaxies from spinning apart. And yet, the particles themselves leave barely a trace on ordinary matter,  thwarting all efforts at detection thus far. […]

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Could acid-neutralizing life-forms make habitable pockets in Venus’ clouds?

It’s hard to imagine a more inhospitable world than our closest planetary neighbor. With an atmosphere thick with carbon dioxide, and a surface hot enough to melt lead, Venus is a scorched and suffocating wasteland where life as we know it could not survive. The planet’s clouds are similarly hostile, blanketing the planet in droplets […]

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MIT engineers produce the world’s longest flexible fiber battery

Researchers have developed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the form of an ultra-long fiber that could be woven into fabrics. The battery could enable a wide variety of wearable electronic devices, and might even be used to make 3D-printed batteries in virtually any shape. The researchers envision new possibilities for self-powered communications, sensing, and computational […]

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