Over the last two decades, scientists have discovered that the optical microscope can be used to detect, track and image objects much smaller than their traditional limit—about half the wavelength of visible light, or a few hundred nanometers. That pioneering...
Mollusks build shells to protect their soft tissues from predators. Nacre, also known as the mother of pearl, has an intricate, highly regular structure that makes it an incredibly strong material. Depending on the species, nacres can reach tens...
Credit: Allard Mosk/Matthias Kühmayer
The universe, as seen through the lens of quantum mechanics, is a noisy, crackling space where particles blink constantly in and out of existence, creating a background of quantum noise whose effects are normally far too subtle to detect...
To a non-physicist, an "atomic beam collimator" may sound like a phaser firing mystical particles. That might not be the worst metaphor to introduce a technology that researchers have now miniaturized, making it more likely to someday land in...
A team of researchers at UCLA has set a new record for preparing and measuring the quantum bits, or qubits, inside of a quantum computer without error. The techniques they have developed make it easier to build quantum computers...
Do face shields provide enough protection to the wearers against COVID-19 if they don't also wear a mask? Spoiler alert: no. But researchers at Fukuoka University in Japan are working to create face shields safe enough to be worn...
Quantum optical micro combs

Quantum optical micro-combs

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Compact quantum devices could be incorporated into laptops and mobile phones, thanks in part to small devices called quantum optical micro-combs. Quantum optical micro-combs are devices that generate very sharp precise frequencies of light an equal distance apart – a...
Quantum computers have already managed to surpass ordinary computers in solving certain tasks -- unfortunately, totally useless ones. The next milestone is to get them to do useful things. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now shown...
Manipulating the flow of energy through superconductors could radically transform technology, perhaps leading to applications such as ultra-fast, highly efficient quantum computers. But these subtle dynamics—including heat dispersion—play out with absurd speed across dizzying subatomic structures. Now, scientists have tracked...
Lasers play a vital role in everything from modern communications and connectivity to bio-medicine and manufacturing. Many applications, however, require lasers that can emit multiple frequencies—colors of light—simultaneously, each precisely separated like the tooth on a comb. Optical frequency combs...