An op-ed in the Sunday New York Times -- amusing regardless of your opinion of the candidate -- offers “A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney.” Much the same way that light is both a particle and a wave, Mitt Romney is both a moderate and a conservative. The Times even has a Feynman diagram of a Romney encountering an anti-Romney, in which the result is annihilation of the Romneys, leaving behind an electron and a $20 bill. For a funny take on politics as hard science, read it here.
In a potential breakthrough for cryptography, a new laser light-scattering technique could be a fast and efficient way to generate truly random numbers, creating unknowable code formulas that will be able to thwart even the most sophisticated hackers. Led by Canadian researchers, the new method relies on the bizarre characteristics of quantum uncertainty.
For the first time, scientists have been able to watch electrons move in an atom's outer shell, in a breakthrough with major implications for our understanding of chemical processes.
Using ultra-short flashes of laser light, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., were able to time oscillations between valence electrons' quantum states.
The world of quantum mechanics gives us some pretty weird things -- such as matter that exists in all possible places at once, and strange states of matter like supersolids, a phenomenon in which a solid essentially acts like a liquid.
A group of scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently came a step closer to figuring out where the boundary lies between the quantum and classical physical worlds, and their discovery has big implications for the future of quantum computers— which would have much faster and more powerful processors than our computers do today.
By Michael Moyer
Posted 03.27.2002 at 7:21 pm 13 Comments
The call comes in from the control room. Stanford University's particle accelerator-one of the largest machines on Earth-has been shut down because of a failed magnet. This is bad news for the scientists I have traveled across the continent to see: Their experiment was designed to run 24 hours a day and the disruption will cost them reams of precious data. But me, I'm thrilled. Normally, the innards of the radiation-spewing accelerator are off-limits. But idle, it poses no danger.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.