Physics

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For the first time, scientists have created a quantum computing experiment for studying the dynamics of wormholes – that is, shortcuts through spacetime that could get around relativity’s cosmic speed limits. Wormholes are traditionally the stuff of science fiction, ranging from Jodie Foster’s wild ride in Contact to the time-bending plot twists in Interstellar. But
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Scientists and government representatives meeting at a conference in France voted on Friday to scrap leap seconds by 2035, the organization responsible for global timekeeping said. Similar to leap years, leap seconds have been periodically added to clocks over the last half century to make up for the difference between exact atomic time and the
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Another record has been broken on the way to fully operational and capable quantum computers: the complete control of a 6-qubit quantum processor in silicon. Researchers are calling it “a major stepping stone” for the technology. Qubits (or quantum bits) are the quantum equivalents of classical computing bits, only they can potentially process much more
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A core principle of Einstein’s general theory of relativity has just passed its most stringent test yet. Using a specially designed satellite, an international team of scientists measured the accelerations of pairs of free-falling objects in Earth’s orbit. Results based on five months’ worth of data indicated the accelerations didn’t differ by more than one
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Korea’s ‘artificial Sun’ reactor has made headlines this week by officially sustaining plasma at a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius for more than 20 seconds. The team at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) device reached an ion temperature of above 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit). According to New Scientist,
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It could be raining diamonds on planets throughout the Universe, scientists suggested Friday, after using common plastic to recreate the strange precipitation believed to form deep inside Uranus and Neptune. ​Scientists had previously theorized that extremely high pressure and temperatures turn hydrogen and carbon into solid diamonds thousands of kilometers below the surface of the
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Is there a “fourth phase of water”? From time to time you might see people talking up the health benefits of so-called hexagonal water, or structured water, or exclusion-zone (EZ) water. A few weeks ago Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh website was spruiking a US$2,500 “structured water filter”. Last weekend even Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald got in
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Keeping qubits stable – those quantum equivalents of classic computing bits – will be key to realising the potential of quantum computing. Now scientists have found a new obstacle to this stability: natural radiation. Natural or background radiation comes from all sorts of sources, both natural and artificial. Cosmic rays contribute to natural radiation, for
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The existence of time crystals – a particularly fascinating state of matter – was only confirmed a few short years ago, but physicists have already made a pretty major breakthrough: they have induced and observed an interaction between two time crystals. In a helium-3 superfluid, two time crystals exchanged quasiparticles without disrupting their coherence; an
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One of the major challenges in turning quantum technology from potential to reality is getting super-delicate quantum states to last longer than a few milliseconds – and scientists just raised the bar by a factor of about 10,000. They did it by tackling something called decoherence: that’s the disruption from surrounding noise caused by vibrations, fluctuations