(Phys.org)—Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time.
Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.
When UV light hits a metal surface, it causes an emission of electrons. Albert Einstein explained this "photoelectric" effect by proposing that light – thought to only be a wave – is also a stream of particles. Even though a variety of experiments have successfully observed both the particle- and wave-like behaviors of light, they have never been able to observe both at the same time.
A research team led by Fabrizio Carbone at EPFL has now carried out an experiment with a clever twist: using electrons to image light. The researchers have captured, for the first time ever, a single snapshot of light behaving simultaneously as both a wave and a stream of particles.
The experiment is set up like this: A pulse of laser light is fired at a tiny metallic nanowire. The laser adds energy to the charged particles in the nanowire, causing them to vibrate. Light travels along this tiny wire in two possible directions, like cars on a highway. When waves traveling in opposite directions meet each other they form a new wave that looks like it is standing in place. Here, this standing wave becomes the source of light for the experiment, radiating around the nanowire.
Monsters, moonshine and shadows sound like the ingredients for an excellent fairy tale. They are also part of a fascinating mathematical story that brings together some of our favorite things – number theory, group theory, string theory and even quantum gravity – as well as some of our favorite mathematicians.
The monster in question comes from group theory – the mathematical study of symmetry. A group is a set of things (usually called elements) and a rule for how these elements interact so the resulting system is self contained and satisfies some simple rules. You can read all the details in The power of groups.
One of the original inspirations for group theory came from studying symmetry groups – the symmetries that can exists together in an object. For example the symmetries of a rectangle are reflection in the vertical axis, reflection in the horizontal axis and a half-turn around the centre. These symmetries of a rectangle, together with the identity symmetry (that does nothing), form the Klein 4-group – one of the smallest groups.
There are also infinite groups, such as the set of whole numbers which form a group under addition. But every group, finite or infinite, is made up of building blocks called simple groups in an analogous way to every number being uniquely expressible as a product of prime factors.
One of the greatest mathematical achievements of the last century was the classification of the finite simple groups, an enormous theorem that took over 30 years, 100 mathematicians and 10,000 pages to prove. This result gave a description of every type of finite simple group: they were either one of 18 well-understood infinite families (such as addition modulo a prime number, eg. addition modulo 7) or they were one of 26 other individual possibilities (called the sporadic groups). The largest of these 26 outsiders is the Monster group, which consists of a mind-boggling
It turns out that every group, whether it's the symmetries of a rectangle or the whole numbers under addition, can be represented using mathematical objects called matrices. These are extensions of one-dimensional linear functions, such as , to higher dimensions. Each element of the group corresponds to a matrix that acts in -dimensional space, and these matrices behave in the same way that the original group elements (that is if for elements , and in the group, then for the corresponding matrices , and in the group's representation).
A single group can even have several different representations in terms of matrices. The smallest irreducible representation of the Monster group is as a group of matrices representing rotations in 196,883-dimensional space. The next largest is in 21,296,876-dimensional space, the one after that is in 842,609,326-dimensional space, and there are 194 such representations of the Monster group (including the trivial 1-dimensional one where all elements of the group act like the identity) in all.
Science often gets a bad rap for being inaccessible. But it’s actually never been easier to satisfy your curiosity on subjects ranging from computer technology, biology, astrophysics, climate science, and just about anything in between. In fact, it’s just a few clicks away. These online courses from edX allow you to learn an array of topics under the instruction of experts from the field. Best of all, it can be done online and it’s free. Yep, free. Not bad, right?
According to witnesses, the 25 alleged 'spies' had been tied together with a rope and lowered in ' a large basin containing nitric acid' in Mosul, Iraq, after ISIS accused them of spying for the government.
Tiny, rolling balls of brain cells knocking around in a lab may one day help keep you from losing your marbles—among other things.
The small cellular balls act like mini-brains, mimicking aspects of the real thing, including forming noggin-like structures and pulsing with electrical signals like a thinking mind, researchers reported Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington. The mini-brains, which can be personalized based on whose cells they’re made from, may soon help scientists study a wide variety of diseases and health problems—from autism and Parkinson’s to multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s, as well as stroke, brain trauma, and infections, such as Zika virus.
“There are a variety of places where a mini brain could be useful,” said Wayne Drevets of Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., who was not involved with the research. In some cases, they may offer a cheaper, more ethical, and more realistic model for human health than mice and other animals, he and other researchers said at the conference.
Researchers who developed the wee noodles, led by Thomas Hartung, of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, hope to have the mini-brains commercially available this year.
Every month or so there is a new hack that affects millions of regular people. Last year it was the TalkTalk hack. In 2016, the LinkedIn leak. Then there's malicious software, snooping eavesdroppers and small time scammers that are targeting us on a daily basis through phones, Wi-Fi and USB sticks. Staying secure online can feel like crossing a minefield - and is daunting to many of us. But by mastering some simple steps you can drastically improve your online security.
Banks could block customers from claiming money back if they are a victim of fraud and it is found they had substandard online security. Following this news, IT security experts from Lieberman Software, ESET, Imperva and AlienVault discuss whether this is a good idea. Jonathan Sander, VP of Product Strategy at Lieberman Software: Banks, just like more »
The consumer marketplace is flooded with a lively assortment of smart wearable electronics that do everything from monitor vital signs, fitness or sun exposure to play music, charge other electronics or even purify the air around you - all wirelessly.
Now, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has created the world's fastest stretchable, wearable integrated circuits, an advance that could drive the Internet of Things and a much more connected, high-speed wireless world.
Led by Zhenqiang "Jack" Ma, the Lynn H. Matthias Professor in Engineering and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison, the researchers published details of these powerful, highly efficient integrated circuits today, May 27, 2016, in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
The advance is a platform for manufacturers seeking to expand the capabilities and applications of wearable electronics—including those with biomedical applications—particularly as they strive to develop devices that take advantage of a new generation of wireless broadband technologies referred to as 5G.
With wavelength sizes between a millimeter and a meter, microwave radio frequencies are electromagnetic waves that use frequencies in the .3 gigahertz to 300 gigahertz range. That falls directly in the 5G range.
In mobile communications, the wide microwave radio frequencies of 5G networks will accommodate a growing number of cellphone users and notable increases in data speeds and coverage areas.
In an intensive care unit, epidermal electronic systems (electronics that adhere to the skin like temporary tattoos) could allow health care staff to monitor patients remotely and wirelessly, increasing patient comfort by decreasing the customary tangle of cables and wires.
What makes the new, stretchable integrated circuits so powerful is their unique structure, inspired by twisted-pair telephone cables. They contain, essentially, two ultra-tiny intertwining power transmission lines in repeating S-curves.
This serpentine shape—formed in two layers with segmented metal blocks, like a 3-D puzzle—gives the transmission lines the ability to stretch without affecting their performance. It also helps shield the lines from outside interference and, at the same time, confine the electromagnetic waves flowing through them, almost completely eliminating current loss. Currently, the researchers' stretchable integrated circuits can operate at radio frequency levels up to 40 gigahertz.
And, unlike other stretchable transmission lines, whose widths can approach 640 micrometers (or .64 millimeters), the researchers' new stretchable integrated circuits are just 25 micrometers (or .025 millimeters) thick. That's tiny enough to be highly effective in epidermal electronic systems, among many other applications.
Gizmag was in Gibraltar at the ribbon cutting event for EWP's innovative wave energy station, installed on the ammunition jetty in the tiny-yet-iconic British territory. The event itself was brief, but its significance could be huge.
Jason Hart, a chief technology officer in charge of identity and data protection with security company Gemalto, demonstrated how hackers could be monitoring an unsuspecting surfer’s web activity before they’ve even taken a sip of their macchiato.
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