When Stanley B. Prusiner, a UCSF neurologist, first proposed that inert proteins he called prions could somehow fold into strange shapes and infect humans with rare diseases of the brain, his idea 30 years ago was widely dismissed as nonsense.
A couple of months ago, I received an interesting package in the mail. It looked like a standard manila envelope, but inside was a device that could quite possibly revolutionize the way we view the microscopic world.
Brain fingerprinting detects concealed information stored in the brain by measuring brainwave responses. We compared P300 and P300-MERMER event-related brain potentials for error rate/accuracy and statistical confidence in four field/real-life studies. ...
Rising sea temperatures attributed to global climate change could drive many marine creatures away from the equator, but their move towards the poles promises to put them in peril in habitats that are...
A team of scientists has successfully measured particles of light being “squeezed”, in an experiment that had been written off in physics textbooks as impossible to observe.
Squeezing is a strange phenomenon of quantum physics. It creates a very specific form of light which is “low-noise” and is potentially useful in technology designed to pick up faint signals, such as the detection of gravitational waves.
The standard approach to squeezing light involves firing an intense laser beam at a material, usually a non-linear crystal, which produces the desired effect.
For more than 30 years, however, a theory has existed about another possible technique. This involves exciting a single atom with just a tiny amount of light. The theory states that the light scattered by this atom should, similarly, be squeezed.
Unfortunately, although the mathematical basis for this method – known as squeezing of resonance fluorescence – was drawn up in 1981, the experiment to observe it was so difficult that one established quantum physics textbook despairingly concludes: “It seems hopeless to measure it”.
So it has proven – until now. In the journal Nature, a team of physicists report that they have successfully demonstrated the squeezing of individual light particles, or photons, using an artificially constructed atom, known as a semiconductor quantum dot. Thanks to the enhanced optical properties of this system and the technique used to make the measurements, they were able to observe the light as it was scattered, and proved that it had indeed been squeezed.
Professor Mete Atature, from the Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics, and a Fellow of St John’s College at the University of Cambridge, led the research. He said: “It’s one of those cases of a fundamental question that theorists came up with, but which, after years of trying, people basically concluded it is impossible to see for real – if it’s there at all.”
“We managed to do it because we now have artificial atoms with optical properties that are superior to natural atoms. That meant we were able to reach the necessary conditions to observe this fundamental property of photons and prove that this odd phenomenon of squeezing really exists at the level of a single photon. It’s a very bizarre effect that goes completely against our senses and expectations about what photons should do.”
Jill Brown / CC BY 2.0 Frequent users of antibiotics were about 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) than those who had taken the drugs infrequently, researchers in Denmark have found.
A 2015 study has shown that children exposed to pesticides used to grow GM soy suffer serious genetic damage. Does this mean that our children will suffer the same fate as those unfortunate enough to live near GM soy fields in Argentina?
A crew testing how a small group of humans might cope with a trip to Mars has started their 12-month mission. They will have to eat, communicate, and live exactly as they would on Mars - in a tiny dome in Hawaii.
Authors conclude “significant health implications for animal and human populations” Roundup at extremely low doses within the levels permitted in drinking water in the EU can damage the liver and kidneys of rats, according to a new peer-reviewed...
Popular Science Scientists Find A Double Black Hole Inside A Nearby Quasar Popular Science Hubble data revealed a mysterious hole in the quasar's accretion disk, or the ring of gas that spirals around the black hole, waiting to fall in.
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