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Can information become a source of energy? Scientists from Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Canada devised an ultrafast engine that claims to operate on information, potentially opening up a groundbreaking new frontier in humanity’s search for new kinds of fuel. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), describes how the researchers turned the movements of tiny particles into stored energy.

Practical demon-keeping

How would an information engine even work? The idea for such a contraption, which at first sounds like it would break the laws of physics, was first proposed by the Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell back in 1867. Colorfully named “Maxwell’s demon,” such a machine would theoretically achieve something akin to perpetual motion. Maxwell’s thought experiment was meant to show that it may be possible to violate the second law of thermodynamics, which basically states that the amount of entropy, or disorder, always increases.

Nearly a century after Italian physicist Ettore Majorana laid the groundwork for the discovery that electrons could be divided into halves, researchers predict that split photons may also exist, according to a study from Dartmouth and SUNY Polytechnic Institute researchers.

The finding that the building blocks of light can exist in a previously-unimaginable split form advances the fundamental understanding of light and how it behaves.

The theoretical discovery of the split photon – known as a “Majorana boson” – was published in Physical Review Letters.

Scientists have made it possible to generate and control quantum states in different physical systems. This control allows scientists to develop powerful new quantum technologies. In addition, it offers a roadmap to test the foundations of quantum physics.

The main challenge is to create quantum states on a larger scale.

In collaboration with the University of Oxford, scientists at Imperial College London, the Niels Bohr Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, and Australian National University have generated and observed non-Gaussian states high-frequency sound waves comprising more than a trillion atoms. Certainly, they transformed a randomly fluctuating sound field in thermal equilibrium to a pattern thrumming with a more specific magnitude.

Superconductivity is the disappearance of electrical resistance in certain materials below a certain temperature, known as “transition temperature.” The phenomenon has tremendous implications for revolutionizing technology as know it, enabling low-loss power transmission and maintenance of electromagnetic force without electrical supply. However, superconductivity usually requires extremely low temperatures ~ 30 K (the temperature of liquid nitrogen, in comparison, is 77 K) and, therefore, expensive cooling technology. To have a shot at realizing a low-cost superconducting technology, superconductivity must be achieved at much higher transition temperatures.

Materials scientists have had a breakthrough on this front with crystalline materials containing hydrogen, known as “metal hydrides.” These are compounds formed by a metal atom bonded with hydrogen that have been predicted and realized as suitable candidates for achieving even room-temperature superconductivity. However, they require extremely high pressures to do so, limiting their practical applications.

In a new study published in Chemistry of Materials, a group of researchers led by Professor Ryo Maezono from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) performed to expand the search for high-temperature superconductors, looking for among ternary hydrides (hydrogen combined with two other elements).

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $5.7 million for six projects that will implement artificial intelligence methods to accelerate scientific discovery in nuclear physics research. The projects aim to optimize the overall performance of complex accelerator and detector systems for nuclear physics using advanced computational methods.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to shorten the timeline for experimental discovery in nuclear physics,” said Timothy Hallman, DOE Associate Director of Science for Nuclear Physics. “Particle accelerator facilities and nuclear physics instrumentation face a variety of technical challenges in simulations, control, data acquisition, and analysis that artificial intelligence holds promise to address.”

The six projects will be conducted by nuclear physics researchers at five DOE national laboratories and four universities. Projects will include the development of deep learning algorithms to identify a unique signal for a conjectured, very slow nuclear process known as neutrinoless double beta decay. This decay, if observed, would be at least ten thousand times more rare than the rarest known nuclear decay and could demonstrate how our universe became dominated by matter rather than antimatter. Supported efforts also include AI-driven detector design for the Electron-Ion Collider accelerator project under construction at Brookhaven National Laboratory that will probe the internal structure and forces of protons and neutrons that compose the atomic nucleus.

If indirect detection searches are to be used to discriminate between dark matter particle models, it is crucial to understand the expected energy spectra of secondary particles such as neutrinos, charged antiparticles and gamma-rays emerging from dark matter annihilations in the local Universe. In this work we study the effect that both the choice of event generator and the polarisation of the final state particles can have on these predictions. For a variety of annihilation channels and dark matter masses, we compare yields obtained with Pythia8 and Herwig7 of all of the aforementioned secondary particle species. We investigate how polarised final states can change these results and do an extensive study of how the polarisation can impact the expected flux of neutrinos from dark matter annihilations in the centre of the Sun.

The tetra-neutron – experiment finds evidence for a long-sought particle comprising four neutrons.

While all atomic nuclei except hydrogen are composed of protons and neutrons, physicists have been searching for a particle consisting of two, three, or four neutrons for over half a century. Experiments by a team of physicists of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at the accelerator laboratory on the Garching research campus now indicate that a particle comprising four bound neutrons may well exist.

While nuclear physicists agree that there are no systems in the universe made of only protons, they have been searching for particles comprising two, three, or four neutrons for more than 50 years.

Physicists from Harvard University have documented a new state of matter which could significantly advance quantum technology, according to a new paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Science earlier this month.

The state of matter they found is called quantum spin liquid, which has special properties that produce long-range quantum entanglement — a phenomenon in which particles’ states are connected even when the particles are separated by distance.

Quantum spin liquid was first predicted by physicist Philip W. Anderson about 50 years ago, in 1973, but has never been observed in experiments.

Using data on electromagnetic (EM) waves and plasma particles measured simultaneously via multiple satellites, an international collaborative research group has discovered the existence of invisible “propagation path” of EM waves and elucidated the mechanism by which EM waves propagate to the ground.

It is known that various kinds of EM occur naturally in geospace and cause variations in the plasma environment that surrounds the Earth via a known as wave–particle interaction. In particular, when geospace storms occur due to disturbances of sun and solar wind, EM waves become more active, and variations of geospace environment sometimes, may cause damage to spacecrafts, expose astronauts to radiation, and cause terrestrial power grid failures. To understand variation in the plasma environment caused by EM waves in , in-situ measurement has been performed in space using spacecrafts, such as the Japanese geospace satellite Arase.

As EM waves in space propagate far away from their origin, to correctly understand the effects of EM waves, it is crucial to understand where in space the EM waves are generated and how they are propagated. However, it has been difficult to unravel the origin of EM waves and the mysteries of how EM waves spread spatially using only single-point observation. “Electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves (EMIC waves),” which are the focus of this study, are an important class of EM wave in geospace that control variations in the geospace plasma environment. The source region of ion mode waves has a finite spatial extent, and generated EMIC waves are considered to propagate north to south along the geomagnetic field lines. The specific spatial size of the EMIC wave source region and the 3D aspect of how the propagation path is formed from space to ground are yet to be elucidated.

The hunt is on for leptoquarks, particles beyond the limits of the standard model of particle physics —the best description we have so far of the physics that governs the forces of the Universe and its particles. These hypothetical particles could prove useful in explaining experimental and theoretical anomalies observed at particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and could help to unify theories of physics beyond the standard model, if researchers could just spot them.

A new paper published in Nuclear Physics B by Anirban Karan, Priyotosh Bandyopadhyay, and Saunak Dutta, of the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Kandi, together with Mahesh Jakkapu, Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Kanagawa, Japan, examines the potential signatures of leptoquarks at the LHC to see how they could arise from for the possible mass ranges of these particles.

The main objective of this research is how to distinguish the signatures of different leptoquarks at proton-proton colliders like LHC or its proposed successor, Karan says.