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Nuke reboot: Physicists list lessons to be learned from Japan's nuclear crisis
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It can't happen here. Or can it? Many reactors in the U.S. have a similar design to the General Electric units that are spewing radioactive clouds into Japan's skies and keeping the world on edge. So, the U.S. should learn lessons from that ongoing disaster and seriously consider retrofitting at least some of its reactors, Raymond L. Orbach, former undersecretary for science at the U.S. Department of Energy, said at a meeting of the American Physical Society. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstract. More


Flawed diamonds could store quantum data
Wired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists have developed a new way to manipulate atoms inside diamond crystals so that they store information long enough to function as quantum memory, which encodes information not as the 0s and 1s crunched by conventional computers but in states that are both 0 and 1 at the same time. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstract. More

'Small modular reactors' hold sway in US nuclear future
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Something small is brewing for nuclear power in the U.S., it seems. At the American Physical Society meeting last week, a session that was planned months ago to address the "US nuclear Renaissance" has had its tone changed in light of the ongoing nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstract.
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Silicene: It could be the new graphene
ScienceNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The hottest celebrity in world of nanomaterials may soon face a new rival. Inspired by the Nobel Prize-winning creation of the carbon material known as graphene, physicists have now created atom-thin sheets of carbon's big brother, silicon. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstracts here and here. More

Curry powder molecule 'is cheap sensor for explosives'
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The main chemical in the curry spice turmeric could be the basis for cheap explosives detectors, say researchers. The curcumin molecule is already well-known in medicine for its anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstract. More

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X-ray technique peers beneath archaeology's surface
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Striking discoveries in archaeology are being made possible by strong beams of X-rays, say researchers. A report at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas showed how X-ray sources known as synchrotrons can unravel an artefact's mysteries. Light given off after an X-ray blast yields a neat list of the atoms within. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstract. More

Quantum physics explanation for smell gains traction
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The theory that our sense of smell has its basis in quantum physics events is gaining traction, say researchers. The idea remains controversial, but scientists reporting at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, are slowly unpicking how it could work. Read the associated APS March Meeting Focus session schedule.
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New fundamental limitation restricts position accuracy of quantum objects
PhysOrg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The uncertainty principle is probably the most well-known example of a fundamental limitation of measurement precision in quantum mechanics. In a new study, researchers have extended this theorem by showing that the conservation of the total momentum of a quantum object and measuring apparatus places a fundamental limit on how accurately the object's position can be measured. Read the associated APS Physics Synopsis. More
   

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