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X-ray laser resurrects a laboratory no longer in the vanguard
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the first experiments conducted at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., since its outdated particle accelerator was converted into the world’s brightest X-ray laser, scientists managed to create what they called hollow atoms, giving just a preview of the kind of science expected to be done there. At high X-ray energies, the two innermost electrons, rather than the less tightly bound outer electrons, were knocked out first, as if peeling an onion from the inside out.
Read the associated APS Physics Synopsis.

US physicists call for change in nuclear licensing
PhysicsWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Physical Society is urging the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to change its licensing rules over fears that smaller, more efficient ways of enriching uranium will increase the risk of nuclear proliferation. Read the associated APS report.

Could some entangled states be useless for quantum cryptography?
PhysOrg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the widely accepted properties of quantum entanglement is secrecy. Since scientists and researchers began working with quantum key distribution, entanglement has been considered an essential part of keeping communications private. What if entanglement didn't always mean secrecy, though? New work is shedding light on the nature of entanglement and quantum key distribution - and possibly proving that a high degree of entanglement does not necessarily lead to complete secrecy. Read the associated Physical Review Letters article. More

Supernovae don't make the biggest atoms
NewScientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
They are the brightest of stars, but supernovae may not forge the heaviest elements. That's the suggestion arising from analysis of a new model of the particle winds that rush from the cores of supernovae. Read the associated APS journal article. More

Unusual quantum states may shake up quantum computing
Ars Technica    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers have found a new method of controlling the quantum states of solid particles, and the research could enable a different approach to quantum computing. More


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Ghostly, flowing supersolid? No, it's quantum plastic
NewScientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's one of the weirdest things predicted by quantum mechanics: a solid that flows, ghostlike, through itself. As if that's not enough to get your head round, experiments that claim to have made this "supersolid" may in fact have resulted in something completely different. Read the associated APS Physics Viewpoint. More

First stars formed fast
Science Now    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Experiments involving beams of negatively charged hydrogen ions show that molecular hydrogen forms faster than expected under conditions similar to those that existed when the universe was young. The revelation suggests that early stars may have formed more quickly than previously believed. More


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