Month: March 2020

Quantum-entangled light from a vibrating membrane

Entanglement, a powerful form of correlation among quantum systems, is an important resource for quantum computing. Researchers from the Quantum Optomechanics group at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, recently entangled two laser beams through bouncing them off the same mechanical resonator, a tensioned membrane. This provides a novel way of entangling disparate electromagnetic fields, from microwave radiation to optical beams. In particular, creating entanglement between optical and microwave fields would be a key step towards solving the long-standing challenge of sharing entanglement between two distant quantum computers operating in the microwave regime. The result is now published in Nature Communications.

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High Altitude Water Cherenkov observatory tests speed of light

New measurements confirm, to the highest energies yet explored, that the laws of physics hold no matter where you are or how fast you’re moving. Observations of record-breaking gamma rays prove the robustness of Lorentz Invariance—a piece of Einstein’s theory of relativity that predicts the speed of light is constant everywhere in the universe. The High Altitude Water Cherenkov observatory in Puebla, Mexico detected the gamma rays coming from distant galactic sources.

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Research team releases new global groundwater maps

NASA researchers have developed new satellite-based, weekly global maps of soil moisture and groundwater wetness conditions and one to three-month U.S. forecasts of each product. While maps of current dry/wet conditions for the United States have been available since 2012, this is the first time they have been available globally.

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Surfing the waves: Electrons break law to go with the flow

If you see people walking down a street and coming to a junction, it’s difficult to predict which direction they might take. But, if you see people sitting in separate boats, floating down a stream, and the stream splits into two channels, it’s likely that most, if not all, of them will be carried down one channel, the channel that has the stronger flow.

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Sediments may control location, magnitude of megaquakes

The world’s most powerful earthquakes strike at subduction zones, areas where enormous amounts of stress build up as one tectonic plate dives beneath another. When suddenly released, this stress can cause devastating “megaquakes” like the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku event, which killed nearly 16,000 people and crippled Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. Now a study published in Geology suggests that sediments atop the downgoing slab can play a key role in determining the magnitude and location of these catastrophic events.

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