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Physicists Discover New Kind of Matter: Excitonium

Excitonium sounds like a made-up substance from a children’s graphic novel. But it is an actual scientific word, coined 50 years ago to describe new a type of matter, which scientists believed should exist, but weren’t able to prove-until now. Physicists at the University of Illinois said that they have now proven that excitonium really …

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Hollow atoms: The consequences of an underestimated effect

The “hollow atoms”, which are being produced in the labs of TU Wien (Vienna) are quite exotic objects. Their electrons are in a state of extremely high energy (so called Rydberg states), but when they are shot through another material, they can get rid of this energy in a matter of femtoseconds (millionths of a billionth of a second).

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The doubly magic nucleus of lead-208-it spins, though it shouldn’t

Scientists generally imagine atomic nuclei to be more or less spherical clusters of protons and neutrons, but always relatively chaotic. Experiments at the Argonne National Laboratory, inspired by physicists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, are trying to verify this simple model. To deploy an astronomical analogy, in as much as the majority of nuclei are similar in outline to rocky objects like moons or asteroids, then the nuclei of lead-208 under certain conditions resemble planets surrounded by a dense atmosphere that can move around a rigid core.

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Electron orbitals may hold key to unifying concept of high-temperature superconductivity

A team of scientists has found evidence for a new type of electron pairing that may broaden the search for new high-temperature superconductors. The findings, described in the journal Science, provide the basis for a unifying description of how radically different “parent” materials-insulating copper-based compounds and metallic iron-based compounds-can develop the ability to carry electrical current with no resistance at strikingly high temperatures.

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Majorana fermions predicted in a superconducting material

MIT physicists propose that a class of superconducting materials can host Majorana fermions near absolute zero, and that their existence can be verified using nuclear magnetic resonance.

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Physicists discover new properties of superconductivity

New findings from an international collaboration led by Canadian scientists may eventually lead to a theory of how superconductivity initiates at the atomic level, a key step in understanding how to harness the potential of materials that could provide lossless energy storage, levitating trains and ultra-fast supercomputers.

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Electron spin changes as a general mechanism for general anesthesia?

(Phys.org) -How does consciousness work? Few questions if any could be more profound. One thing we do know about it, jokes biophysicist Luca Turin, is that it is soluble in chloroform. When you put the brain into chloroform, the lipids that form nerve cell membranes and the myelin that insulates them will dissolve. On the other hand, when you put chloroform into the brain, by inhaling it, consciousness dissolves. It is hard to imagine a satisfying explanation of consciousness that does not also account for how anesthetics like chloroform can abolish it.

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Measuring the smallest magnets: Physicists measured magnetic interactions between single electrons

Imagine trying to measure a tennis ball that bounces wildly, every time to a distance a million times its own size. The bouncing obviously creates enormous “background noise” that interferes with the measurement. But if you attach the ball directly to a measuring device, so they bounce together, you can eliminate the noise problem.

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University of Illinois study advances limits for ultrafast nano-devices

A recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides new insights on the physical mechanisms governing the interplay of spin and heat at the nanoscale, and addresses the fundamental limits of ultrafast spintronic devices for data storage and information processing.