Archive of Physics News Viewer

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"Like melting an entire iceberg with a hot poker" – UCL scientists explore the strange world of quantum phase transitions

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Quantum Phase Transitions

“What a curious feeling,” says Alice in Lewis Carroll’s tale, as she shrinks to a fraction of her size, and everything around her suddenly looks totally unfamiliar. Scientists too have to get used to these curious feelings when they examine matter on tiny scales and at low temperatures: all the behaviour we are used to seeing around us is turned on its head.

New method for measuring the temperature of nanoscale objects discovered

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Temperature of nanoscale objects

Temperature measurements in our daily life are typically performed by bringing a thermometer into contact with the object to be measured. However, measuring the temperature of nanoscale objects is a much more tricky task due to their size – up to a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre Campaign

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Massey LT

The UCLU are lobbying for the takeover of the Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre to turn it into a full-time performing arts centre, leaving it unavailable for teaching.

Quantum-generated probability distributions can be hard for classical machines to recreate

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Editor’s Suggestion - Physical Review Letters

Hussain Anwar, Naïri Usher and Dan Browne, together with collaborators at ICFO Barcelona and University of Sydney have discovered a new way in which quantum systems may exceed the capabilities of classical computing machines. In a quantum computer, information is processed by quantum logic gates, analogues of the NAND and XOR gates which power a classical computer, but which can generate intrinsically quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement. A quantum computer could solve certain problems (factorising numbers, simulating the properties of a material) much faster than the best classical algorithm for these tasks.

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