Physics News of the Week: The Best Map of the Universe So Far

| March 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

So this week, like always, we have a bunch of interesting news, such as the impressive results from the Planck space mission and great news from laser physics. As always, if you would like to receive these news straight to your email, register for our email newsletter.

1) Another Step Towards Quantum Internet (March 19)

The realization and development of quantum networks is one of the major challenges of modern physics. And now new research shows how photons can be generated from “solid state” chips, making another step towards quantum internet.

Researchers from the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University have implemented a novel technique to generate single photons with tailored properties from solid-state devices that are identical in quality to lasers.

“Our research has added the concepts of coherent photon shaping and generation to the toolbox of solid-state quantum photonics,” said Dr Mete Atature from the Department of Physics, who led the research. Read the full report here.

The most detailed map of the universe so far

2) Best Map So Far of the Oldest Light of the Universe  (March 21)

The Planck space mission has launched in 2009 and has been scanning the skies ever since, mapping the cosmic microwave background. Just recently it has released the most accurate and detailed map of the oldest light in the universe.

The results suggest the universe is expanding more slowly than scientists thought, and is 100 million years older than previous estimates. The data also shows there is less dark energy and more matter in the universe than previously known.

“Astronomers worldwide have been on the edge of their seats waiting for this map,” said Joan Centrella, Planck program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These measurements are profoundly important to many areas of science, as well as future space missions. We are so pleased to have worked with the European Space Agency on such a historic endeavor.” Read the full story here.

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