Physics News of the Week: Quantum Record Smashed + New Battery Electrodes

| November 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

This week scientists reported inventing a self-healing battery electrode, astronomers caught two galaxies appearing as one and another quantum record has been broken. As always, for more physics news register for our email newsletter. Here’s the summary of the physics news of the week.

1. Quantum World Record Smashed (November 14)

Another big step towards the development of quantum computers has recently been taken by an international team of scientists. A team including Mike Thewalt of Simon Fraser University, Canada performed an experiment, which showed that a normally fragile quantum system can survive an increase in temperature from -269 °C to 25 °C.In the experiment the team raised the temperature of a system in which information is encoded in the nuclei of phosphorus atoms in silicon. This result is a great achievement as it demonstrates that such a system could perform multiple calculations simultaneously at room temperatures.

Quantum computers might become reality sooner than we think

2. Two Galaxies Caught Masquerading as One (November 15)

What appeared to look like a colossal jet turned out to be an illusion — data from Very Large Array (VLA) revealed that it were two galaxies one in front of the other. By analysing the radio signals from the two galaxies, Canadian astronomers gained a deeper understanding of the structure and formation of the two galaxies.

“We can use the radio waves from the background galaxy, coming through the nearer one, as a way to measure the properties of the nearer galaxy,” said Judith Irwin, of Queen’s University, Canada.

3. Scientists Invent a Self-Healing Battery Electrode (November 17)

The first battery electrode that is capable of healing itself has been recently reported by scientists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Such a discovery could potentially lead to brand new advanced lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices.

“Self-healing is very important for the survival and long lifetimes of animals and plants. We want to incorporate this feature into lithium ion batteries so they will have a long lifetime as well,” said Chao Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford. Scientists found out that silicon electrodes lasted 10 times longer when coated with the self-healing polymer.

More news:

Launch of MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution)
Paths out of Uncertainty: Increasing Extreme Confidence
Two For One in Solar Power

 

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