How can you tell if a quantum memory is really quantum?

Quantum Physics News - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 09:30
Quantum memories are devices that can store quantum information for a later time, which are usually implemented by storing and re-emitting photons with certain quantum states. But often it's difficult to tell whether a memory is storing quantum or merely classical information. In a new paper, physicists have developed a new test to verify the quantum nature of quantum memories.

Study shows people rarely express gratitude to those closest to them

Social Sciences News - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 08:30
An international team of researchers has found that people around the world rarely say "thank you" to those closest to them. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their study of expressing gratitude and what they found.

The Trump Presidency's impact on public perception of the Republican Party

Social Sciences News - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 02:18
A new Presidential Studies Quarterly article analyzes the effects of the early Trump Presidency on public attitudes toward the Republican Party.

The role of race in police contact among homeless youth

Social Sciences News - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 02:17
More than 1.7 million U.S. youth experience homelessness each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Homeless youth are at an increased risk of being stopped by police and arrested, yet it is unclear if this interaction is related to race. A new longitudinal study examined the likelihood of homeless youth of different races being harassed and arrested by police. The study found that non-White homeless youth are more likely than White homeless youth to report police harassment and arrest, but that elements of living on the street—including increased visibility and prior experiences with harassment—offset racial disparities.

How citizen science transforms passive learners into engaged scientists

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 14:06
Third-grader Jessica was quiet in group discussions and did not see herself as a strong science student. But after an eight-week unit in school where she was able to read, write about, collect data on and even draw and photograph ladybugs for a project, she began to see herself as scientist in her own right—explaining the life stages and lifestyles of ladybugs to grownups with conviction.

OPERA collaboration presents its final results on neutrino oscillations

General Physics - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:53
The OPERA experiment, located at the Gran Sasso Laboratory of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), was designed to conclusively prove that muon-neutrinos can convert to tau-neutrinos, through a process called neutrino oscillation, whose discovery was awarded the 2015 Nobel Physics Prize. In a paper published today in the journal Physical Review Letters, the OPERA collaboration reports the observation of a total of ten candidate events for a muon to tau-neutrino conversion, in what are the very final results of the experiment. This demonstrates unambiguously that muon neutrinos oscillate into tau neutrinos on their way from CERN, where muon neutrinos were produced, to the Gran Sasso Laboratory 730km away, where OPERA detected the ten tau neutrino candidates.

Students taught by highly qualified teachers more likely to obtain bachelor's degree

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:32
Previous research has shown that teachers play a pivotal role in their students' academic success—or lack thereof. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has found that high school students taught by a string of teachers who majored or minored in a specific teaching subject, instead of a general teaching degree, are more likely to become college graduates. The researcher says that schools can use this new knowledge to find new ways to increase their number of highly qualified teachers and make student success a collective effort.

The price of chaos: A new model virtually pits new investors against experienced ones

General Physics - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:22
Financial investing attracts a range of casual neophytes to Wall Street financiers. Variation in expertise and risk-taking behaviors among investors regularly sends markets on roller-coaster rides. Most existing economic theories cannot account for this variability, but new research in chaos theory looks to help us to understand the human factors behind investing.

Tech 'Nobel' awarded to Finnish physicist for small smart devices

General Physics - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:15
Finnish materials physicist Tuomo Suntola, who developed a groundbreaking technology to reduce the size of complex devices, on Tuesday won Finland's take on the Nobel science prizes.

Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory

Quantum Physics News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:00
A quantum internet promises completely secure communication. But using quantum bits or qubits to carry information requires a radically new piece of hardware—a quantum memory. This atomic-scale device needs to store quantum information and convert it into light to transmit across the network.

Seduction: An industry selling men and women short

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:17
An industry training men in the art of seduction—estimated to be worth $100 million USD—encourages its clients to treat women and themselves as commodities in a sexual marketplace, a new study has found.

Neutrons by the numbers—New counting technique delivers unprecedented accuracy

General Physics - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:48
After years of research, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed and demonstrated a way to count the absolute number of neutrons in a beam that is four times more accurate than their best previous results, and 50 times more accurate than similar measurements anywhere else in the world.

Welfare conditionality is ineffective, authors of major study say

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 07:59
Welfare conditionality within the social security system is largely ineffective and in some cases pushes people into poverty and crime, a major study led by the University of York has found.

Ethnically mixed schools better for social cohesion, says new study of teenagers' attitudes

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 07:11
Pupils from schools with greater ethnic diversity have more positive feelings towards pupils of different ethnicities, according to a new study of attitudes in English secondary schools from the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Why are the elderly increasingly more inclined to live alone?

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:58
For decades, the elderly in Spain have shown a preference for living at home, either alone or with their partners, instead of sharing a home with relatives of other generations. A study by the University of Granada delves into the reasons for this trend.

Children understand plant-animal interdependence by the age of eight

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:54
When do children start to become aware of the relationship between animal and plant life? According to a study by the UPV/EHU, they begin to associate animals and plants with each other spontaneously in their drawings by the age of eight. The UPV/EHU researchers José Domingo Villarroel, Álvaro Antón, Teresa Nuño and Daniel Zuazagoitia are the authors of this work, published in the scientific journal Sustainability.

Friends influence middle schoolers' attitudes toward peers of different ethnicities, races

Social Sciences News - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 03:46
The United States is increasingly diverse ethnically and racially. Studies have shown that for young people, simply being around peers from different ethnic and racial backgrounds may not be enough to improve attitudes toward and relationships with other groups. Instead, children and adolescents also need to value spending time and forming relationships with peers from diverse groups. A new study examined how friends in middle school affect each other's attitudes about interacting with peers of different ethnicities and races, finding that they influence each other's racial and ethnic views significantly.

A better way to control crystal vibrations

General Physics - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 16:10
The vibrational motion of an atom in a crystal propagates to neighboring atoms, which leads to wavelike propagation of the vibrations throughout the crystal. The way in which these natural vibrations travel through the crystalline structure determine fundamental properties of the material. For example, these vibrations determine how well heat and electrons can traverse the material, and how the material interacts with light.

Quantum effects observed in photosynthesis

Quantum Physics News - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:00
Molecules that are involved in photosynthesis exhibit the same quantum effects as non-living matter, concludes an international team of scientists including University of Groningen theoretical physicist Thomas la Cour Jansen. This is the first time that quantum mechanical behavior was proven to exist in biological systems that are involved in photosynthesis. The interpretation of these quantum effects in photosynthesis may help in the development of nature-inspired light-harvesting devices. The results were published in Nature Chemistry on 21 May.

Turning entanglement upside down

Quantum Physics News - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:00
A team of physicists from ICTP-Trieste and IQOQI-Innsbruck has come up with a surprisingly simple idea to investigate quantum entanglement of many particles. Instead of digging deep into the properties of quantum wave functions, which are notoriously hard to experimentally access, they propose to realize physical systems governed by the corresponding entanglement Hamiltonians. By doing so, entanglement properties of the original problem of interest become accessible via well-established tools.