Stories today at the physics congress in Melbourne
A cubic kilometre of South Pole ice looking for dark matter
From the chaos of stirring coffee to stirring rocks and cleaning up polluted ground water
Silk microchips for instant blood tests
Diamond’s light touch
Enlightenment on a chip
A single electron reader for silicon quantum computing
UK researcher Anthony Brown is reporting on the IceCube neutrino telescope under construction at the South Pole. The first stages are up and running looking for high energy neutrinos from a variety of astrophysical sources including dark matter.
More information at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/aip/aip-acroft-2010conference/darkmatter-2
Adding to the chaos underground could help manage polluted water, according to CSIRO physicist Guy Metcalfe. They have been working on “chaotic advection” which describes the motion of particles carried in a flow, from smoke drifting in the air, to the mixing of the milk into your morning coffee.
The same principle could be used to trap contaminated groundwater, and keep it continually rotating within a defined area, CSIRO researchers have calculated. Or it could be applied to encourage reactions between fluids and rocks which remove pollutants.
More information at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/aip/aip-acroft-2010conference/chaos
The major protein in silkworm silk is being used to create sophisticated new health tests by Peter Domachuk and his colleagues at the University of Sydney.
The protein, fibroin, is extremely strong and so bio-friendly that it allows long-term studies of the interactions of molecules which, until now, have been too sensitive to handle in the laboratory outside of cells. Fibroin is also transparent, and can be spun into structures that manipulate light.
Peter already has sensors for oxygen, and is planning a system that allows dozens of simultaneous blood tests.
More information at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/aip/aip-acroft-2010conference/silkchips
Researchers reported on their creation of diamond nanowires. Quantum computers with many times the processing power of today’s supercomputers could one day be powered by diamond. These diamond nanowires can provide the steady stream of photons needed for light-based quantum computers, says Tom Babinec from the Marko Lončar’s Laboratory for Nanoscale Optics at Harvard.
More information at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/aip/aip-acroft-2010conference/diamondlight
CSIRO researchers report that metallic nanoparticles can be used as components of computers powered by light rather than electric currents.
The nanoparticles can control and manipulate the flow of light in photonic circuits, which can be made much more powerful than their electronic counterparts.
A team led by UNSW engineers and physicists have developed one of the key building blocks needed to make a quantum computer using silicon: a “single electron reader”. Andrea Morello reported on their progress.
Quantum computers promise exponential increases in processing speed over today’s computers through their use of the “spin”, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons to represent data in their calculations.
“Our device detects the spin state of a single electron in a single phosphorus atom implanted in a block of silicon. The spin state of the electron controls the flow of electrons in a nearby circuit,” said Dr Morello, the lead author of the paper, Single-shot readout of an electron spin in silicon.
- The Large Hadron Collider – a new role for Australia announced at 12.45 pm
- Could space weather shut down our electronic society – from the power supply to phones
- CERN’s director launches a national centre giving more Australians access to the Large Hadron Collider
- How new technologies will transform the National Broadband Network.