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  • richardmitnick 11:31 am on July 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A quantum sense for dark matter", , Astrophysical evidence for dark matter has accreted for decades., , , , Center on Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials at the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Condensed Matter Physics, , , , Dark Matter Radio (DM Radio), DM Radio consists of a radio circuit containing a charge-storing capacitor and a current-storing inductor., , In a strong magnetic field an axion should sometimes turn into a radio photon whose frequency depends on the axion’s mass., In the 1980s theorists hypothesized what soon became the leading contender: weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs)., Instead of one type of particle dark matter might even consist of a hidden “dark sector” of multiple new particles that would interact through gravity but not the three other forces., Just as photons convey the electromagnetic force dark photons might convey a dark electromagnetic force., , , , , , Quantum sensors open the way to testing new ideas for what dark matter might be., , The interest in quantum sensors also reflects the tinkerer culture of dark matter hunters., The second most popular candidate—and one DM Radio targets—is the axion., The trick is to find a semiconductor sensitive to very low-energy photons., To spot such quarry dark matter hunters have turned to quantum sensors—a shift partly inspired by another hot field: quantum computing.,   

    From “Science Magazine” : “A quantum sense for dark matter” 

    From “Science Magazine”

    28 Apr 2022
    Adrian Cho

    Bullet Cluster NASA Chandra NASA ESA Hubble, evidence of shock.

    A collision of galaxy clusters separated gas (pink) from dark matter (blue), mapped from subtle gravitational distortions in the images of background galaxies. Credits:(X-ray) NASA/CXC/CFA/M. Markevitch et al.; (Optical) D. Clowe et al. NASA/STSCI; Magellan/U. Arizona/; (Lensing Map) D. Clowe et al./NASA/STSCI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U. Arizona/

    Kent Irwin has a vision: He aims to build a glorified radio that will reveal the nature of Dark Matter, the invisible stuff that makes up 85% of all matter. For decades, physicists have struggled to figure out what the stuff is, stalking one hypothetical particle after another, only to come up empty. However, if Dark Matter consists of certain nearly massless particles, then in the right setting it might generate faint, unquenchable radio waves. Irwin, a quantum physicist at Stanford University, plans to tune in to that signal in an experiment called Dark Matter Radio (DM Radio).

    No ordinary radio will do. To make the experiment practical, Irwin’s team plans to transform it into a quantum sensor—one that exploits the strange rules of quantum mechanics. Quantum sensors are a hot topic, having received $1.275 billion in funding in the 2018 U.S. National Quantum Initiative. Some scientists are employing them as microscopes and gravimeters. But because of the devices’ unparalleled sensitivity, Irwin says, “dark matter is a killer app for quantum sensing.”

    DM Radio is just one of many new efforts to use quantum sensors to hunt the stuff. Some approaches detect the granularity of the subatomic realm, in which matter and energy come in tiny packets called quanta. Others exploit the trade-offs implicit in the famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Still others borrow technologies being developed for quantum computing. Physicists don’t agree on the definition of a quantum sensor, and none of the concepts is entirely new. “I would argue that quantum sensing has been happening in one form or another for a century,” says Peter Abbamonte, a condensed matter physicist and leader of the Center on Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

    Still, Yonatan Kahn, a theoretical physicist at UIUC, says quantum sensors open the way to testing new ideas for what Dark Matter might be. “You shouldn’t just go blindly looking” for Dark Matter, Kahn says. “But even if your model is made of bubblegum and paperclips, if it satisfies all cosmological constraints, it’s fair game.” Quantum sensing is essential for testing many of those models, Irwin says. “It can make it possible to do an experiment in 3 years that would otherwise take thousands of years.”

    Astrophysical evidence for Dark Matter has accreted for decades. For example, the stars in spiral galaxies appear to whirl so fast that their own gravity shouldn’t keep them from flying into space. The observation implies that the stars circulate within a vast cloud of Dark Matter that provides the additional gravity needed to rein them in. Physicists assume it consists of swarms of some as-yet-unknown fundamental particle.

    In the 1980s theorists hypothesized what soon became the leading contender: weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). Emerging in the hot soup of particles after the big bang, WIMPs would interact with ordinary matter only through gravity and the weak nuclear force, which produces a kind of radioactive decay. Like the particles that convey the weak force, the W and Z bosons, WIMPs would weigh roughly 100 times as much as a proton. And just enough WIMPs would naturally linger—a few thousand per cubic meter near Earth—to account for Dark Matter.

    Occasionally a WIMP should crash into an atomic nucleus and blast it out of its atom. So, to spot WIMPs, experimenters need only look for recoiling nuclei in detectors built deep underground to protect them from extraneous radiation. But no signs of WIMPs have appeared, even as detectors have grown bigger and more sensitive. Fifteen years ago, WIMP detectors weighed kilograms; now, the biggest contain several tons of frigid liquid xenon.

    The second most popular candidate—and one DM Radio targets—is the axion. Far lighter than WIMPs, axions are predicted by a theory that explains a certain symmetry of the strong nuclear force, which binds quarks into trios to make protons and neutrons. Axions would also emerge in the early universe, and theorists originally estimated they could account for Dark Matter if the axion has a mass between one-quadrillionth and 100-quadrillionths of a proton.

    In a strong magnetic field an axion should sometimes turn into a radio photon whose frequency depends on the axion’s mass. To amplify the faint signal, physicists place in the field an ultracold cylindrical metal cavity designed to resonate with radio waves just as an organ pipe rings with sound. The Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX) at the University of Washington, Seattle, scans the low end of the mass range, and an experiment called the Haloscope at Yale Sensitive to Axion CDM (HAYSTAC) at Yale University probes the high end. But no axions have shown up yet.

    In recent years physicists have begun to consider other possibilities. Maybe axions are either more or less massive than previously estimated. Instead of one type of particle Dark Matter might even consist of a hidden “dark sector” of multiple new particles that would interact through gravity but not the three other forces, electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces. Rather, they would have their own forces, says Kathryn Zurek, a theorist at the California Institute of Technology. So, just as photons convey the electromagnetic force dark photons might convey a dark electromagnetic force. Dark and ordinary electromagnetism might intertwine so that rarely, a dark photon could morph into an ordinary one.

    To spot such quarry Dark Matter hunters have turned to quantum sensors—a shift partly inspired by another hot field: quantum computing. A quantum computer flips quantum bits, or qubits, that can be set to 0, 1, or, thanks to the odd rules of quantum mechanics, 0 and 1 at the same time. That may seem irrelevant to hunting dark matter, but such qubits must be carefully controlled and shielded from external interference, exactly what Dark Matter hunters already do with their detectors, says Aaron Chou, a physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) who works on ADMX. “We have to keep these devices very, very well isolated from the environment so that when we see the very, very rare event, we’re more confident that it might be due to the Dark Matter.”

    The interest in quantum sensors also reflects the tinkerer culture of Dark Matter hunters, says Reina Maruyama, a nuclear and particle physicist at Yale and co-leader of HAYSTAC. The field has long attracted people interested in developing new detectors and in quick, small-scale experiments, she says. “This kind of footloose approach has always been possible in the Dark Matter field.”

    For some novel searches, the simplest definition of a quantum sensor may do: It’s any device capable of detecting a single quantum particle, such as a photon or an energetic electron. “I call a quantum sensor something that can detect single quanta in whatever form that takes,” Zurek says. That’s what is needed for hunting particles slightly lighter than WIMPs and plumbing the dark sector, she says.

    Such runty particles wouldn’t produce detectable nuclear recoils. A wispy dark sector particle could interact with ordinary matter by emitting a dark photon that morphs into an ordinary photon. But that low-energy photon would barely nudge a nucleus.

    In the right semiconductor, however, the same photon could excite an electron and enable it to flow through the material. Kahn and Abbamonte are working on an extremely sensitive photodiode, a device that produces an electrical signal when it absorbs light. Were such a device shielded from light and other forms of radiation and cooled to near absolute zero to reduce noise, a Dark Matter signal would stand out as a steady pitter-pat of tiny electrical pulses.

    A chip that could sense dark photons (first image) and an axion detector, HAYSTAC, could fit on a tabletop despite their high sensitivity. (First image) Roger Romani/University of California, Berkeley; (Second image) Karl Van Bibber.

    The trick is to find a semiconductor sensitive to very low-energy photons, Kahn says. The industrial standard, silicon, releases an electron when it absorbs a photon with an energy of at least 1.1 electron volts (eV). To detect dark sector particles with masses as low as 1/100,000th that of a proton, the material would need to unleash an electron when pinged by a photon of just 0.03 eV. So Kahn, Abbamonte, and colleagues at The DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory are exploring “narrow bandgap” semiconductors such as a compound of europium, indium, and antimony.

    Even lighter dark-sector particles would create photons with too little energy to liberate an electron in the most sensitive semiconductor. To hunt for them, Zurek and Matt Pyle, a detector physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, are developing a detector that would sense the infinitesimal quantized vibrations set off when a dark photon creates an ordinary photon that pings a nucleus. It would “only rattle that nucleus and produce a bunch of vibrations,” Pyle says. “So the detectors must be fundamentally different.”

    Their detector consists of a single crystal of material composed of two types of ions with opposite charges, such as gallium arsenide. The feeble photon spawned by a dark photon would nudge the different ions in opposite directions, setting off quantized vibrations called optical phonons. To detect these vibrations, Zurek and Pyle dot the crystal with small patches of tungsten and chill it to temperatures near absolute zero, where tungsten becomes a superconductor that carries electricity without resistance. Any phonons would slightly warm the tungsten, reducing its superconductivity and leading to a noticeable spike in its resistance.

    Within 5 years, the researchers hope to improve their detector’s sensitivity by a factor of 10 so that they can sense a single phonon and hunt dark-sector particles weighing one-millionth as much as a proton. To provide the Dark Matter, such particles would have to be so numerous that a detector weighing just a few kilograms should be able to spot them or rule them out. And because so few experiments have probed this mass range, even little prototype detectors unshielded from background radiation can yield interesting data, Pyle says. “We run just in our lab above ground, and we can get world-leading results.”

    Some physicists argue that true quantum sensors should do something more subtle. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that if you simultaneously measure the position and momentum of an electron, the product of the uncertainties in those measurements must exceed a “standard quantum limit.” That means no measurement can yield a perfectly precise result, no matter how it’s done. However, the principle also implies you can swap greater uncertainty in one measurement for greater precision in the other. To some physicists, a quantum sensor is one that exploits that trade-off.

    Physicists are using such schemes to enhance axion searches. To make up Dark Matter, those lightweight particles would be so numerous that en masse they’d act like a wave, just as sunlight acts more like a light wave than a hail of photons. So with their metal cavities, ADMX and HAYSTAC researchers are searching for the conversion of an invisible axion wave into a detectable radio wave.

    Like any wave, the radio wave will have an amplitude that reveals how strong it is and a phase that marks its exact synchronization relative to whatever ultraprecise clock you might choose. Conventional radio circuits measure both and run into a limit set by the uncertainty principle. But axion hunters care only about the signal’s amplitude—is a wave there or not?—and quantum mechanics lets them measure it with greater precision in exchange for more uncertainty in the phase.

    HAYSTAC experimenters exploit that trade-off to tamp down noise in their experiment. The vacuum—the backdrop for the measurement—can itself be considered a wave. Although that vacuum wave has on average zero amplitude, its amplitude is still uncertain and fluctuates to create noise. In HAYSTAC a special amplifier reduces the vacuum’s amplitude fluctuations while allowing those in the irrelevant phase to grow bigger, causing any axion signal to stand out more readily. Last year, HAYSTAC researchers reported in Nature that they had searched for and ruled out axions in a narrow range around 19-quadrillionths of a proton mass. By squeezing the noise, they increased the speed of the search by a factor of 2, Maruyama says, and validated the principle.

    Such “squeezing” has been demonstrated for decades in laboratory experiments with lasers and optics. Now, Irwin says, “These techniques for beating the standard quantum limit [have] been used to actually do something better, as opposed to do something in a demonstration.” In the DM Radio experiment, he hopes to use a related technique to probe for even lighter axions as well as dark photons.

    Instead of a resonating cavity, DM Radio consists of a radio circuit containing a charge-storing capacitor and a current-storing inductor—a carefully designed coil of wire—both placed in a magnetic field. Axions could convert to radio waves within the inductor coil to create a resonating signal in the circuit at a certain frequency. Researchers can also look for dark photons by reconfiguring the coil and turning off the magnetic field.

    To read out the signal, Irwin’s scheme plays on another implication of quantum mechanics, that by measuring a system’s state you may change it. The researchers couple their resonating circuit to a second, higher frequency circuit, so that, much as in AM radio, any Dark Matter signal would make the amplitude of the higher frequency carrier wave warble. The stronger the coupling, the bigger the warbling, and the more prominent the signal. But stronger coupling also injects noise that could stymie efforts to measure Dark Matter with greater precision.

    Again, a quantum trade-off comes to the rescue. The researchers modify their carrier wave by injecting a tiny warble at the frequency they hope to probe. Just by random chance, that input warble and any Dark Matter signal will likely be somewhat out of sync, or phase. But the Dark Matter wave can be thought of as the sum of two components: one that’s exactly in sync with the added signal and one that’s exactly out of sync with it—much as any direction on a map is a combination of north-south and east-west. The experiment is designed to measure the in-sync component with greater precision while injecting all the disturbance into the out-of-sync component, making the measurement more sensitive and accelerating the rate at which the experiment can scan different frequencies.

    Irwin and colleagues have already run a small prototype of the experiment. They are now building a larger version, and ultimately they plan one with a coil that has a volume of 1 cubic meter. Implementing the quantum sensing is essential, Irwin says, as without it, scanning the entire frequency range would take thousands of years.

    Some Dark Matter hunters are explicitly borrowing hardware from quantum computing. For example, Fermilab’s Chou and colleagues have used a superconducting qubit—the same kind Google and IBM use in their quantum computers—to perform a proof-of-principle search for dark photons in a very narrow energy range. Like a smaller version of ADMX or HAYSTAC, their experiment centers on a resonating cavity, this one drilled into the edge of an aluminum plate. There a dark photon could convert into radio waves, although at a higher frequency than in ADMX or HAYSTAC. Ordinarily, experimenters would bleed the radio waves out through a hole in the cavity and measure them with a low-noise amplifier. However, the tiny cavity would generate a signal so faint it would drown in noise from the amplifier itself.

    The qubit sidesteps that problem. Like any other qubit, the tiny superconducting circuit can act like a clock, cycling between different combinations of 0 and 1 at a rate that depends on the difference in energy between the circuit’s 0 and 1 states. That difference in turn depends on whether there are any radio photons in the cavity. Even one is enough to speed up the clock, Chou says. “We’re going to stick this artificial atomic clock in the cavity and see if it still keeps good time.”

    The measurement probes only the amplitude of the radio waves and not their phase, obtaining greater precision in the former in exchange for greater uncertainty in the latter, the team reported last year in Physical Review Letters. It might speed up dark photon searches by as much as a factor of 1300, Chou says, and it could be extended to search for axions, if researchers could apply a magnetic field to the cavity while shielding the sensitive qubit.

    One group has invented a scheme to search for WIMPs using another candidate qubit: a so-called nitrogen vacancy (NV) center within a diamond crystal. In an NV, a nitrogen atom replaces a carbon atom in the crystal lattice and creates an adjacent, empty site that collects a pair of electrons that can serve as qubit. A WIMP passing through a diamond can bump carbon atoms out of the way, leaving a trail of NVs roughly 100 nanometers long, says Ronald Walsworth, an experimental physicist at the University of Maryland, College Park. The NVs will absorb and emit light of specific wavelengths, so the track can be spotted clearly with fluorescence microscopy.

    That scheme has little to do with quantum computing, but it would address a looming problem for WIMP searches. If current liquid xenon detectors get much bigger, they should start to see well-known particles called neutrinos, which stream from the Sun. To tell a WIMP from a neutrino, physicists would need to know where a particle came from, as WIMPs should come from the plane of the Galaxy rather than the Sun. A liquid xenon detector can’t determine the direction of a particle that caused a signal. A detector made of diamonds could.

    Walsworth envisions a detector formed of millions of millimeter-size synthetic diamonds. A diamond would flash when pierced by a neutrino or WIMP, and an automated system would remove it and scan it for an NV track, using the time of the flash to determine the track’s orientation relative to the Sun and the Galaxy, the team explained last year in Quantum Science and Technology. Walsworth hopes to build a prototype detector in a few years. “I absolutely do not want to claim that our idea would work or that it’s better than other approaches,” he says. “But I think it’s promising enough to go forward.”

    Physicists have proposed many other ideas for using quantum sensors to search for Dark Matter, and the influx of money should help transform them into new technologies, Zurek says. “Things can move faster when you’re funded,” she says. As tool builders, Dark Matter hunters embrace that push. “They have a great hammer, so they started looking for nails,” Walsworth says. Perhaps they’ll bang out a discovery of cosmic proportions.

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM, denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky.
    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble, the original example of Dark Matter discovered during observations by Fritz Zwicky and confirmed 30 years later by Vera Rubin.
    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.
    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970.

    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter(Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).
    Dark Matter Research

    Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search from DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University at SNOLAB (Vale Inco Mine, Sudbury, Canada).

    LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment xenon detector at Sanford Underground Research Facility Credit: Matt Kapust.

    Lamda Cold Dark Matter Accerated Expansion of The universe http scinotions.com the-cosmic-inflation-suggests-the-existence-of-parallel-universes. Credit: Alex Mittelmann.

    DAMA at Gran Sasso uses sodium iodide housed in copper to hunt for dark matter LNGS-INFN.

    Yale HAYSTAC axion dark matter experiment at Yale’s Wright Lab.

    DEAP Dark Matter detector, The DEAP-3600, suspended in the SNOLAB (CA) deep in Sudbury’s Creighton Mine.

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD.

    DAMA-LIBRA Dark Matter experiment at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ (INFN’s) Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS) located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

    DARWIN Dark Matter experiment. A design study for a next-generation, multi-ton dark matter detector in Europe at The University of Zurich [Universität Zürich](CH).

    PandaX II Dark Matter experiment at Jin-ping Underground Laboratory (CJPL) in Sichuan, China.

    Inside the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment U Washington (US) Credit : Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 8:39 am on June 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Two Time Crystals Have Been Successfully Linked Together For The First Time", A Bose-Einstein condensate is formed from bosons cooled to just a fraction above absolute zero (but not reaching absolute zero at which point atoms stop moving)., B-phase superfluid, Condensed Matter Physics, Earlier this year a different team of physicists announced that they had successfully created room temperature time crystals that don't need to be isolated from their ambient surroundings., Having a time crystal operating in a two-state system provides rich new pickings as a basis for quantum-based technologies., , Magnons emerge when helium-3 – a stable isotope of helium with two protons but just one neutron – is cooled to within one ten thousandth of a degree of absolute zero., , , , The time crystals formed as spatially distinct Bose-Einstein condensates., The time crystals the team have been working with consist of quasiparticles called magnons.   

    From Lancaster University (UK) via “Science Alert(AU)” : “Two Time Crystals Have Been Successfully Linked Together For The First Time” 

    From Lancaster University (UK)



    “Science Alert(AU)”

    2 JUNE 2022

    (Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting/Moment/Getty Images)

    In condensed matter physics, a time crystal is a quantum system of particles whose lowest-energy state is one in which the particles are in repetitive motion.

    Physicists have just taken an amazing step towards quantum devices that sound like something out of science fiction.

    For the first time, isolated groups of particles behaving like bizarre states of matter known as time crystals have been linked into a single, evolving system that could be incredibly useful in quantum computing.

    Following the first observation of the interaction between two time crystals, detailed in a paper two years ago [Nature Materials], this is the next step towards potentially harnessing time crystals for practical purposes, such as quantum information processing.

    Time crystals, only officially discovered and confirmed a few years ago in 2016, were once thought to be physically impossible. They are a phase of matter very similar to normal crystals, but for one additional, peculiar, and very special property.

    In regular crystals, the atoms are arranged in a fixed, three-dimensional grid structure, like the atomic lattice of a diamond or quartz crystal. These repeating lattices can differ in configuration, but any movement they exhibit comes exclusively from external pushes.

    In time crystals, the atoms behave a bit differently. They exhibit patterns of movement in time that can’t be so easily explained by an external push or shove. These oscillations – referred to as ‘ticking’ – are locked to a regular and particular frequency.

    Theoretically, time crystals tick at their lowest possible energy state – known as the ground state – and are therefore stable and coherent over long periods of time. So, where the structure of regular crystals repeats in space, in time crystals it repeats in space and time, thus exhibiting perpetual ground state motion.

    “Everybody knows that perpetual motion machines are impossible,” says physicist and lead author Samuli Autti of Lancaster University in the UK.

    “However, in quantum physics perpetual motion is okay as long as we keep our eyes closed. By sneaking through this crack we can make time crystals.”

    The time crystals the team have been working with consist of quasiparticles called magnons. Magnons are not true particles, but consist of a collective excitation of the spin of electrons, like a wave that propagates through a lattice of spins.

    Magnons emerge when helium-3 – a stable isotope of helium with two protons but just one neutron – is cooled to within one ten thousandth of a degree of absolute zero. This creates what is called a B-phase superfluid, a zero-viscosity fluid with low pressure.

    In this medium, time crystals formed as spatially distinct Bose-Einstein condensates, each consisting of a trillion magnon quasiparticles.

    A Bose-Einstein condensate is formed from bosons cooled to just a fraction above absolute zero (but not reaching absolute zero at which point atoms stop moving).

    This causes them to sink to their lowest-energy state, moving extremely slowly, and coming together close enough to overlap, producing a high density cloud of atoms that acts like one ‘super atom’ or matter wave.

    When the two time crystals were allowed to touch each other, they exchanged magnons. This exchange influenced the oscillation of each of the time crystals, creating a single system with an option of functioning in two, discrete states.

    In quantum physics, objects that can have more than one state exist in a mix of those states before they’ve been pinned down by a clear measurement. So having a time crystal operating in a two-state system provides rich new pickings as a basis for quantum-based technologies.

    Time crystals are a fair way from being deployed as qubits, as there are a significant number of hurdles to solve first. But the pieces are starting to fall into place.

    Earlier this year a different team of physicists announced that they had successfully created room temperature time crystals that don’t need to be isolated from their ambient surroundings [Nature Communications].

    More sophisticated interactions between time crystals, and the fine control thereof, will need to be developed further, as will observing interacting time crystals without the need for cooled superfluids. But scientists are optimistic.

    “It turns out putting two of them together works beautifully, even if time crystals should not exist in the first place,” Autti says. “And we already know they also exist at room temperature.”

    The research has been published in Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .


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    University of Lancaster (UK) is a collegiate public research university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964, one of several new universities created in the 1960s.

    The university was initially based in St Leonard’s Gate in the city centre, before moving in 1968 to a purpose-built 300 acres (120 ha) campus at Bailrigg, 4 km (2.5 mi) to the south. The campus buildings are arranged around a central walkway known as the Spine, which is connected to a central plaza, named Alexandra Square in honour of its first chancellor, Princess Alexandra.

    Lancaster is one of only six collegiate universities in the UK; the colleges are weakly autonomous. The eight undergraduate colleges are named after places in the historic county of Lancashire, and each have their own campus residence blocks, common rooms, administration staff and bar.

    Lancaster is ranked in the top ten in all three national league tables, and received a Gold rating in the Government’s inaugural (2017) Teaching Excellence Framework. The annual income of the institution for 2018/19 was £317.9 million of which £42.0 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £352.7 million. Along with Durham University (UK), University of Leeds (UK), University of Liverpool (UK), University of Manchester (UK), University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), University of Sheffield (UK) and University of York (UK), Lancaster is a member of the N8 Research Partnership (UK). Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is the visitor of the University.

    Lancaster’s research income for 2015-16 was £38.3 million. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, Lancaster was ranked 18th out of 128 UK universities, including 13th for the percentage of world-leading research. The University places a particular focus on interdisciplinary research, encouraging collaborative research across academic departments.

    In 2012, Lancaster University announced a partnership with the UK’s biggest arms company, (BAE Systems), and four other North-Western universities (Liverpool, University of Salford (UK), University of Central Lancaster (UK) and Manchester) in order to work on the Gamma Programme which aims to develop “autonomous systems”. According to the University of Liverpool when referring to the programme, “autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals.

  • richardmitnick 7:23 pm on May 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Finding Superconductivity in Nickelates", , Condensed Matter Physics, , , ,   

    From The Texas Advanced Computing Center: “Finding Superconductivity in Nickelates” 

    From The Texas Advanced Computing Center


    The University of Texas-Austin

    May 25, 2022
    Aaron Dubrow

    The quantum phenomena that Antia Botana studies occur at the smallest scales known and can only be probed obliquely by physical experiment. Botana uses computational simulations to make predictions, help interpret experiments, and deduce the behavior and dynamics of materials like infinite-layer nickelate.

    The study of superconductivity is littered with disappointments, dead-ends, and serendipitous discoveries, according to Antia Botana, professor of physics at Arizona State University.

    “As theorists, we generally fail in predicting new superconductors,” she said.

    However, in 2021, she experienced the highlight of her early career. Working with experimentalist Julia Mundy at Harvard University, she discovered a new superconducting material —a quintuple-layer nickelate. They reported their findings in Nature Materials in September 2021.

    “It was one of the best moments of my life,” Botana recalled. “I was flying back from Spain, and I received a message from my collaborator Julia Mundy during my layover. When I saw the resistivity drop to zero — there’s nothing better than that.”

    Electronic phase diagram and structural description of the layered nickelates. A: Schematic phase diagram for the electronic phases of the cuprates (top) and nickelates (bottom). B: Crystal structures of the quintuple-layer nickelates in the Nd6Ni5O16 Ruddlesden–Popper phase (left) and Nd6Ni5O12 reduced square-planar phase (right), depicted at the same scale. [Credit: Botana et al.]

    Botana was chosen as a 2022 Sloan Research Fellow. Her research is supported by a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    “Prof. Botana is one of the most influential theorists in the field of unconventional superconductivity, particularly in layered nickelates that have received tremendous attention from the materials and condensed matter physics communities,” said Serdar Ogut, Program Director in the Division of Materials Research at the National Science Foundation. “I expect that her pioneering theoretical studies, in collaboration with leading experimentalists in the US, will continue to push the boundaries, result in the discovery of new superconducting materials, and uncover fundamental mechanisms that could one day pave the way to room temperature superconductivity.”

    Superconductivity is a phenomenon that occurs when electrons form pairs rather than travelling in isolation, repulsing all magnetism, and allowing electrons to travel without losing energy. Developing room-temperature superconductors would allow loss-free electricity transmission and faster, cheaper quantum computers. Studying these materials is the domain of condensed matter theory.

    “We try to understand what are called quantum materials — materials where everything classical that we learned in our undergraduate studies falls apart and no one understands why they do the fun things they do,” Botana joked.

    She began investigating nickelates, largely, to better understand cuprates — copper-oxide based superconductors first discovered in 1986. Thirty years on, the mechanism that produces superconductivity in these materials is still hotly contested.

    Botana approaches the problem by looking at materials that look like cuprates. “Copper and nickel are right next to each other on the periodic table,” she said. “This was an obvious thing to do, so people had been looking at nickelates for a long time without success.”

    But then, in 2019, a team from Stanford discovered superconductivity in a nickelate [Nature], albeit one that had been ‘doped,’ or chemically-altered to improve its electronic characteristics. “The material that they found in 2019 is part of a larger family, which is what we want, because it lets us do comparisons to cuprates in a better way,” she said.

    Botana’s discovery in 2021 built on that foundation, using a form of undoped nickelate with a unique, square-planar, layered structure. She decided to investigate this specific form of nickelate — a rare-earth, quintuple-layer, square-planar nickelate — based on intuition.

    “Having played with many different materials for years, it’s the type of intuition that people who study electronic structure develop,” she said. “I have seen that over the years with my mentors.”

    Identifying another form of superconducting nickelate lets researchers tease out similarities and differences among nickelates and between nickelates and cuprates. So far, the more nickelates that are studied, the more like cuprates they look.

    “The phase diagram seems quite similar. The electron pairing mechanism seems to be the same,” Botana says, “but this is a question yet to be settled.”

    Conventional superconductors exhibit s-wave pairing — electrons can pair in any direction and can sit on top of each other, so the wave is a sphere. Nickelates, on the other hand, likely display d-wave pairing, meaning that the cloudlike quantum wave that describes the paired electrons is shaped like a four-leaf clover. Another key difference is how strongly oxygen and transition metals overlap in these materials. Cuprates exhibit a large ‘super-exchange’ — the material trades electrons in copper atoms through a pathway that contains oxygen, rather than directly.

    “We think that may be one of the factors that governs superconductivity and causes the lower critical temperature of the nickelates,” she said. “We can look for ways of optimizing that characteristic.”

    Botana and colleagues Kwan-Woo Lee, Michael R. Norman, Victor Pardo, Warren E. Pickett described some of these differences in a review article for Frontiers in Physics in February 2022.

    Searching for Root Causes of Superconductivity

    Writing in Physical Review X in March 2022, Botana and collaborators from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Argonne National Labs delved deeper into the role of oxygen states in the low-valence nickelate, La4Ni3O8. Using computational and experimental methods, they compared the material to a prototypical cuprate with a similar electron filling. The work was unique in that it directly measured the energy of the Nickel-Oxygen hybridized states.

    They found that despite requiring more energy to transfer charges, nickelates retained a sizable capacity for superexchange. They conclude that both the “Coulomb interactions” (the attraction or repulsion of particles or objects because of their electric charge) and charge-transfer processes need to be considered when interpreting the properties of nickelates.

    The quantum phenomena that Botana studies occur at the smallest scales known and can only be probed obliquely by physical experiment (as in the Physical Review X paper). Botana uses computational simulations to make predictions, help interpret experiments, and deduce the behavior and dynamics of materials like infinite-layer nickelate.

    Her research uses Density Functional Theory, or DFT — a means of computationally solving the Schrödinger equation that describes the wave function of a quantum-mechanical system — as well as a newer, more precise offshoot known as dynamical mean field theory that can treat electrons that are strongly correlated.

    To conduct her research, Botana uses the Stampede2 supercomputer of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) — the second fastest at any university in the U.S. — as well as machines at Arizona State University. Even on the fastest supercomputers in the world, studying quantum materials is no simple matter.

    “If I see a problem with too many atoms, I say, ‘I can’t study that,'” Botana said. “Twenty years ago, a few atoms might have looked like too much.” But more powerful supercomputers are allowing physicists to study larger, more complicated systems — like nickelates — and add tools, like dynamical mean field theory, that can better capture quantum behavior.

    Despite living in a Golden Age of Discovery, the field of condensed matter physics still doesn’t have the reputation it deserves, Botana says.

    “Your phone or computer would not be possible without research in condensed matter physics — from the screen, to the battery, to the little camera. It’s important for the public to understand that even if it’s fundamental research, and even if the researchers don’t know how it will be used later, this type of research in materials is critical.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin, United States, is an advanced computing research center that provides comprehensive advanced computing resources and support services to researchers in Texas and across the USA. The mission of TACC is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. Specializing in high performance computing, scientific visualization, data analysis & storage systems, software, research & development and portal interfaces, TACC deploys and operates advanced computational infrastructure to enable computational research activities of faculty, staff, and students of UT Austin. TACC also provides consulting, technical documentation, and training to support researchers who use these resources. TACC staff members conduct research and development in applications and algorithms, computing systems design/architecture, and programming tools and environments.

    Founded in 2001, TACC is one of the centers of computational excellence in the United States. Through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, TACC’s resources and services are made available to the national academic research community. TACC is located on UT’s J. J. Pickle Research Campus.

    TACC collaborators include researchers in other UT Austin departments and centers, at Texas universities in the High Performance Computing Across Texas Consortium, and at other U.S. universities and government laboratories.

    TACC Maverick HP NVIDIA supercomputer

    TACC Lonestar Cray XC40 supercomputer

    Dell Poweredge U Texas Austin Stampede Supercomputer. Texas Advanced Computer Center 9.6 PF

    TACC HPE Apollo 8000 Hikari supercomputer

    TACC Ranch long-term mass data storage system

    TACC DELL EMC Stampede2 supercomputer

    Stampede2 Arrives!

    TACC Frontera Dell EMC supercomputer fastest at any university

    University Texas at Austin

    U Texas Austin campus

    The University of Texas-Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution has the nation’s seventh-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

    A Public Ivy, it is a major center for academic research. The university houses seven museums and seventeen libraries, including the LBJ Presidential Library and the Blanton Museum of Art, and operates various auxiliary research facilities, such as the J. J. Pickle Research Campus and the McDonald Observatory. As of November 2020, 13 Nobel Prize winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, two Fields medalists, two Wolf Prize winners, and two Abel prize winners have been affiliated with the school as alumni, faculty members or researchers. The university has also been affiliated with three Primetime Emmy Award winners, and has produced a total of 143 Olympic medalists.

    Student-athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. Its Longhorn Network is the only sports network featuring the college sports of a single university. The Longhorns have won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, six NCAA Division I National Baseball Championships, thirteen NCAA Division I National Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, and has claimed more titles in men’s and women’s sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996.


    The first mention of a public university in Texas can be traced to the 1827 constitution for the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Although Title 6, Article 217 of the Constitution promised to establish public education in the arts and sciences, no action was taken by the Mexican government. After Texas obtained its independence from Mexico in 1836, the Texas Congress adopted the Constitution of the Republic, which, under Section 5 of its General Provisions, stated “It shall be the duty of Congress, as soon as circumstances will permit, to provide, by law, a general system of education.”

    On April 18, 1838, “An Act to Establish the University of Texas” was referred to a special committee of the Texas Congress, but was not reported back for further action. On January 26, 1839, the Texas Congress agreed to set aside fifty leagues of land—approximately 288,000 acres (117,000 ha)—towards the establishment of a publicly funded university. In addition, 40 acres (16 ha) in the new capital of Austin were reserved and designated “College Hill”. (The term “Forty Acres” is colloquially used to refer to the University as a whole. The original 40 acres is the area from Guadalupe to Speedway and 21st Street to 24th Street.)

    In 1845, Texas was annexed into the United States. The state’s Constitution of 1845 failed to mention higher education. On February 11, 1858, the Seventh Texas Legislature approved O.B. 102, an act to establish the University of Texas, which set aside $100,000 in United States bonds toward construction of the state’s first publicly funded university (the $100,000 was an allocation from the $10 million the state received pursuant to the Compromise of 1850 and Texas’s relinquishing claims to lands outside its present boundaries). The legislature also designated land reserved for the encouragement of railroad construction toward the university’s endowment. On January 31, 1860, the state legislature, wanting to avoid raising taxes, passed an act authorizing the money set aside for the University of Texas to be used for frontier defense in west Texas to protect settlers from Indian attacks.

    Texas’s secession from the Union and the American Civil War delayed repayment of the borrowed monies. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, The University of Texas’s endowment was just over $16,000 in warrants and nothing substantive had been done to organize the university’s operations. This effort to establish a University was again mandated by Article 7, Section 10 of the Texas Constitution of 1876 which directed the legislature to “establish, organize and provide for the maintenance, support and direction of a university of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of this State, and styled “The University of Texas”.

    Additionally, Article 7, Section 11 of the 1876 Constitution established the Permanent University Fund, a sovereign wealth fund managed by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas and dedicated to the maintenance of the university. Because some state legislators perceived an extravagance in the construction of academic buildings of other universities, Article 7, Section 14 of the Constitution expressly prohibited the legislature from using the state’s general revenue to fund construction of university buildings. Funds for constructing university buildings had to come from the university’s endowment or from private gifts to the university, but the university’s operating expenses could come from the state’s general revenues.

    The 1876 Constitution also revoked the endowment of the railroad lands of the Act of 1858, but dedicated 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land, along with other property appropriated for the university, to the Permanent University Fund. This was greatly to the detriment of the university as the lands the Constitution of 1876 granted the university represented less than 5% of the value of the lands granted to the university under the Act of 1858 (the lands close to the railroads were quite valuable, while the lands granted the university were in far west Texas, distant from sources of transportation and water). The more valuable lands reverted to the fund to support general education in the state (the Special School Fund).

    On April 10, 1883, the legislature supplemented the Permanent University Fund with another 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land in west Texas granted to the Texas and Pacific Railroad but returned to the state as seemingly too worthless to even survey. The legislature additionally appropriated $256,272.57 to repay the funds taken from the university in 1860 to pay for frontier defense and for transfers to the state’s General Fund in 1861 and 1862. The 1883 grant of land increased the land in the Permanent University Fund to almost 2.2 million acres. Under the Act of 1858, the university was entitled to just over 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land for every mile of railroad built in the state. Had the 1876 Constitution not revoked the original 1858 grant of land, by 1883, the university lands would have totaled 3.2 million acres, so the 1883 grant was to restore lands taken from the university by the 1876 Constitution, not an act of munificence.

    On March 30, 1881, the legislature set forth the university’s structure and organization and called for an election to establish its location. By popular election on September 6, 1881, Austin (with 30,913 votes) was chosen as the site. Galveston, having come in second in the election (with 20,741 votes), was designated the location of the medical department (Houston was third with 12,586 votes). On November 17, 1882, on the original “College Hill,” an official ceremony commemorated the laying of the cornerstone of the Old Main building. University President Ashbel Smith, presiding over the ceremony, prophetically proclaimed “Texas holds embedded in its earth rocks and minerals which now lie idle because unknown, resources of incalculable industrial utility, of wealth and power. Smite the earth, smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth.” The University of Texas officially opened its doors on September 15, 1883.

    Expansion and growth

    In 1890, George Washington Brackenridge donated $18,000 for the construction of a three-story brick mess hall known as Brackenridge Hall (affectionately known as “B.Hall”), one of the university’s most storied buildings and one that played an important place in university life until its demolition in 1952.

    The old Victorian-Gothic Main Building served as the central point of the campus’s 40-acre (16 ha) site, and was used for nearly all purposes. But by the 1930s, discussions arose about the need for new library space, and the Main Building was razed in 1934 over the objections of many students and faculty. The modern-day tower and Main Building were constructed in its place.

    In 1910, George Washington Brackenridge again displayed his philanthropy, this time donating 500 acres (200 ha) on the Colorado River to the university. A vote by the regents to move the campus to the donated land was met with outrage, and the land has only been used for auxiliary purposes such as graduate student housing. Part of the tract was sold in the late-1990s for luxury housing, and there are controversial proposals to sell the remainder of the tract. The Brackenridge Field Laboratory was established on 82 acres (33 ha) of the land in 1967.

    In 1916, Gov. James E. Ferguson became involved in a serious quarrel with the University of Texas. The controversy grew out of the board of regents’ refusal to remove certain faculty members whom the governor found objectionable. When Ferguson found he could not have his way, he vetoed practically the entire appropriation for the university. Without sufficient funding, the university would have been forced to close its doors. In the middle of the controversy, Ferguson’s critics brought to light a number of irregularities on the part of the governor. Eventually, the Texas House of Representatives prepared 21 charges against Ferguson, and the Senate convicted him on 10 of them, including misapplication of public funds and receiving $156,000 from an unnamed source. The Texas Senate removed Ferguson as governor and declared him ineligible to hold office.

    In 1921, the legislature appropriated $1.35 million for the purchase of land next to the main campus. However, expansion was hampered by the restriction against using state revenues to fund construction of university buildings as set forth in Article 7, Section 14 of the Constitution. With the completion of Santa Rita No. 1 well and the discovery of oil on university-owned lands in 1923, the university added significantly to its Permanent University Fund. The additional income from Permanent University Fund investments allowed for bond issues in 1931 and 1947, which allowed the legislature to address funding for the university along with the Agricultural and Mechanical College (now known as Texas A&M University). With sufficient funds to finance construction on both campuses, on April 8, 1931, the Forty Second Legislature passed H.B. 368. which dedicated the Agricultural and Mechanical College a 1/3 interest in the Available University Fund, the annual income from Permanent University Fund investments.

    The University of Texas was inducted into The Association of American Universities in 1929. During World War II, the University of Texas was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

    In 1950, following Sweatt v. Painter, the University of Texas was the first major university in the South to accept an African-American student. John S. Chase went on to become the first licensed African-American architect in Texas.

    In the fall of 1956, the first black students entered the university’s undergraduate class. Black students were permitted to live in campus dorms, but were barred from campus cafeterias. The University of Texas integrated its facilities and desegregated its dorms in 1965. UT, which had had an open admissions policy, adopted standardized testing for admissions in the mid-1950s at least in part as a conscious strategy to minimize the number of Black undergraduates, given that they were no longer able to simply bar their entry after the Brown decision.

    Following growth in enrollment after World War II, the university unveiled an ambitious master plan in 1960 designed for “10 years of growth” that was intended to “boost the University of Texas into the ranks of the top state universities in the nation.” In 1965, the Texas Legislature granted the university Board of Regents to use eminent domain to purchase additional properties surrounding the original 40 acres (160,000 m^2). The university began buying parcels of land to the north, south, and east of the existing campus, particularly in the Blackland neighborhood to the east and the Brackenridge tract to the southeast, in hopes of using the land to relocate the university’s intramural fields, baseball field, tennis courts, and parking lots.

    On March 6, 1967, the Sixtieth Texas Legislature changed the university’s official name from “The University of Texas” to “The University of Texas at Austin” to reflect the growth of the University of Texas System.

    Recent history

    The first presidential library on a university campus was dedicated on May 22, 1971, with former President Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson and then-President Richard Nixon in attendance. Constructed on the eastern side of the main campus, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

    A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled on campus in 1999 and subsequently vandalized. By 2004, John Butler, a professor at the McCombs School of Business suggested moving it to Morehouse College, a historically black college, “a place where he is loved”.

    The University of Texas at Austin has experienced a wave of new construction recently with several significant buildings. On April 30, 2006, the school opened the Blanton Museum of Art. In August 2008, the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center opened, with the hotel and conference center forming part of a new gateway to the university. Also in 2008, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was expanded to a seating capacity of 100,119, making it the largest stadium (by capacity) in the state of Texas at the time.

    On January 19, 2011, the university announced the creation of a 24-hour television network in partnership with ESPN, dubbed the Longhorn Network. ESPN agreed to pay a $300 million guaranteed rights fee over 20 years to the university and to IMG College, the school’s multimedia rights partner. The network covers the university’s intercollegiate athletics, music, cultural arts, and academics programs. The channel first aired in September 2011.

  • richardmitnick 8:37 am on May 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , “Nature is quantum” said Renata Wentzcovitch-a professor at Columbia Engineering and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory., , Condensed Matter Physics, , How Can Quantum Mechanics Help Researchers Understand the Deep Earth?, , , To understand the deep Earth’s evolution and current state researchers must combine information about its material composition with the effects of external forces like temperature and pressure., Wentzcovitch and her team revealed that Earth’s molten iron core solidified upon cooling in a two-step process rather than one., Wentzcovitch applies techniques she helped develop in condensed matter physics to study the nearly 4000 miles of material below our feet.   

    From The Columbia University Quantum Initiative : “How Can Quantum Mechanics Help Researchers Understand the Deep Earth?” 


    From The Columbia University Quantum Initiative


    Columbia U bloc

    Columbia University

    April 22, 2022
    Ellen Neff

    For Earth Day [A little late], learn about how science at its smallest scale is applied to the depths of our planet.

    Our planet is full of mysteries. How exactly did Earth form and evolve to its current state? Why do some places in its interior seem hotter or colder, rising or sinking? For answers, geoscientists experiment on materials expected to be found in Earth’s interior, but these exist at immense pressures and temperatures that are impractical to reproduce in the lab. Renata Wentzcovitch, a condensed matter physicist, says quantum simulations can help.

    “Nature is quantum,” said Renata Wentzcovitch, a professor at Columbia Engineering and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

    Quantum mechanics is a theory concerned with the wave-like motion of minuscule particles, like electrons circling an atom. Atoms and their electrons combine into molecules that form materials that make up the Earth—all of which have quantum properties. Although quantum mechanical equations can be applied to any material, they are most often invoked to describe phenomena that cannot be understood with classical physics, she said.

    During her PhD, Wentzcovitch studied the quantum nature of hard materials, like diamond and graphite, and how extreme temperatures and pressures can change a material’s electronic and structural properties. She then developed quantum simulation methods in her postdoc years to address complex materials. Where else can complex materials subject to extreme conditions be found? The deep Earth.

    To understand the deep Earth’s evolution and current state researchers must combine information about its material composition with the effects of external forces like temperature and pressure. There, Wentzcovitch applies techniques she helped develop in condensed matter physics to study the nearly 4,000 miles of material below our feet.

    For example, last fall, she and colleagues combined more than 15 years of work on a quantum property called the spin state, which occurs in materials containing iron. Combining those results with seismological evidence, the team identified the signature of a spin transition deep within the Earth’s mantel. This strictly quantum phenomenon changes the speed at which sound travels in solids and helps explain the mysterious pattern of seismic velocities observed 1,200 kilometers below ground.

    In January, she and her team revealed that Earth’s molten iron core solidified upon cooling in a two-step process [PNAS], rather than one. This result is another step towards solving a long-standing paradox that says it should have taken longer than the Earth’s age, 4.5 billion years, for its inner core to solidify.

    She and her group are currently working with seismologists and geodynamicists on a reference model of the distribution of mineral phases and their compositions in the Earth’s mantle. All to shed light on the deep Earth’s evolution with the help of quantum simulations.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

  • richardmitnick 3:30 pm on March 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Evolving Quest for a Grand Unified Theory of Mathematics", , Condensed Matter Physics, , ,   

    From Scientific American: “The Evolving Quest for a Grand Unified Theory of Mathematics” 

    From Scientific American

    March 21, 2022
    Rachel Crowell

    Credit: Boris SV/Getty Images.

    More than 50 years after the seeds of a vast collection of mathematical ideas called the Langlands program began to sprout, surprising new findings are emerging.

    Within mathematics, there is a vast and ever expanding web of conjectures, theorems and ideas called the Langlands program. That program links seemingly disconnected subfields. It is such a force that some mathematicians say it—or some aspect of it—belongs in the esteemed ranks of the Millennium Prize Problems, a list of the top open questions in math. Edward Frenkel, a mathematician at the University of California-Berkeley, has even dubbed the Langlands program “a Grand Unified Theory of Mathematics.”

    The program is named after Robert Langlands, a mathematician at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. Four years ago, he was awarded the Abel Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics, for his program, which was described as “visionary.”

    Langlands is retired, but in recent years the project has sprouted into “almost its own mathematical field, with many disparate parts,” which are united by “a common wellspring of inspiration,” says Steven Rayan, a mathematician and mathematical physicist at the University of Saskatchewan. It has “many avatars, some of which are still open, some of which have been resolved in beautiful ways.”

    Increasingly mathematicians are finding links between the original program—and its offshoot, geometric Langlands—and other fields of science. Researchers have already discovered strong links to physics, and Rayan and other scientists continue to explore new ones. He has a hunch that, with time, links will be found between these programs and other areas as well. “I think we’re only at the tip of the iceberg there,” he says. “I think that some of the most fascinating work that will come out of the next few decades is seeing consequences and manifestations of Langlands within parts of science where the interaction with this kind of pure mathematics may have been marginal up until now.” Overall Langlands remains mysterious, Rayan adds, and to know where it is headed, he wants to “see an understanding emerge of where these programs really come from.”

    A Puzzling Web

    The Langlands program has always been a tantalizing dance with the unexpected, according to James Arthur, a mathematician at the University of Toronto (CA). Langlands was Arthur’s adviser at Yale University, where Arthur earned his Ph.D. in 1970. (Langlands declined to be interviewed for this story.)

    “I was essentially his first student, and I was very fortunate to have encountered him at that time,” Arthur says. “He was unlike any mathematician I had ever met. Any question I had, especially about the broader side of mathematics, he would answer clearly, often in a way that was more inspiring than anything I could have imagined.”

    During that time, Langlands laid the foundation for what eventually became his namesake program. In 1969 Langlands famously handwrote a 17-page letter to French mathematician André Weil. In that letter, Langlands shared new ideas that later became known as the “Langlands conjectures.”

    In 1969 Langlands delivered conference lectures in which he shared the seven conjectures that ultimately grew into the Langlands program, Arthur notes. One day Arthur asked his adviser for a copy of a preprint paper based on those lectures.

    “He willingly gave me one, no doubt knowing that it was beyond me,” Arthur says. “But it was also beyond everybody else for many years. I could, however, tell that it was based on some truly extraordinary ideas, even if just about everything in it was unfamiliar to me.”

    The Conjectures at the Heart of It All

    Two conjectures are central to the Langlands program. “Just about everything in the Langlands program comes in one way or another from those,” Arthur says.

    The reciprocity conjecture connects to the work of Alexander Grothendieck, famous for his research in algebraic geometry, including his prediction of “motives.” “I think Grothendieck chose the word [motive] because he saw it as a mathematical analogue of motifs that you have in art, music or literature: hidden ideas that are not explicitly made clear in the art, but things that are behind it that somehow govern how it all fits together,” Arthur says.

    The reciprocity conjecture supposes these motives come from a different type of analytical mathematical object discovered by Langlands called automorphic representations, Arthur notes. “‘Automorphic representation’ is just a buzzword for the objects that satisfy analogues of the Schrödinger equation” from quantum physics, he adds. The Schrödinger equation predicts the likelihood of finding a particle in a certain state.

    The second important conjecture is the functoriality conjecture, also simply called functoriality. It involves classifying number fields. Imagine starting with an equation of one variable whose coefficients are integers—such as x2 + 2x + 3 = 0—and looking for the roots of that equation. The conjecture predicts that the corresponding field will be “the smallest field that you get by taking sums, products and rational number multiples of these roots,” Arthur says.

    Exploring Different Mathematical “Worlds”

    With the original program, Langlands “discovered a whole new world,” Arthur says.

    The offshoot, geometric Langlands, expanded the territory this mathematics covers. Rayan explains the different perspectives the original and geometric programs provide. “Ordinary Langlands is a package of ideas, correspondences, dualities and observations about the world at a point,” he says. “Your world is going to be described by some sequence of relevant numbers. You can measure the temperature where you are; you could measure the strength of gravity at that point,” he adds.

    With the geometric program, however, your environment becomes more complex, with its own geometry. You are free to move about, collecting data at each point you visit. “You might not be so concerned with the individual numbers but more how they are varying as you move around in your world,” Rayan says. The data you gather are “going to be influenced by the geometry,” he says. Therefore, the geometric program “is essentially replacing numbers with functions.”

    Number theory and representation theory are connected by the geometric Langlands program. “Broadly speaking, representation theory is the study of symmetries in mathematics,” says Chris Elliott, a mathematician at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    Using geometric tools and ideas, geometric representation theory expands mathematicians’ understanding of abstract notions connected to symmetry, Elliot notes. That area of representation theory is where the geometric Langlands program “lives,” he says.

    Intersections with Physics

    The geometric program has already been linked to physics, foreshadowing possible connections to other scientific fields.

    In 2018 Kazuki Ikeda, a postdoctoral researcher in Rayan’s group, published a Journal of Mathematical Physics study that he says is connected to an electromagnetic duality that is “a long-known concept in physics” and that is seen in error-correcting codes in quantum computers, for instance. Ikeda says his results “were the first in the world to suggest that the Langlands program is an extremely important and powerful concept that can be applied not only to mathematics but also to condensed-matter physics”—the study of substances in their solid state—“and quantum computation.”

    Connections between condensed-matter physics and the geometric program have recently strengthened, according to Rayan. “In the last year the stage has been set with various kinds of investigations,” he says, including his own work involving the use of algebraic geometry and number theory in the context of quantum matter.

    Other work established links between the geometric program and high-energy physics. In 2007 Anton Kapustin, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and Edward Witten, a mathematical and theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study, published what Rayan calls “a beautiful landmark paper” that “paved the way for an active life for geometric Langlands in theoretical high-energy physics.” In the paper, Kapustin and Witten wrote that they aimed to “show how this program can be understood as a chapter in quantum field theory.”

    Elliott notes that viewing quantum field theory from a mathematical perspective can help glean new information about the structures that are foundational to it. For instance, Langlands may help physicists devise theories for worlds with different numbers of dimensions than our own.

    Besides the geometric program, the original Langlands program is also thought to be fundamental to physics, Arthur says. But exploring that connection “may require first finding an overarching theory that links the original and geometric programs,” he says.

    The reaches of these programs may not stop at math and physics. “I believe, without a doubt, that [they] have interpretations across science,” Rayan says. “The condensed-matter part of the story will lead naturally to forays into chemistry.” Furthermore, he adds, “pure mathematics always makes its way into every other area of science. It’s only a matter of time.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S., has been bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 160 years.

  • richardmitnick 12:47 pm on March 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ASACUSA sees surprising behaviour of hybrid matter–antimatter atoms in superfluid helium", , , , Condensed Matter Physics, , , , ,   

    From The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN]: “ASACUSA sees surprising behaviour of hybrid matter–antimatter atoms in superfluid helium” 

    From The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN]

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    16 March, 2022

    The result may open doors to several lines of research in particle physics and beyond.

    Masaki Hori, ASACUSA co-spokesperson. Image: CERN.

    A hybrid matter­­–antimatter helium atom containing an antiproton, the proton’s antimatter equivalent in place of an electron, has an unexpected response to laser light when immersed in superfluid helium, reports the ASACUSA collaboration [below] at CERN. The result, described in a paper published today in the journal Nature, may open doors to several lines of research.

    “Our study suggests that hybrid matter–antimatter helium atoms could be used beyond particle physics, in particular in condensed-matter physics and perhaps even in astrophysics experiments,” says ASACUSA co-spokesperson Masaki Hori. “We have arguably made the first step in using antiprotons to study condensed matter.”

    The ASACUSA collaboration is well used to making hybrid matter–antimatter helium atoms to determine the antiproton’s mass and compare it with that of the proton. These hybrid atoms contain an antiproton and an electron around the helium nucleus (instead of two electrons around a helium nucleus) and are made by mixing antiprotons produced at CERN’s antimatter factory [below] with a helium gas that has a low atomic density and is kept at low temperature.

    Low gas densities and temperatures have played a key role in these antimatter studies, which involve measuring the response of the hybrid atoms to laser light in order to determine their light spectrum. High gas densities and temperatures result in spectral lines, caused by transitions of the antiproton or electron between energy levels, that are too broad, or even obscured, to allow the mass of the antiproton relative to that of the electron to be determined.

    This is why it came as surprise to the ASACUSA researchers that, when they used liquid helium, which has a much higher density than gaseous helium, in their new study, they saw a decrease in the width of the antiproton spectral lines.

    Moreover, when they decreased the temperature of the liquid helium to values below the temperature at which the liquid becomes a superfluid, i.e. flows without any resistance, they found an abrupt further narrowing of the spectral lines.

    “This behaviour was unexpected,” says Anna Sótér, who was the principal PhD student working on the experiment and is now an assistant professor at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich](CH). “The optical response of the hybrid helium atom in superfluid helium is starkly different to that of the same hybrid atom in high-density gaseous helium, as well as that of many normal atoms in liquids or superfluids.”

    The researchers think that the surprising behaviour observed is linked to the radius of the electronic orbital, i.e. the distance at which the hybrid helium atom’s electron is located. In contrast to that of many normal atoms, the radius of the hybrid atom’s electronic orbital changes very little when laser light is shone on the atom and thus does not affect the spectral lines even when the atom is immersed in superfluid helium. However, further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

    The result has several ramifications. Firstly, researchers may create other hybrid helium atoms, such as pionic helium atoms, in superfluid helium using different antimatter and exotic particles, to study their response to laser light in detail and measure the particle masses. Secondly, the substantial narrowing of the lines in superfluid helium suggests that hybrid helium atoms could be used to study this form of matter and potentially other condensed-matter phases. Finally, the narrow spectral lines could in principle be used to search for cosmic antiprotons or antideuterons (a nucleus made of an antiproton and an antineutron) of particularly low velocity that hit the liquid or superfluid helium that is used to cool experiments in space or in high-altitude balloons. However, numerous technical challenges must be overcome before the method becomes complementary to existing techniques for searching for these forms of antimatter.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries

    Cern Courier


    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ATLAS another view Image Claudia Marcelloni ATLAS.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ALICE.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Compact Muon Solenoid Detector.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherch]LHCb.


    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    CERN LHC underground tunnel and tube.

    CERN SixTrack LHC particles.


    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] AEGIS.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ALPHA Antimatter Factory.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ALPHA-g Detector.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] AMS.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ASACUSA.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ATRAP.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Antiproton Decelerator.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] AWAKE.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] BASE: Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment.

    CERN BASE instrument.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] BASE: Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] CAST Axion Solar Telescope.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] CLOUD.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] COMPASS.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] CRIS experiment.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] DIRAC.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] FASER experiment schematic.

    CERN FASER is designed to study the interactions of high-energy neutrinos and search for new as-yet-undiscovered light and weakly interacting particles. Such particles are dominantly produced along the beam collision axis and may be long-lived particles, travelling hundreds of metres before decaying. The existence of such new particles is predicted by many models beyond the Standard Model that attempt to solve some of the biggest puzzles in physics, such as the nature of dark matter and the origin of neutrino masses.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] GBAR.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ISOLDE Looking down into the ISOLDE experimental hall.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] LHCf.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] The MoEDAL experiment- a new light on the high-energy frontier.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] NA62.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] NA64.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] NTOF.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] TOTEM.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] UA9.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] The SPS’s new RF system. Image: CERN.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Proto Dune.

    HiRadMat -High Radiation to Materials at CERN.

  • richardmitnick 4:07 pm on January 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Going beyond the exascale", , , Classical computers have been central to physics research for decades., Condensed Matter Physics, , , Fermilab has used classical computing to simulate lattice quantum chromodynamics., , , , Planning for a future that is still decades out., Quantum computers could enable physicists to tackle questions even the most powerful computers cannot handle., , Quantum computing is here—sort of., , Solving equations on a quantum computer requires completely new ways of thinking about programming and algorithms., , , The biggest place where quantum simulators will have an impact is in discovery science.   

    From Symmetry: “Going beyond the exascale” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    Emily Ayshford

    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova.

    Quantum computers could enable physicists to tackle questions even the most powerful computers cannot handle.

    After years of speculation, quantum computing is here—sort of.

    Physicists are beginning to consider how quantum computing could provide answers to the deepest questions in the field. But most aren’t getting caught up in the hype. Instead, they are taking what for them is a familiar tack—planning for a future that is still decades out, while making room for pivots, turns and potential breakthroughs along the way.

    “When we’re working on building a new particle collider, that sort of project can take 40 years,” says Hank Lamm, an associate scientist at The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US). “This is on the same timeline. I hope to start seeing quantum computing provide big answers for particle physics before I die. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t interesting physics to do along the way.”

    Equations that overpower even supercomputers.

    Classical computers have been central to physics research for decades, and simulations that run on classical computers have guided many breakthroughs. Fermilab, for example, has used classical computing to simulate lattice quantum chromodynamics. Lattice QCD is a set of equations that describe the interactions of quarks and gluons via the strong force.

    Theorists developed lattice QCD in the 1970s. But applying its equations proved extremely difficult. “Even back in the 1980s, many people said that even if they had an exascale computer [a computer that can perform a billion billion calculations per second], they still couldn’t calculate lattice QCD,” Lamm says.

    Depiction of ANL ALCF Cray Intel SC18 Shasta Aurora exascale supercomputer, to be built at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US).

    Depiction of ORNL Cray Frontier Shasta based Exascale supercomputer with Slingshot interconnect featuring high-performance AMD EPYC CPU and AMD Radeon Instinct GPU technology , being built at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US).

    But that turned out not to be true.

    Within the past 10 to 15 years, researchers have discovered the algorithms needed to make their calculations more manageable, while learning to understand theoretical errors and how to ameliorate them. These advances have allowed them to use a lattice simulation, a simulation that uses a volume of a specified grid of points in space and time as a substitute for the continuous vastness of reality.

    Lattice simulations have allowed physicists to calculate the mass of the proton—a particle made up of quarks and gluons all interacting via the strong force—and find that the theoretical prediction lines up well with the experimental result. The simulations have also allowed them to accurately predict the temperature at which quarks should detach from one another in a quark-gluon plasma.

    Quark-Gluon Plasma from BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider (US).

    DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory(US) RHIC Campus

    The limit of these calculations? Along with being approximate, or based on a confined, hypothetical area of space, only certain properties can be computed efficiently. Try to look at more than that, and even the biggest high-performance computer cannot handle all of the possibilities.

    Enter quantum computers.

    Quantum computers are all about possibilities. Classical computers don’t have the memory to compute the many possible outcomes of lattice QCD problems, but quantum computers take advantage of quantum mechanics to calculate differently.

    Quantum computing isn’t an easy answer, though. Solving equations on a quantum computer requires completely new ways of thinking about programming and algorithms.

    Using a classical computer, when you program code, you can look at its state at all times. You can check a classical computer’s work before it’s done and trouble-shoot if things go wrong. But under the laws of quantum mechanics, you cannot observe any intermediate step of a quantum computation without corrupting the computation; you can observe only the final state.

    That means you can’t store any information in an intermediate state and bring it back later, and you cannot clone information from one set of qubits into another, making error correction difficult.

    “It can be a nightmare designing an algorithm for quantum computation,” says Lamm, who spends his days trying to figure out how to do quantum simulations for high-energy physics. “Everything has to be redesigned from the ground up. We are right at the beginning of understanding how to do this.”

    Just getting started

    Quantum computers have already proved useful in basic research. Condensed matter physicists—whose research relates to phases of matter—have spent much more time than particle physicists thinking about how quantum computers and simulators can help them. They have used quantum simulators to explore quantum spin liquid states [Science] and to observe a previously unobserved phase of matter called a prethermal time crystal [Science].

    “The biggest place where quantum simulators will have an impact is in discovery science, in discovering new phenomena like this that exist in nature,” says Norman Yao, an assistant professor at The University of California-Berkeley (US) and co-author on the time crystal paper.

    Quantum computers are showing promise in particle physics and astrophysics. Many physics and astrophysics researchers are using quantum computers to simulate “toy problems”—small, simple versions of much more complicated problems. They have, for example, used quantum computing to test parts of theories of quantum gravity [npj Quantum Information] or create proof-of-principle models, like models of the parton showers that emit from particle colliders [Physical Review Letters] such as the Large Hadron Collider.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN].

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    CERN LHC tube in the tunnel. Credit: Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan.

    SixTRack CERN LHC particles.

    “Physicists are taking on the small problems, ones that they can solve with other ways, to try to understand how quantum computing can have an advantage,” says Roni Harnik, a scientist at Fermilab. “Learning from this, they can build a ladder of simulations, through trial and error, to more difficult problems.”

    But just which approaches will succeed, and which will lead to dead ends, remains to be seen. Estimates of how many qubits will be needed to simulate big enough problems in physics to get breakthroughs range from thousands to (more likely) millions. Many in the field expect this to be possible in the 2030s or 2040s.

    “In high-energy physics, problems like these are clearly a regime in which quantum computers will have an advantage,” says Ning Bao, associate computational scientist at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US). “The problem is that quantum computers are still too limited in what they can do.”

    Starting with physics

    Some physicists are coming at things from a different perspective: They’re looking to physics to better understand quantum computing.

    John Preskill is a physics professor at The California Institute of Technology (US) and an early leader in the field of quantum computing. A few years ago, he and Patrick Hayden, professor of physics at Stanford University (US), showed that if you entangled two photons and threw one into a black hole, decoding the information that eventually came back out via Hawking radiation would be significantly easier than if you had used non-entangled particles. Physicists Beni Yoshida and Alexei Kitaev then came up with an explicit protocol for such decoding, and Yao went a step further, showing that protocol could also be a powerful tool in characterizing quantum computers.

    “We took something that was thought about in terms of high-energy physics and quantum information science, then thought of it as a tool that could be used in quantum computing,” Yao says.

    That sort of cross-disciplinary thinking will be key to moving the field forward, physicists say.

    “Everyone is coming into this field with different expertise,” Bao says. “From computing, or physics, or quantum information theory—everyone gets together to bring different perspectives and figure out problems. There are probably many ways of using quantum computing to study physics that we can’t predict right now, and it will just be a matter of getting the right two people in a room together.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 10:45 am on January 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Cuprates": materials that can be viewed as containing anionic copper complexes., "Newly discovered type of ‘strange metal’ could lead to deep insights", "Strange metals": A type of system where charge carriers are bosons-something that's never been seen before., , “Strange metals”: a class of materials that are related to high-temperature superconductors., Boltzmann’s constant: represents the energy produced by random thermal motion., Bosons follow very different rules from fermions., , , Condensed Matter Physics, Cooper pairs: a pair of electrons (or other fermions) bound together at low temperatures., Cuprates are most famous for being high-temperature superconductors meaning they conduct electricity with zero resistance at temperatures far above that of normal superconductors., Fermi liquid theory: a theoretical model of interacting fermions that describes the normal state of most metals at sufficiently low temperatures., , , Planck’s constant: relates to the energy of a photon (a particle of light)., This is the first time "strange metal" behavior has been seen in a bosonic system., While electrons belong to a class of particles called fermions Cooper pairs of electrons act as bosons.   

    From Brown University (US): “Newly discovered type of ‘strange metal’ could lead to deep insights” 

    From Brown University (US)

    January 12, 2022

    Kevin Stacey

    A new discovery could help scientists to understand “strange metals,” a class of materials that are related to high-temperature superconductors and share fundamental quantum attributes with black holes.

    Using a material called yttrium barium copper oxide arrayed with tiny holes, researchers have discovered “strange metal” behavior in a type of system where charge carriers are bosons-something that’s never been seen before.

    Scientists understand quite well how temperature affects electrical conductance in most everyday metals like copper or silver. But in recent years, researchers have turned their attention to a class of materials that do not seem to follow the traditional electrical rules. Understanding these so-called “strange metals” could provide fundamental insights into the quantum world, and potentially help scientists understand strange phenomena like high-temperature superconductivity.

    Now, a research team co-led by a Brown University physicist has added a new discovery to the “strange metal” mix. In research published in the journal Nature [“Signatures of a ‘strange metal’ in a bosonic system”], the team found “strange metal” behavior in a material in which electrical charge is carried not by electrons, but by more “wave-like” entities called Cooper pairs.

    While electrons belong to a class of particles called fermions Cooper pairs of electrons act as bosons, which follow very different rules from fermions. This is the first time “strange metal” behavior has been seen in a bosonic system, and researchers are hopeful that the discovery might be helpful in finding an explanation for how “strange metals” work — something that has eluded scientists for decades.

    “We have these two fundamentally different types of particles whose behaviors converge around a mystery,” said Jim Valles, a professor of physics at Brown and the study’s corresponding author. “What this says is that any theory to explain “strange metal” behavior can’t be specific to either type of particle. It needs to be more fundamental than that.”

    “Strange metals”

    “Strange metal” behavior was first discovered around 30 years ago in a class of materials called cuprates. These copper-oxide materials are most famous for being high-temperature superconductors, meaning they conduct electricity with zero resistance at temperatures far above that of normal superconductors. But even at temperatures above the critical temperature for superconductivity, cuprates act strangely compared to other metals.

    As their temperature increases, cuprates’ resistance increases in a strictly linear fashion. In normal metals, the resistance increases only so far, becoming constant at high temperatures in accord with what’s known as Fermi liquid theory. Resistance arises when electrons flowing in a metal bang into the metal’s vibrating atomic structure, causing them to scatter. Fermi-liquid theory sets a maximum rate at which electron scattering can occur. But strange metals don’t follow the Fermi-liquid rules, and no one is sure how they work. What scientists do know is that the temperature-resistance relationship in strange metals appears to be related to two fundamental constants of nature: Boltzmann’s constant, which represents the energy produced by random thermal motion, and Planck’s constant, which relates to the energy of a photon (a particle of light).

    “To try to understand what’s happening in these strange metals, people have applied mathematical approaches similar to those used to understand black holes,” Valles said. “So there’s some very fundamental physics happening in these materials.”

    Of bosons and fermions

    In recent years, Valles and his colleagues have been studying electrical activity in which the charge carriers are not electrons. In 1952, Nobel Laureate Leon Cooper, now a Brown professor emeritus of physics, discovered that in normal superconductors (not the high-temperature kind discovered later), electrons team up to form Cooper pairs, which can glide through an atomic lattice with no resistance. Despite being formed by two electrons, which are fermions, Cooper pairs can act as bosons.

    “Fermion and boson systems usually behave very differently,” Valles said. “Unlike individual fermions, bosons are allowed to share the same quantum state, which means they can move collectively like water molecules in the ripples of a wave.”

    In 2019, Valles and his colleagues showed that Cooper pair bosons can produce metallic behavior, meaning they can conduct electricity with some amount of resistance. That in itself was a surprising finding, the researchers say, because elements of quantum theory suggested that the phenomenon shouldn’t be possible. For this latest research, the team wanted to see if bosonic Cooper-pair metals were also “strange metals”.

    The team used a cuprate material called yttrium barium copper oxide patterned with tiny holes that induce the Cooper-pair metallic state. The team cooled the material down to just above its superconducting temperature to observe changes in its conductance. They found, like fermionic “strange metals”, a Cooper-pair metal conductance that is linear with temperature.

    The researchers say this new discovery will give theorists something new to chew on as they try to understand “strange metal” behavior.

    “It’s been a challenge for theoreticians to come up with an explanation for what we see in ‘strange metals’,” Valles said. “Our work shows that if you’re going to model charge transport in “strange metals”, that model must apply to both fermions and bosons — even though these types of particles follow fundamentally different rules.”

    Ultimately, a theory of “strange metals” could have massive implications. “Strange metal” behavior could hold the key to understanding high-temperature superconductivity, which has vast potential for things like lossless power grids and quantum computers. And because “strange metal” behavior seems to be related to fundamental constants of the universe, understanding their behavior could shed light on basic truths of how the physical world works.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Welcome to Brown

    Brown U Robinson Hall

    Brown University (US) is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

    At its foundation, Brown University was the first college in North America to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation. The university is home to the oldest applied mathematics program in the United States, the oldest engineering program in the Ivy League, and the third-oldest medical program in New England. The university was one of the early doctoral-granting U.S. institutions in the late 19th century, adding masters and doctoral studies in 1887. In 1969, Brown adopted its “Open Curriculum” after a period of student lobbying. The new curriculum eliminated mandatory “general education” distribution requirements, made students “the architects of their own syllabus” and allowed them to take any course for a grade of satisfactory (Pass) or no-credit (Fail) which is unrecorded on external transcripts. In 1971, Brown’s coordinate women’s institution, Pembroke College (US), was fully merged into the university.

    Admission is among the most selective in the United States; in 2021, the university reported an acceptance rate of 5.4%.

    The university comprises the College; the Graduate School; Alpert Medical School; the School of Engineering; the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies. Brown’s international programs are organized through The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University (US), and the university is academically affiliated with the UChicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (US) and The Rhode Island School of Design (US). In conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown offers undergraduate and graduate dual degree programs.

    Brown’s main campus is located in the College Hill neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. The university is surrounded by a federally listed architectural district with a dense concentration of Colonial-era buildings. Benefit Street, which runs along the western edge of the campus, contains one of the richest concentrations of 17th and 18th century architecture in the United States.

    As of November 2019, nine Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with Brown as alumni, faculty, or researchers, as well as seven National Humanities Medalists and ten National Medal of Science laureates. Other notable alumni include 26 Pulitzer Prize winners, 18 billionaires, one U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, four U.S. Secretaries of State, 99 members of the United States Congress, 57 Rhodes Scholars, 21 MacArthur Genius Fellows, and 37 Olympic medalists.

    The foundation and the charter
    In 1761, three residents of Newport, Rhode Island, drafted a petition to the colony’s General Assembly:

    “That your Petitioners propose to open a literary institution or School for instructing young Gentlemen in the Languages, Mathematics, Geography & History, & such other branches of Knowledge as shall be desired. That for this End… it will be necessary… to erect a public Building or Buildings for the boarding of the youth & the Residence of the Professors.”

    The three petitioners were Ezra Stiles, pastor of Newport’s Second Congregational Church and future president of Yale University (US); William Ellery, Jr., future signer of the United States Declaration of Independence; and Josias Lyndon, future governor of the colony. Stiles and Ellery later served as co-authors of the college’s charter two years later. The editor of Stiles’s papers observes, “This draft of a petition connects itself with other evidence of Dr. Stiles’s project for a Collegiate Institution in Rhode Island, before the charter of what became Brown University.”

    The Philadelphia Association of Baptist Churches were also interested in establishing a college in Rhode Island—home of the mother church of their denomination. At the time, the Baptists were unrepresented among the colonial colleges; the Congregationalists had Harvard University (US) and Yale, the Presbyterians had the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University (US)), and the Episcopalians had The William & Mary College (US) and King’s College (later Columbia University(US)). Isaac Backus, a historian of the New England Baptists and an inaugural trustee of Brown, wrote of the October 1762 resolution taken at Philadelphia:

    “The Philadelphia Association obtained such an acquaintance with our affairs, as to bring them to an apprehension that it was practicable and expedient to erect a college in the Colony of Rhode-Island, under the chief direction of the Baptists; … Mr. James Manning, who took his first degree in New-Jersey college in September, 1762, was esteemed a suitable leader in this important work.”

    James Manning arrived at Newport in July 1763 and was introduced to Stiles, who agreed to write the charter for the college. Stiles’ first draft was read to the General Assembly in August 1763 and rejected by Baptist members who worried that their denomination would be underrepresented in the College Board of Fellows. A revised charter written by Stiles and Ellery was adopted by the Rhode Island General Assembly on March 3, 1764, in East Greenwich.

    In September 1764, the inaugural meeting of the corporation—the college’s governing body—was held in Newport’s Old Colony House. Governor Stephen Hopkins was chosen chancellor, former and future governor Samuel Ward vice chancellor, John Tillinghast treasurer, and Thomas Eyres secretary. The charter stipulated that the board of trustees should be composed of 22 Baptists, five Quakers, five Episcopalians, and four Congregationalists. Of the 12 Fellows, eight should be Baptists—including the college president—”and the rest indifferently of any or all Denominations.”

    At the time of its creation, Brown’s charter was a uniquely progressive document. Other colleges had curricular strictures against opposing doctrines, while Brown’s charter asserted, “Sectarian differences of opinions, shall not make any Part of the Public and Classical Instruction.” The document additionally “recognized more broadly and fundamentally than any other [university charter] the principle of denominational cooperation.” The oft-repeated statement that Brown’s charter alone prohibited a religious test for College membership is inaccurate; other college charters were similarly liberal in that particular.

    The college was founded as Rhode Island College, at the site of the First Baptist Church in Warren, Rhode Island. James Manning was sworn in as the college’s first president in 1765 and remained in the role until 1791. In 1766, the college authorized Rev. Morgan Edwards to travel to Europe to “solicit Benefactions for this Institution.” During his year-and-a-half stay in the British Isles, the reverend secured funding from benefactors including Thomas Penn and Benjamin Franklin.

    In 1770, the college moved from Warren to Providence. To establish a campus, John and Moses Brown purchased a four-acre lot on the crest of College Hill on behalf of the school. The majority of the property fell within the bounds of the original home lot of Chad Brown, an ancestor of the Browns and one of the original proprietors of Providence Plantations. After the college was relocated to the city, work began on constructing its first building.

    A building committee, organized by the corporation, developed plans for the college’s first purpose-built edifice, finalizing a design on February 9, 1770. The subsequent structure, referred to as “The College Edifice” and later as University Hall, may have been modeled on Nassau Hall, built 14 years prior at the College of New Jersey. President Manning, an active member of the building process, was educated at Princeton and might have suggested that Brown’s first building resemble that of his alma mater.

    The College

    Founded in 1764, the college is Brown’s oldest school. About 7,200 undergraduate students are enrolled in the college, and 81 concentrations are offered. For the graduating class of 2020 the most popular concentrations were Computer Science; Economics; Biology; History; Applied Mathematics; International Relations and Political Science. A quarter of Brown undergraduates complete more than one concentration before graduating. If the existing programs do not align with their intended curricular interests, undergraduates may design and pursue independent concentrations.

    35 percent of undergraduates pursue graduate or professional study immediately, 60 percent within 5 years, and 80 percent within 10 years. For the Class of 2009, 56 percent of all undergraduate alumni have since earned graduate degrees. Among undergraduate alumni who go on to receive graduate degrees, the most common degrees earned are J.D. (16%), M.D. (14%), M.A. (14%), M.Sc. (14%), and Ph.D. (11%). The most common institutions from which undergraduate alumni earn graduate degrees are Brown University, Columbia University, and Harvard University.

    The highest fields of employment for undergraduate alumni ten years after graduation are education and higher education (15%), medicine (9%), business and finance (9%), law (8%), and computing and technology (7%).

    Brown and RISD

    Since its 1893 relocation to College Hill, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has bordered Brown to its west. Since 1900, Brown and RISD students have been able to cross-register at the two institutions, with Brown students permitted to take as many as four courses at RISD to count towards their Brown degree. The two institutions partner to provide various student-life services and the two student bodies compose a synergy in the College Hill cultural scene.


    Brown University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. For their 2021 rankings, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranked Brown 5th in the Best Colleges 2021 edition.

    The Forbes Magazine annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges 2021—which ranked 600 research universities, liberal arts colleges and service academies—ranked Brown 26th overall and 23rd among universities.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked Brown 14th among national universities in its 2021 edition.[162] The 2021 edition also ranked Brown 1st for undergraduate teaching, 20th in Most Innovative Schools, and 18th in Best Value Schools.

    Washington Monthly ranked Brown 37th in 2020 among 389 national universities in the U.S. based on its contribution to the public good, as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

    For 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranks Brown 102nd globally.

    In 2014, Forbes Magazine ranked Brown 7th on its list of “America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities.” The Forbes analysis looked at the ratio of “alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn” and the total number of alumni and students.

    LinkedIn particularized the Forbes rankings, placing Brown third (between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) and Princeton) among “Best Undergraduate Universities for Software Developers at Startups.” LinkedIn’s methodology involved a career-path examination of “millions of alumni profiles” in its membership database.

    In 2020, U.S. News ranked Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School the 9th most selective in the country, with an acceptance rate of 2.8 percent.

    According to 2020 data from The Department of Education (US), the median starting salary of Brown computer science graduates was the highest in the United States.

    In 2020, Brown produced the second-highest number of Fulbright winners. For the three years prior, the university produced the most Fulbright winners of any university in the nation.


    Brown is member of The Association of American Universities (US) since 1933 and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. In FY 2017, Brown spent $212.3 million on research and was ranked 103rd in the United States by total R&D expenditure by The National Science Foundation (US).

  • richardmitnick 11:02 pm on January 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Semiconductor demonstrates elusive quantum physics model", An elusive model that was first proposed more than a decade ago but which scientists have never able to demonstrate because a suitable material didn’t seem to exist., Condensed Matter Physics, , , The Hall effect first observed in the late 19th century., The quantum anomalous Hall insulator-first discovered in 2013, The two states of matter have never before been demonstrated in the same system., The two-dimensional topological insulator   

    From The Cornell Chronicle (US) and The Cornell University College of Engineering (US) : “Semiconductor demonstrates elusive quantum physics model” 

    From The Cornell Chronicle (US)



    The Cornell University College of Engineering (US)

    January 11, 2022
    David Nutt

    Credit: CC0 Public Domain

    With a little twist and the turn of a voltage knob, Cornell researchers have shown that a single material system can toggle between two of the wildest states in condensed matter physics: the quantum anomalous Hall insulator and the two-dimensional topological insulator.

    By doing so, they realized an elusive model that was first proposed more than a decade ago, but which scientists have never able to demonstrate because a suitable material didn’t seem to exist. Now that the researchers have created the right platform, their breakthrough could lead to advances in quantum devices.

    The team’s paper is published Dec. 22 in Nature. The co-lead authors are former postdoctoral researchers Tingxin Li and Shengwei Jiang, doctoral student Bowen Shen and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) researcher Yang Zhang.

    The project is the latest discovery from the shared lab of Kin Fai Mak, associate professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Jie Shan, professor of applied and engineering physics in the College of Engineering, the paper’s co-senior authors. Both researchers are members of The Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science; they came to Cornell through the provost’s Nanoscale Science and Microsystems Engineering (NEXT Nano) initiative.

    Their lab specializes in exploring the electronic properties of 2D quantum materials, often by stacking ultrathin monolayers of semiconductors so their slightly mismatched overlap creates a moiré lattice pattern. There, electrons can be deposited and interact with each other to exhibit a range of quantum behavior.

    For the new project, the researchers paired molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe2) with tungsten diselenide (WSe2), twisting them at a 180-degree angle for a configuration that is known as an AB stack.

    After applying a voltage, they observed what’s known as a quantum anomalous Hall effect. This has its roots in a phenomenon called the Hall effect first observed in the late 19th century, in which electrical current is flowed through a sample and then bent by a magnetic field that is applied at a perpendicular angle.

    The quantum Hall effect, discovered in 1980, is the supersized version, in which a far greater magnetic field is applied, triggering even stranger phenomena: The interior of the bulk sample becomes an insulator, while an electrical current moves in a single direction along the outer edge, with resistances quantized to a value defined by the fundamental constants in the universe, regardless of the details of the material.

    The quantum anomalous Hall insulator, first discovered in 2013, achieves the same effect but without the intervention of any magnetic field, the electrons speeding along the edge as if on a highway, without dissipating energy, somewhat like a superconductor.

    “For a long time people thought that a magnetic field is needed for the quantum Hall effect, but you actually don’t need one,” Mak said. “So what replaces the role of a magnetic field? It turns out that it is magnetism. You have to make the material magnetic.”

    The MoTe2/WSe2 stack now joins the ranks of only handful of materials that are known to be quantum anomalous Hall insulators. But that is only half of its appeal.

    The researchers found that by simply tweaking the voltage, they could turn their semiconductor stack into a 2D topological insulator, which is a cousin of sorts to the quantum anomalous Hall insulator, except that it exists in duplicate. In one “copy,” the electron highway flows clockwise around the edge, and in the other, it flows counterclockwise.

    The two states of matter have never before been demonstrated in the same system.

    After consulting with collaborators led by co-author Liang Fu at MIT, the Cornell team learned its experiment had realized a toy model for graphene first proposed by physics professors Charles Kane and Eugene Mele at The University of Pennsylvania (US) in 2005. The Kane-Mele model was the first theoretical model for 2D topological insulators.

    “That was a surprise to us,” Mak said. “We just made this material and did the measurements. We saw the quantum anomalous Hall effect and the 2D topological insulator and said ‘Oh, wow. That’s great.’ Then we talked to our theory friend, Liang Fu, at MIT. They did the calculations and figured out the material actually realized a long sought-after model in condensed matter. We never expected this.”

    Like graphene moiré materials, MoTe2/WSe2 can switch between a range of quantum states, including a transition from a metal to a Mott insulator, a discovery the team reported in Nature in September.

    Now Mak and Shan’s lab is investigating the full potential of the material by coupling it with superconductors and using it to build quantum anomalous Hall interferometers, both of which in turn could generate qubits, the basic element for quantum computing. Mak is also hopeful they may find a way to significantly raise the temperature at which the quantum anomalous Hall effect occurs – which is at about 2 kelvin – resulting in a high-temperature dissipationless conductor.

    Co-authors include doctoral students Lizhong Li and Zui Tao; and researchers from MIT and The National Institute for Materials Science (JP).

    The research was primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, with additional support from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, the Simons Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Cornell University College of Engineering is a division of Cornell University that was founded in 1870 as the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts. It is one of four private undergraduate colleges at Cornell that are not statutory colleges.

    It currently grants bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in a variety of engineering and applied science fields, and is the third largest undergraduate college at Cornell by student enrollment. The college offers over 450 engineering courses, and has an annual research budget exceeding US$112 million.

    The Cornell University College of Engineering was founded in 1870 as the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts. The program was housed in Sibley Hall on what has since become the Arts Quad, both of which are named for Hiram Sibley, the original benefactor whose contributions were used to establish the program. The college took its current name in 1919 when the Sibley College merged with the College of Civil Engineering. It was housed in Sibley, Lincoln, Franklin, Rand, and Morse Halls. In the 1950s the college moved to the southern end of Cornell’s campus.

    Cassier’s Magazine, December 1891, featured an article about the College.

    The college is known for a number of firsts. In 1889, the college took over electrical engineering from the Department of Physics, establishing the first department in the United States in this field. The college awarded the nation’s first doctorates in both electrical engineering and industrial engineering. The Department of Computer Science, established in 1965 jointly under the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, is also one of the oldest in the country.

    For many years, the college offered a five-year undergraduate degree program. However, in the 1960s, the course was shortened to four years for a B.S. degree with an optional fifth year leading to a masters of engineering degree. From the 1950s to the 1970s, Cornell offered a Master of Nuclear Engineering program, with graduates gaining employment in the nuclear industry. However, after the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island, employment opportunities in that field dimmed and the program was dropped. Cornell continued to operate its on-campus nuclear reactor as a research facility following the close of the program. For most of Cornell’s history, Geology was taught in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, in the 1970s, the department was shifted to the engineering college and Snee Hall was built to house the program. After World War II, the Graduate School of Aerospace Engineering was founded as a separate academic unit, but later merged into the engineering college.

    Cornell Engineering is home to many teams that compete in student design competitions and other engineering competitions. Presently, there are teams that compete in the Baja SAE, Automotive X-Prize (see Cornell 100+ MPG Team), UNP Satellite Program, DARPA Grand Challenge, AUVSI Unmanned Aerial Systems and Underwater Vehicle Competition, Formula SAE, RoboCup, Solar Decathlon, Genetically Engineered Machines, and others.

    Cornell’s College of Engineering is currently ranked 12th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, making it ranked 1st among engineering schools/programs in the Ivy League. The engineering physics program at Cornell was ranked as being No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report in 2008. Cornell’s operations research and industrial engineering program ranked fourth in nation, along with the master’s program in financial engineering. Cornell’s computer science program ranks among the top five in the world, and it ranks fourth in the quality of graduate education.

    The college is a leader in nanotechnology. In a survey done by a nanotechnology magazine Cornell University was ranked as being the best at nanotechnology commercialization, 2nd best in terms of nanotechnology facilities, the 4th best at nanotechnology research and the 10th best at nanotechnology industrial outreach.

    Departments and schools

    With about 3,000 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students, the college is the third-largest undergraduate college at Cornell by student enrollment. It is divided into twelve departments and schools:

    School of Applied and Engineering Physics
    Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
    Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering
    Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Department of Computer Science
    Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    School of Operations Research and Information Engineering
    Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
    Department of Systems Engineering

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

    Cornell University(US) is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s founding principle, a popular 1868 quotation from founder Ezra Cornell: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

    The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its specific admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar, and The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute(US) in New York City, a graduate program that incorporates technology, business, and creative thinking. The program moved from Google’s Chelsea Building in New York City to its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island in September 2017.

    Cornell is one of the few private land grant universities in the United States. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges through The State University of New York(US) (SUNY) system, including its Agricultural and Human Ecology colleges as well as its Industrial Labor Relations school. Of Cornell’s graduate schools, only the veterinary college is state-supported. As a land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but is much larger when the Cornell Botanic Gardens (more than 4,300 acres) and the numerous university-owned lands in New York City are considered.

    Alumni and affiliates of Cornell have reached many notable and influential positions in politics, media, and science. As of January 2021, 61 Nobel laureates, four Turing Award winners and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Cornell. Cornell counts more than 250,000 living alumni, and its former and present faculty and alumni include 34 Marshall Scholars, 33 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, 55 Olympic Medalists, 10 current Fortune 500 CEOs, and 35 billionaire alumni. Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission has not been restricted by religion or race. The student body consists of more than 15,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 119 countries.


    Cornell University was founded on April 27, 1865; the New York State (NYS) Senate authorized the university as the state’s land grant institution. Senator Ezra Cornell offered his farm in Ithaca, New York, as a site and $500,000 of his personal fortune as an initial endowment. Fellow senator and educator Andrew Dickson White agreed to be the first president. During the next three years, White oversaw the construction of the first two buildings and traveled to attract students and faculty. The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day.

    Cornell developed as a technologically innovative institution, applying its research to its own campus and to outreach efforts. For example, in 1883 it was one of the first university campuses to use electricity from a water-powered dynamo to light the grounds. Since 1894, Cornell has included colleges that are state funded and fulfill statutory requirements; it has also administered research and extension activities that have been jointly funded by state and federal matching programs.

    Cornell has had active alumni since its earliest classes. It was one of the first universities to include alumni-elected representatives on its Board of Trustees. Cornell was also among the Ivies that had heightened student activism during the 1960s related to cultural issues; civil rights; and opposition to the Vietnam War, with protests and occupations resulting in the resignation of Cornell’s president and the restructuring of university governance. Today the university has more than 4,000 courses. Cornell is also known for the Residential Club Fire of 1967, a fire in the Residential Club building that killed eight students and one professor.

    Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2004, the university opened the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. It has partnerships with institutions in India, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China. Former president Jeffrey S. Lehman described the university, with its high international profile, a “transnational university”. On March 9, 2004, Cornell and Stanford University(US) laid the cornerstone for a new ‘Bridging the Rift Center’ to be built and jointly operated for education on the Israel–Jordan border.


    Cornell, a research university, is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue PhDs in engineering or the natural sciences at American institutions, and fifth in the world in producing graduates who pursue PhDs at American institutions in any field. Research is a central element of the university’s mission; in 2009 Cornell spent $671 million on science and engineering research and development, the 16th highest in the United States. Cornell is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    For the 2016–17 fiscal year, the university spent $984.5 million on research. Federal sources constitute the largest source of research funding, with total federal investment of $438.2 million. The agencies contributing the largest share of that investment are The Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation(US), accounting for 49.6% and 24.4% of all federal investment, respectively. Cornell was on the top-ten list of U.S. universities receiving the most patents in 2003, and was one of the nation’s top five institutions in forming start-up companies. In 2004–05, Cornell received 200 invention disclosures; filed 203 U.S. patent applications; completed 77 commercial license agreements; and distributed royalties of more than $4.1 million to Cornell units and inventors.

    Since 1962, Cornell has been involved in unmanned missions to Mars. In the 21st century, Cornell had a hand in the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Cornell’s Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator for the Athena Science Payload, led the selection of the landing zones and requested data collection features for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. NASA-JPL/Caltech(US) engineers took those requests and designed the rovers to meet them. The rovers, both of which have operated long past their original life expectancies, are responsible for the discoveries that were awarded 2004 Breakthrough of the Year honors by Science. Control of the Mars rovers has shifted between National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech and Cornell’s Space Sciences Building.

    Further, Cornell researchers discovered the rings around the planet Uranus, and Cornell built and operated the telescope at Arecibo Observatory located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico(US) until 2011, when they transferred the operations to SRI International, the Universities Space Research Association (US) and the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico [Universidad Metropolitana de Puerto Rico](US).

    The Automotive Crash Injury Research Project was begun in 1952. It pioneered the use of crash testing, originally using corpses rather than dummies. The project discovered that improved door locks; energy-absorbing steering wheels; padded dashboards; and seat belts could prevent an extraordinary percentage of injuries.

    In the early 1980s, Cornell deployed the first IBM 3090-400VF and coupled two IBM 3090-600E systems to investigate coarse-grained parallel computing. In 1984, the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing, to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States. As a National Science Foundation (US) center, Cornell deployed the first IBM Scalable Parallel supercomputer.

    In the 1990s, Cornell developed scheduling software and deployed the first supercomputer built by Dell. Most recently, Cornell deployed Red Cloud, one of the first cloud computing services designed specifically for research. Today, the center is a partner on the National Science Foundation XSEDE-Extreme Science Eniginnering Discovery Environment supercomputing program, providing coordination for XSEDE architecture and design, systems reliability testing, and online training using the Cornell Virtual Workshop learning platform.

    Cornell scientists have researched the fundamental particles of nature for more than 70 years. Cornell physicists, such as Hans Bethe, contributed not only to the foundations of nuclear physics but also participated in the Manhattan Project. In the 1930s, Cornell built the second cyclotron in the United States. In the 1950s, Cornell physicists became the first to study synchrotron radiation.

    During the 1990s, the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, located beneath Alumni Field, was the world’s highest-luminosity electron-positron collider. After building the synchrotron at Cornell, Robert R. Wilson took a leave of absence to become the founding director of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US), which involved designing and building the largest accelerator in the United States.

    Cornell’s accelerator and high-energy physics groups are involved in the design of the proposed ILC-International Linear Collider(JP) and plan to participate in its construction and operation. The International Linear Collider(JP), to be completed in the late 2010s, will complement the CERN Large Hadron Collider(CH) and shed light on questions such as the identity of dark matter and the existence of extra dimensions.

    As part of its research work, Cornell has established several research collaborations with universities around the globe. For example, a partnership with the University of Sussex(UK) (including the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex) allows research and teaching collaboration between the two institutions.

  • richardmitnick 2:12 pm on January 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists detect a hybrid particle held together by uniquely intense 'glue'", Antiferromagnets, , Condensed Matter Physics, , , , , The discovery could offer a route to smaller and faster electronic devices.,   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) : “Physicists detect a hybrid particle held together by uniquely intense ‘glue'” 

    MIT News

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    January 10, 2022
    Jennifer Chu

    The discovery could offer a route to smaller and faster electronic devices.

    MIT physicists have detected a hybrid particle in an unusual, two-dimensional magnetic material. The hybrid particle is a mashup of an electron and a phonon. Image: Christine Daniloff, MIT.

    In the particle world, sometimes two is better than one. Take, for instance, electron pairs. When two electrons are bound together, they can glide through a material without friction, giving the material special superconducting properties. Such paired electrons, or Cooper pairs, are a kind of hybrid particle — a composite of two particles that behaves as one, with properties that are greater than the sum of its parts.

    Now MIT physicists have detected another kind of hybrid particle in an unusual, two-dimensional magnetic material. They determined that the hybrid particle is a mashup of an electron and a phonon (a quasiparticle that is produced from a material’s vibrating atoms). When they measured the force between the electron and phonon, they found that the glue, or bond, was 10 times stronger than any other electron-phonon hybrid known to date.

    The particle’s exceptional bond suggests that its electron and phonon might be tuned in tandem; for instance, any change to the electron should affect the phonon, and vice versa. In principle, an electronic excitation, such as voltage or light, applied to the hybrid particle could stimulate the electron as it normally would, and also affect the phonon, which influences a material’s structural or magnetic properties. Such dual control could enable scientists to apply voltage or light to a material to tune not just its electrical properties but also its magnetism.

    The results are especially relevant, as the team identified the hybrid particle in nickel phosphorus trisulfide (NiPS3), a two-dimensional material that has attracted recent interest for its magnetic properties. If these properties could be manipulated, for instance through the newly detected hybrid particles, scientists believe the material could one day be useful as a new kind of magnetic semiconductor, which could be made into smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient electronics.

    “Imagine if we could stimulate an electron, and have magnetism respond,” says Nuh Gedik, professor of physics at MIT. “Then you could make devices very different from how they work today.”

    Gedik and his colleagues have published their results today in the journal Nature Communications. His co-authors include Emre Ergeçen, Batyr Ilyas, Dan Mao, Hoi Chun Po, Mehmet Burak Yilmaz, and Senthil Todadri at MIT, along with Junghyun Kim and Je-Geun Park of The Seoul National University [서울대학교](KR).

    Particle sheets

    The field of modern condensed matter physics is focused, in part, on the search for interactions in matter at the nanoscale. Such interactions, between a material’s atoms, electrons, and other subatomic particles, can lead to surprising outcomes, such as superconductivity and other exotic phenomena. Physicists look for these interactions by condensing chemicals onto surfaces to synthesize sheets of two-dimensional materials, which could be made as thin as one atomic layer.

    In 2018, a research group in Korea discovered some unexpected interactions in synthesized sheets of NiPS3, a two-dimensional material that becomes an antiferromagnet at very low temperatures of around 150 kelvins, or -123 degrees Celsius. The microstructure of an antiferromagnet resembles a honeycomb lattice of atoms whose spins are opposite to that of their neighbor. In contrast, a ferromagnetic material is made up of atoms with spins aligned in the same direction.

    In probing NiPS3, that group discovered that an exotic excitation became visible when the material is cooled below its antiferromagnetic transition, though the exact nature of the interactions responsible for this was unclear. Another group found signs of a hybrid particle, but its exact constituents and its relationship with this exotic excitation were also not clear.

    Gedik and his colleagues wondered if they might detect the hybrid particle, and tease out the two particles making up the whole, by catching their signature motions with a super-fast laser.

    Magnetically visible

    Normally, the motion of electrons and other subatomic particles are too fast to image, even with the world’s fastest camera. The challenge, Gedik says, is similar to taking a photo of a person running. The resulting image is blurry because the camera’s shutter, which lets in light to capture the image, is not fast enough, and the person is still running in the frame before the shutter can snap a clear picture.

    To get around this problem, the team used an ultrafast laser that emits light pulses lasting only 25 femtoseconds (one femtosecond is 1 millionth of 1 billionth of a second). They split the laser pulse into two separate pulses and aimed them at a sample of NiPS3. The two pulses were set with a slight delay from each other so that the first stimulated, or “kicked” the sample, while the second captured the sample’s response, with a time resolution of 25 femtoseconds. In this way, they were able to create ultrafast “movies” from which the interactions of different particles within the material could be deduced.

    In particular, they measured the precise amount of light reflected from the sample as a function of time between the two pulses. This reflection should change in a certain way if hybrid particles are present. This turned out to be the case when the sample was cooled below 150 kelvins, when the material becomes antiferromagnetic.

    “We found this hybrid particle was only visible below a certain temperature, when magnetism is turned on,” says Ergeçen.

    To identify the specific constituents of the particle, the team varied the color, or frequency, of the first laser and found that the hybrid particle was visible when the frequency of the reflected light was around a particular type of transition known to happen when an electron moves between two d-orbitals. They also looked at the spacing of the periodic pattern visible within the reflected light spectrum and found it matched the energy of a specific kind of phonon. This clarified that the hybrid particle consists of excitations of d-orbital electrons and this specific phonon.

    They did some further modeling based on their measurements and found the force binding the electron with the phonon is about 10 times stronger than what’s been estimated for other known electron-phonon hybrids.

    “One potential way of harnessing this hybrid particle is, it could allow you to couple to one of the components and indirectly tune the other,” Ilyas says. “That way, you could change the properties of a material, like the magnetic state of the system.”

    This research was supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (US), the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory (US), as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory(US) Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) . The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia (US), wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US)). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University (US) president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities (US)in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT (US) Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO (US) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation (US) .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

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