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  • richardmitnick 12:57 pm on April 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study shows exploding stars may have caused mass extinction on Earth", , , , , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   

    From University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign : “Study shows exploding stars may have caused mass extinction on Earth” 

    From University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

    Aug 18, 2020 [Just found this in social media via Science Alert (AU) ]
    Lois Yoksoulian
    leyok@illinois.edu

    1
    A team of researchers led by professor Brian Fields hypothesizes that a supernova about 65 light-years away may have contributed to the ozone depletion and subsequent mass extinction of the late Devonian Period, 359 million years ago. Pictured is a simulation of a nearby supernova colliding with and compressing the solar wind. Earth’s orbit, the blue dashed circle, and the Sun, red dot, are shown for scale. Credit: Jesse Miller.

    “We propose that one or more supernova explosions, about 65 light-years away from Earth, could have been responsible for the protracted loss of ozone’ 359 million years ago, at the boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous periods.”

    Imagine reading by the light of an exploded star, brighter than a full moon – it might be fun to think about, but this scene is the prelude to a disaster when the radiation devastates life as we know it. Killer cosmic rays from nearby supernovae could be the culprit behind at least one mass extinction event, researchers said, and finding certain radioactive isotopes in Earth’s rock record could confirm this scenario.

    A new study led by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign astronomy and physics professor Brian Fields explores the possibility of astronomical events being responsible for an extinction event that occurred 359 million years ago, at the boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous periods.

    The paper is published in the PNAS.

    The team concentrated on Devonian-Carboniferous boundary because those rocks contain hundreds of thousands of generations of plant spores that appear to be sunburnt by ultraviolet light – evidence of a long-lasting ozone-depletion event.

    “Earth-based catastrophes such as large-scale volcanism and global warming can destroy the ozone layer, too, but evidence for those is inconclusive for the time interval in question,” Fields said. “Instead, we propose that one or more supernova explosions, about 65 light-years away from Earth, could have been responsible for the protracted loss of ozone.”

    “To put this into perspective, one of the closest supernova threats today is from the star Betelgeuse, which is over 600 light-years away and well outside of the kill distance of 25 light-years,” said graduate student and study co-author Adrienne Ertel.

    Betelgeuse, in the infrared from the Herschel Space Observatory (EU), European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) a superluminous red giant star 650 light-years away. Stars like Betelgeuse, end their lives as supernovae ESAHerschelPACSL. Decin et al.

    The team explored other astrophysical causes for ozone depletion, such as meteorite impacts, solar eruptions and gamma-ray bursts. “But these events end quickly and are unlikely to cause the long-lasting ozone depletion that happened at the end of the Devonian period,” said graduate student and study co-author Jesse Miller.

    A supernova, on the other hand, delivers a one-two punch, the researchers said. The explosion immediately bathes Earth with damaging UV, X-rays and gamma rays. Later, the blast of supernova debris slams into the solar system, subjecting the planet to long-lived irradiation from cosmic rays accelerated by the supernova. The damage to Earth and its ozone layer can last for up to 100,000 years.

    However, fossil evidence indicates a 300,000-year decline in biodiversity leading up to the Devonian-Carboniferous mass extinction, suggesting the possibility of multiple catastrophes, maybe even multiple supernovae explosions. “This is entirely possible,” Miller said. “Massive stars usually occur in clusters with other massive stars, and other supernovae are likely to occur soon after the first explosion.”

    The team said the key to proving that a supernova occurred would be to find the radioactive isotopes plutonium-244 and samarium-146 in the rocks and fossils deposited at the time of extinction. “Neither of these isotopes occurs naturally on Earth today, and the only way they can get here is via cosmic explosions,” said undergraduate student and co-author Zhenghai Liu.

    The radioactive species born in the supernova are like green bananas, Fields said. “When you see green bananas in Illinois, you know they are fresh, and you know they did not grow here. Like bananas, Pu-244 and Sm-146 decay over time. So if we find these radioisotopes on Earth today, we know they are fresh and not from here – the green bananas of the isotope world – and thus the smoking guns of a nearby supernova.”

    Researchers have yet to search for Pu-244 or Sm-146 in rocks from the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. Fields’ team said its study aims to define the patterns of evidence in the geological record that would point to supernova explosions.

    “The overarching message of our study is that life on Earth does not exist in isolation,” Fields said. “We are citizens of a larger cosmos, and the cosmos intervenes in our lives – often imperceptibly, but sometimes ferociously.”

    Also participating in the study were scientists from the University of Kansas (US); Kings College (UK); the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire) [CERN](CH); the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics [Keemilise ja Bioloogilise Füüsika Instituut] (EE); the United States Air Force Academy; and Washburn University (US).

    The Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK) and the Estonian Research Council supported this study. Fields also is affliated with the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe (US).

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community of students, scholars, and alumni is changing the world.

    The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (U of I, Illinois, or colloquially the University of Illinois or UIUC) is a public land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. It is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois system and was founded in 1867.

    The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a member of the Association of American Universities (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”, and has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities (2001) by Howard and Matthew Greene. In fiscal year 2019, research expenditures at Illinois totaled $652 million. The campus library system possesses the second-largest university library in the United States by holdings after Harvard University (US). The university also hosts the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (US) (NCSA).

    The university contains 16 schools and colleges and offers more than 150 undergraduate and over 100 graduate programs of study. The university holds 651 buildings on 6,370 acres (2,578 ha). The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign also operates a Research Park home to innovation centers for over 90 start-up companies and multinational corporations, including Abbott, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Capital One, Dow, State Farm, and Yahoo, among others.

    As of August 2020, the alumni, faculty members, or researchers of the university include 30 Nobel laureates; 27 Pulitzer Prize winners; 2 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields medalist. Illinois athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Fighting Illini. They are members of the Big Ten Conference and have won the second-most conference titles. Illinois Fighting Illini football won the Rose Bowl Game in 1947, 1952, 1964 and a total of five national championships. Illinois athletes have won 29 medals in Olympic events, ranking it among the top 40 American universities with Olympic medals.

    Illinois Industrial University

    The original University Hall, which stood until 1938, when it was replaced by Gregory Hall and the Illini Union. Pieces were used in the erection of Hallene Gateway dedicated in 1998.

    The University of Illinois, originally named “Illinois Industrial University”, was one of the 37 universities created under the first Morrill Land-Grant Act, which provided public land for the creation of agricultural and industrial colleges and universities across the United States. Among several cities, Urbana was selected in 1867 as the site for the new school. From the beginning, President John Milton Gregory’s desire to establish an institution firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition was at odds with many state residents and lawmakers who wanted the university to offer classes based solely around “industrial education”. The university opened for classes on March 2, 1868 and had two faculty members and 77 students.

    The Library which opened with the school in 1868 started with 1,039 volumes. Subsequently President Edmund J. James in a speech to the board of trustees in 1912 proposed to create a research library. It is now one of the world’s largest public academic collections. In 1870 the Mumford House was constructed as a model farmhouse for the school’s experimental farm. The Mumford House remains the oldest structure on campus. The original University Hall (1871) was the fourth building built. It stood where the Illini Union stands today.

    University of Illinois

    In 1885, the Illinois Industrial University officially changed its name to the “University of Illinois”, reflecting its agricultural; mechanical; and liberal arts curriculum.

    During his presidency Edmund J. James (1904–1920) is credited for building the foundation for the large Chinese international student population on campus. James established ties with China through the Chinese Minister to the United States Wu Ting-Fang. In addition during James’s presidency class rivalries and Bob Zuppke’s winning football teams contributed to campus morale.

    Like many universities the economic depression slowed construction and expansion on the campus. The university replaced the original university hall with Gregory Hall and the Illini Union. After World War II the university experienced rapid growth. The enrollment doubled and the academic standing improved. This period was also marked by large growth in the Graduate College and increased federal support of scientific and technological research. During the 1950s and 1960s the university experienced the turmoil common on many American campuses. Among these were the water fights of the fifties and sixties.

    University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

    By 1967 the University of Illinois system consisted of a main campus in Champaign-Urbana and two Chicago campuses- Chicago Circle (UICC) and Medical Center (UIMC). People began using “Urbana–Champaign” or the reverse to refer to the main campus specifically. The university name officially changed to the “University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign” around 1982. While this was a reversal of the commonly used designation for the metropolitan area- “Champaign-Urbana” – most of the campus is located in Urbana. The name change established a separate identity for the main campus within the University of Illinois system which today includes campuses in Springfield (UIS) and Chicago (UIC) (formed by the merger of UICC and UIMC).

    In 1998 the Hallene Gateway Plaza was dedicated. The Plaza features the original sandstone portal of University Hall which was originally the fourth building on campus. In recent years state support has declined from 4.5% of the state’s tax appropriations in 1980 to 2.28% in 2011- a nearly 50% decline. As a result the university’s budget has shifted away from relying on state support with nearly 84% of the budget now coming from other sources.

    On March 12, 2015, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a medical school, the first college created at Urbana–Champaign in 60 years. The Carle-Illinois College of Medicine began classes in 2018.

    Research

    The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is often regarded as a world-leading magnet for engineering and sciences (both applied and basic). Having been classified into the category comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary and very high research activity by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Illinois offers a wide range of disciplines in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

    According to the National Science Foundation (US) the university spent $625 million on research and development in 2018 ranking it 37th in the nation. It is also listed as one of the Top 25 American Research Universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance. Beside annual influx of grants and sponsored projects the university manages an extensive modern research infrastructure. The university has been a leader in computer based education and hosted the PLATO project which was a precursor to the internet and resulted in the development of the plasma display. Illinois was a 2nd-generation ARPAnet site in 1971 and was the first institution to license the UNIX operating system from Bell Labs.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on February 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Really Small Black Holes Could Be Out There Devouring Neutron Stars From Within", , , , , , , Endoparasitic black hole, , , Tiny all-but-undetectable primordial black holes could be one of the mysterious sources of mass that contributes to Dark Matter., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   

    From University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign via Science Alert(AU): “Really Small Black Holes Could Be Out There Devouring Neutron Stars From Within” 

    From University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    23 FEBRUARY 2021
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library/Getty Images.

    Tiny, all-but-undetectable primordial black holes could be one of the mysterious sources of mass that contributes to Dark Matter. There are significant limits to their lifespan in open space, but in recent years, astrophysicists have asked: what if these black holes are in the core of neutron stars?

    Gradually, such black holes would accrete the neutron star, devouring it from within. These hypothetical systems are yet to be verified, but a new paper [Accretion onto a small black hole at the center of a neutron star], yet to be peer-reviewed, has calculated how long this devouring would take.

    This, in turn, could be used to analyse the current neutron star population to constrain the nature of the black holes considered as a dark matter candidate – whether they are primordial, dating back to the Big Bang, or black holes that formed inside neutron stars.

    Although we don’t know what dark matter is, it’s pretty fundamental to our understanding of the Universe: there simply isn’t enough matter we can directly detect – normal matter – to account for all the gravity. In fact, there’s so much gravity that scientists have calculated roughly 75 to 80 percent of all matter is dark.

    There are a number of candidate particles that could be dark matter. Primordial black holes that formed just after the Big Bang are not one of the leading candidates, because if they were above a certain mass we would have noticed them by now; but, below that mass, they would have evaporated via the emission of Hawking Radiation long before now.

    Black holes, however, are an attractive candidate for dark matter: they, too, are extremely difficult to detect if they’re just hanging out in space just doing nothing. So astronomers continue to look for them.

    One idea that has been explored recently is the endoparasitic black hole. There are two scenarios for this. One is that primordial black holes were captured by neutron stars, and sink down to the core. The other is that dark matter particles are captured inside a neutron star; if the conditions are favourable, these could then come together and collapse down into a black hole.

    These black holes are small, but they wouldn’t remain so. From their position, ensconced inside the neutron star, these little black holes would then parasitise their host.

    The team of physicists from Bowdoin College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign calculated the accretion rate – that is, the rate at which the black hole would devour the neutron star – for a range of black hole mass ratios, from three to nine orders of magnitude less massive than the neutron star host.

    Neutron stars have a theoretical upper mass limit of 2.3 times the mass of the Sun, so the black hole masses would extend down into the range of dwarf planets.

    For a non-rotating neutron star hosting a non-spinning black hole, the accretion would be spherical. At the team’s calculated accretion rates, black holes as small as 10-21 times the mass of the Sun would completely accrete a neutron star well within the lifetime of the Universe.

    This suggests that primordial black holes, from the beginning of the Universe, would have completely accreted their host neutron stars before now. These timescales are in direct conflict with the ages of old neutron star populations, the researchers said.

    “As an important application, our results corroborate arguments that use the current existence of neutron star populations to constrain either the contribution of primordial black holes to the dark matter content of the Universe, or that of dark matter particles that may form black holes at the center of neutron stars after they have been captured,” they wrote in their paper.

    So the result is another blow for primordial black holes; but it doesn’t rule endoparasitic black holes out entirely. If there are globs of dark matter particles out there floating through space and being slurped into neutron stars, they could be collapsing into black holes and converting neutron stars into black hole stuff even as you read this sentence.

    And that is freaking awesome.

    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 from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.


    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.


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


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community of students, scholars, and alumni is changing the world.

    The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (U of I, Illinois, or colloquially the University of Illinois or UIUC) is a public land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. It is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois system and was founded in 1867.

    The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”, and has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities (2001) by Howard and Matthew Greene. In fiscal year 2019, research expenditures at Illinois totaled $652 million. The campus library system possesses the second-largest university library in the United States by holdings after Harvard University. The university also hosts the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and is home to the fastest supercomputer on a university campus.

    The university contains 16 schools and colleges and offers more than 150 undergraduate and over 100 graduate programs of study. The university holds 651 buildings on 6,370 acres (2,578 ha). The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign also operates a Research Park home to innovation centers for over 90 start-up companies and multinational corporations, including Abbott, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Capital One, Dow, State Farm, and Yahoo, among others.

    As of August 2020, the alumni, faculty members, or researchers of the university include 30 Nobel laureates, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 2 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields medalist. Illinois athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Fighting Illini. They are members of the Big Ten Conference and have won the second-most conference titles. Illinois Fighting Illini football won the Rose Bowl Game in 1947, 1952, 1964 and a total of five national championships. Illinois athletes have won 29 medals in Olympic events, ranking it among the top 40 American universities with Olympic medals.

    Illinois Industrial University

    The original University Hall, which stood until 1938, when it was replaced by Gregory Hall and the Illini Union. Pieces were used in the erection of Hallene Gateway dedicated in 1998.

    The University of Illinois, originally named “Illinois Industrial University”, was one of the 37 universities created under the first Morrill Land-Grant Act, which provided public land for the creation of agricultural and industrial colleges and universities across the United States. Among several cities, Urbana was selected in 1867 as the site for the new school.[19][20] From the beginning, President John Milton Gregory’s desire to establish an institution firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition was at odds with many state residents and lawmakers who wanted the university to offer classes based solely around “industrial education”.[21] The university opened for classes on March 2, 1868, and had two faculty members and 77 students.

    The Library, which opened with the school in 1868, started with 1,039 volumes. Subsequently, President Edmund J. James, in a speech to the board of trustees in 1912, proposed to create a research library. It is now one of the world’s largest public academic collections. In 1870, the Mumford House was constructed as a model farmhouse for the school’s experimental farm. The Mumford House remains the oldest structure on campus. The original University Hall (1871) was the fourth building built; it stood where the Illini Union stands today.

    University of Illinois

    In 1885, the Illinois Industrial University officially changed its name to the “University of Illinois”, reflecting its agricultural, mechanical, and liberal arts curriculum.

    During his presidency, Edmund J. James (1904–1920) is credited for building the foundation for the large Chinese international student population on campus. James established ties with China through the Chinese Minister to the United States Wu Ting-Fang. In addition, during James’s presidency, class rivalries and Bob Zuppke’s winning football teams contributed to campus morale.

    Like many universities, the economic depression slowed construction and expansion on the campus. The university replaced the original university hall with Gregory Hall and the Illini Union. After World War II, the university experienced rapid growth. The enrollment doubled and the academic standing improved. This period was also marked by large growth in the Graduate College and increased federal support of scientific and technological research. During the 1950s and 1960s the university experienced the turmoil common on many American campuses. Among these were the water fights of the fifties and sixties.

    University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

    By 1967 the University of Illinois system consisted of a main campus in Champaign-Urbana and two Chicago campuses, Chicago Circle (UICC) and Medical Center (UIMC), and people began using “Urbana–Champaign” or the reverse to refer to the main campus specifically. The university name officially changed to the “University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign” around 1982. While this was a reversal of the commonly used designation for the metropolitan area, “Champaign-Urbana,” most of the campus is located in Urbana. The name change established a separate identity for the main campus within the University of Illinois system, which today includes campuses in Springfield (UIS) and Chicago (UIC) (formed by the merger of UICC and UIMC).

    In 1998, the Hallene Gateway Plaza was dedicated. The Plaza features the original sandstone portal of University Hall, which was originally the fourth building on campus. In recent years, state support has declined from 4.5% of the state’s tax appropriations in 1980 to 2.28% in 2011, a nearly 50% decline. As a result, the university’s budget has shifted away from relying on state support with nearly 84% of the budget now coming from other sources.

    On March 12, 2015, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a medical school, the first college created at Urbana–Champaign in 60 years. The Carle-Illinois College of Medicine began classes in 2018.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Illinois campus

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community of students, scholars, and alumni is changing the world.

    With our land-grant heritage as a foundation, we pioneer innovative research that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. Our transformative learning experiences, in and out of the classroom, are designed to produce alumni who desire to make a significant, societal impact.

    The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, adjacent to the Chicago Loop. The second campus established under the University of Illinois system, UIC is also the largest university in the Chicago area, having approximately 30,000 students enrolled in 15 colleges.

    UIC operates the largest medical school in the United States with research expenditures exceeding $412 million and consistently ranks in the top 50 U.S. institutions for research expenditures. In the 2019 U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of colleges and universities, UIC ranked as the 129th best in the “national universities” category. The 2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UIC as the 18th best in the world among universities less than 50 years old.

    UIC competes in NCAA Division I Horizon League as the UIC Flames in sports. The Credit Union 1 Arena (formerly UIC Pavilion) is the Flames’ venue for home games.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:28 pm on November 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists launch quest to develop quantum sensors for probing quantum materials", A scanning qubit microscope, A spectroscopy instrument that takes advantage of pairs of entangled electrons., , Exotic entangled states, SQUIDs-superconducting quantum interference devices, , This Center will create a veritable wealth of new quantum ideas and devices., Topological insulators which carry current with no loss along their edges., Understanding the atomic-level processes behind unconventional superconductors that conduct electricity with no resistance at relatively high temperatures., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,   

    From DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University: “Scientists launch quest to develop quantum sensors for probing quantum materials” 

    From DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    and

    Stanford University Name
    Stanford University

    October 29, 2020
    Glennda Chui

    SLAC and Stanford partner with two Illinois universities to create the Center for Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials, which aims to unravel mysteries associated with exotic superconductors, topological insulators and strange metals.

    1
    When it comes to fully understanding the hidden secrets of quantum materials, it takes one to know one, scientists say: Only tools that also operate on quantum principles can get us there.A new Department of Energy research center will focus on developing those tools. Based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Center for Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials brings together experts from UIUC, DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Credit: Caitlin Kengle/UIUC.

    They’ll work on developing three cutting-edge quantum sensing devices: a scanning qubit microscope, a spectroscopy instrument that takes advantage of pairs of entangled electrons and another instrument that will probe materials with pairs of photons from SLAC’s X-ray free-electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source [below], which has recently reopened after an upgrade.

    These new techniques will allow researchers to see in much greater detail why quantum materials do the weird things they do, paving the way to discovering new quantum materials and inventing even more sensitive probes of their behavior.

    The work will focus on understanding the atomic-level processes behind unconventional superconductors that conduct electricity with no resistance at relatively high temperatures; topological insulators, which carry current with no loss along their edges; and strange metals, which superconduct when chilled but have strange properties at higher temperatures.

    “What is exciting is that this center gives us a chance to create some really new quantum measurement techniques for studying energy-relevant quantum materials,” center Director Peter Abbamonte, a professor of physics at UIUC, said in a press release.

    “We often get trapped in the cycle of using the same old measurements – not because we don’t need new kinds of information or knowledge, but because developing techniques is expensive and time consuming,” Abbamonte said. The new center, he said, will allow scientists to push the envelope of quantum measurement by tackling bigger problems.

    Exotic entangled states

    Quantum materials get their name from the fact that their exotic properties stem from the cooperative behavior of electrons and other phenomena that obey the rules of quantum mechanics, rather than the familiar Newtonian laws of physics that govern our everyday world. These materials could eventually have a huge impact on future energy technologies – for instance, by allowing people to transmit power with essentially no loss over long distances and making transportation much more energy efficient.

    But a quantum material may contain a confounding mixture of exotic, overlapping states of matter that are hard to sort out with conventional tools.

    “In the quantum world everything becomes entangled, so the boundaries of one object start to overlap with the boundaries of another,” said SLAC Professor Thomas Devereaux, one of six SLAC and Stanford researchers collaborating in the new center. “We’ll be probing this entanglement using various tools and techniques.”

    Quantum sensors are nothing new. They include superconducting quantum interference devices, or SQUIDs, invented half a century ago to detect extremely small magnetic fields, and superconducting transition edge sensors, which incorporate SQUIDS to detect exquisitely small signals in astronomy, nuclear non-proliferation, materials analysis and homeland defense.

    At a basic level, they operate by putting the sensor into a known quantum state and allowing it to interact with the object of interest. The interaction changes the state of the quantum system, and measuring the new state of the system reveals information about the object that could not be obtained with conventional approaches.

    Qubits on a tip

    In one of the technologies under development, the scanning qubit microscope, the quantum sensor would consist of one or more qubits placed on the tip of a probe and moved over the surface of a material. A qubit is a basic unit of quantum information, like the bits of ordinary computer memory that flip back and forth between zero and 1. But a qubit exists as a superposition of both zero and 1 states at once. The scanner’s qubit might consist of a single hydrogen atom, for instance, with the spin of its single electron simultaneously existing as up, down and all possible states in between.

    “You can try to entangle the qubit sensor with the quantum state of the material you’re studying so you can actually sense the entanglement of quantum states within the material,” said Kathryn Moler, Stanford’s vice provost and dean of research. “If we can do that, it will be really cool.”

    Other SLAC and Stanford researchers collaborating in research for the new center are Professors Zhi-Xun Shen and David Reis, Assistant Professor Ben Feldman and staff scientist Mariano Trigo.

    The center is one of 10 Energy Frontier Research Centers awarded $100 million by the DOE Office of Science.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford University campus. No image credit

    Stanford University

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

    SLAC National Accelerator Lab


    SLAC/LCLS


    SLAC/LCLS II projected view

    SLAC LCLS-II Undulators The Linac Coherent Light Source’s new undulators each use an intricately tuned series of magnets to convert electron energy into intense bursts of X-rays. The “soft” X-ray undulator stretches for 100 meters on the left side of this hall, with the “hard” x-ray undulator on the right. Credit: Alberto Gamazo/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.


    SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the DOE’s Office of Science.

    SSRL and LCLS are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

     
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