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  • richardmitnick 1:28 pm on December 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Experiment takes “snapshots” of light; stops light and uses light to change properties of matter., , , Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, University of Pittsburgh   

    From the University of Pittsburgh via Pittsburgh Quantum Institute: “Experimeakes “snapshots” of light, stops light, and uses light to change properties of matter” 

    U Pitt bloc

    From University of Pittsburgh

    1
    Pittsburgh Quantum Institute

    1
    Credit: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Quantum Institute

    2
    Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain.

    21 December 2020
    Ke Xu

    Light travels at a speed of about 300,000,000 meters per second as light particles, photons, or equivalently as electromagnetic field waves. Experiments led by Hrvoje Petek, an H.K. Mellon professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy examined ideas surrounding the origins of light, taking snapshots of light, stopping light and using it to change properties of matter.

    Petek worked with students and collaborators Prof. Chen-Bin (Robin) Huang of the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, and Atsushi Kubo of the Tsukuba University of Japan on the experiments. Their findings were reported in the paper which was published in the Dec. 24 issue of Nature.

    Petek credited graduate student Yanan Dai for his foresight and work in the process.

    “The denouement of the research, however, is that Yanan, who performed the experiments and provided the theoretical modeling, demonstrated that he was educated far beyond his Professor’s level and could interpret incisively the nanofemto topological properties and interactions of optical fields,” he said.

    The team performed an ultrafast microscopy experiment, where they trapped green light pulses of 20 fs (2×10-14 s) duration as composite light-electron density fluctuation waves and imaged their propagation on a silver surface at the speed of light. But they did this with a twist so that the light waves came together from two sides to form a light vortex where light waves appear to circulate about a stationary common core as a whirlwind of waves. They could generate a movie of how light waves churn on their nanometer (10-9 m) wavelength scale by imaging electrons that two light photons coming together cause to emit from the surface.

    Gathering all such electrons with an electron microscope forms images where the light had passed, thus enabling the researchers to take its snapshot. Of course, if nothing is faster than light, one cannot take its snapshot, but by sending in two light pulses with their time separation advanced in 10-16 s steps, they could image how light waves come together causing their joint amplitude to rise and fall at fixed points in space forming a light vortex on the nano (10-9 m)-femto (10-15 s) scale.

    Such light vortices form when you shine your red or green laser pointer onto a rough surface and see a speckle reflection, but they also have a cosmological significance. The light vortex fields can potentially cause transitions in the quantum mechanical phase order in solid state materials, such that the transformed material structure and its mirror image cannot be superimposed. In other words, the sense of the vortex rotation generates two materials that are topologically distinct.

    Petek said such topological phase transitions are at the vanguard of physics research because they are thought to be responsible for some aspects of the structure of the Universe.

    “Even the forces of nature including light, are thought to have emerged as symmetry breaking transitions of a primordial field. Thus, the ability to record the optical fields and plasmonic vortices in the experiment opens the way to perform ultrafast microscopy studies of related light-initiated phase transitions in condensed matter materials at the laboratory scale,” he said.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U Pitt campus

    The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 62 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America.

    From research achievements to the quality of its academic programs, the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the best in higher education.

    Faculty members have expanded knowledge in the humanities and sciences, earning such prestigious honors as the National Medal of Science, the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

    Pitt students have earned Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships, among other highly competitive national and international scholarships.

    Alumni have pioneered MRI and TV, won Nobels and Pulitzers, led corporations and universities, served in government and the military, conquered Hollywood and The New York Times bestsellers list, and won Super Bowls and NBA championships.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:54 pm on December 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Shifting Gears Toward Chemical Machines", Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have utilized a catalytic reaction that causes a two-dimensional chemically-coated sheet to “morph” into a three-dimensional gear that performs sustaine, University of Pittsburgh   

    From University of Pittsburgh: “Shifting Gears Toward Chemical Machines” 

    U Pitt bloc

    From University of Pittsburgh

    1
    Animation from simulation demonstrating the dynamics of a CAT-coated flexible sheet in H2O2 solution. CAT immobilized on the sheet decomposes H2O2 in the host solution to lighter products (water and oxygen), thereby producing spontaneous fluid flows. These fluid flows at the bottom of the fluidic domain drive the 2D flexible sheet to pop up at the center (lighter than the edge nodes), forming an ideal 3D structure (see side view), which catches the flow and rotates in the clockwise direction.

    2
    Transmission of rotational motion from an active gear to two passive gears. In a fluidic chamber, an active gear can rotate multiple passive gears, which are placed to break the symmetry of the flow field.

    December 18, 2020

    The gear is one of the oldest mechanical tools in human history1 and led to machines ranging from early irrigation systems and clocks, to modern engines and robotics. For the first time, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have utilized a catalytic reaction that causes a two-dimensional, chemically-coated sheet to spontaneously “morph” into a three-dimensional gear that performs sustained work.

    The findings indicate the potential to develop chemically driven machines that do not rely on external power, but simply require the addition of reactants to the surrounding solution. Published today in the Cell Press journal Matter, the research was developed by Anna C. Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and the John A. Swanson Chair of Engineering. Lead author is Abhrajit Laskar and co-author is Oleg E. Shklyaev, both post-doctoral associates.

    “Gears help give machines mechanical life; however, they require some sort of external power, such as steam or electricity, to perform a task. This limits the potential of future machines operating in resource-poor or remote environments,” Balazs explains. “Abhrajit’s computational modeling has shown that chemo-mechanical transduction (conversion of chemical energy into motion) at active sheets presents a novel way to replicate the behavior of gears in environments without access to traditional power sources.”

    In the simulations, catalysts are placed at various points on a two-dimensional sheet resembling a wheel with spokes, with heavier nodes on the sheet’s circumference. The flexible sheet, approximately a millimeter in length, is then placed in a fluid-filled microchamber. A reactant is added to the chamber that activates the catalysts on the flat “wheel”, thereby causing the fluid to spontaneously flow. The inward fluid flow drives the lighter sections of the sheet to pop up, forming an active rotor that catches the flow and rotates.

    “What is really distinctive about this research is the coupling of deformation and propulsion to modify the object’s shape to create movement,” Laskar says. “Deformation of the object is key; we see in nature that organisms use chemical energy to change their shape and move. For our chemical sheet to move, it also has to spontaneously morph into a new shape, which allows it to catch the fluid flow and perform its function.”

    Additionally, Laskar and Shklyaev found that not all the gear parts needed to be chemically active for motion to occur; in fact, asymmetry is crucial to create movement. By determining the design rules for the placement, Laskar and Shklyaev could direct the rotation to be clockwise or counterclockwise. This added “program” enabled the control of independent rotors to move sequentially or in a cascade effect, with active and passive gear systems. This more complex action is controlled by the internal structure of the spokes, and the placement within the fluid domain.

    “Because a gear is a central component to any machine, you need to start with the basics, and what Abhrajit has created is like an internal combustion engine at the millimeter scale,” Shklyaev says. “While this won’t power your car, it does present the potential to build the basic mechanisms for driving small-scale chemical machines and soft robots.”

    In the future, Balazs will investigate how the relative spatial organization of multiple gears can lead to greater functionality and potentially designing a system that appears to act as if it were making decisions.

    “The more remote a machine is from human control, the more you need the machine itself to provide control in order to complete a given task,” Balazs said. “The chemo-mechanical nature of our devices allows that to happen without any external power source.”

    These self-morphing gears are the latest evolution of chemo-mechanical processes developed by Balazs, Laskar, and Shklyaev. Other advances include creating crab-like sheets that mimic feed, flight, and fight responses; and sheets resembling a “flying carpet” that wrap, flap, and creep.

    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 Pitt campus

    The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 62 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America.

    From research achievements to the quality of its academic programs, the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the best in higher education.

    Faculty members have expanded knowledge in the humanities and sciences, earning such prestigious honors as the National Medal of Science, the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

    Pitt students have earned Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships, among other highly competitive national and international scholarships.

    Alumni have pioneered MRI and TV, won Nobels and Pulitzers, led corporations and universities, served in government and the military, conquered Hollywood and The New York Times bestsellers list, and won Super Bowls and NBA championships.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:06 pm on February 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study uncovers new electronic state of matter", , , , University of Pittsburgh, We have moved into the era of research in quantum computing; quantum teleportation; quantum communications; and quantum sensing.   

    From University of Pittsburgh via phys.org: “Study uncovers new electronic state of matter” 

    U Pitt bloc

    From University of Pittsburgh

    via


    From phys.org

    2.13.20

    1
    Clumps of electrons speeding down the superconductor highway represent the the motion of the Pascal conductance series. Credit: Jeremy Levy

    A research team led by professors from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Physics and Astronomy has announced the discovery of a new electronic state of matter.

    Jeremy Levy, a distinguished professor of condensed matter physics, and Patrick Irvin, a research associate professor are coauthors of the paper Pascal conductance series in ballistic one-dimensional LaAIO3/SrTiO3 channels. The research focuses on measurements in one-dimensional conducting systems where electrons are found to travel without scattering in groups of two or more at a time, rather than individually.

    The study was published in Science on Feb. 14.

    “Normally, electrons in semiconductors or metals move and scatter, and eventually drift in one direction if you apply a voltage. But in ballistic conductors the electrons move more like cars on a highway. The advantage of that is they don’t give off heat and may be used in ways that are quite different from ordinary electronics. Researchers before us have succeeded in creating this kind of ballistic conductor,” explained Levy.

    “The discovery we made shows that when electrons can be made to attract one another, they can form bunches of two, three, four and five electrons that literally behave like new types of particles, new forms of electronic matter.”


    34:15
    11Levels: Pascal conductance series in ballistic one-dimensional LaAlO3/SrTiO3 channels

    Levy compared the finding to the way in which quarks bind together to form neutrons and protons. An important clue to uncovering the new matter was recognizing that these ballistic conductors matched a sequence within Pascal’s Triangle.

    “If you look along different directions of Pascal’s Triangle you can see different number patterns and one of the patterns was one, three, six, 10, 15, 21. This is a sequence we noticed in our data, so it became a challenging clue as to what was actually going on. The discovery took us some time to understand but it was because we initially did not realize we were looking at particles made up of one electron, two electrons, three electrons and so forth. If you combine all this together you get the sequence of 1,3,6,10.”

    Levy, who is also director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, noted that the new particles feature properties related to quantum entanglement, which can potentially be used for quantum computing and quantum redistribution. He said the discovery is an exciting advancement toward the next stage of quantum physics.

    “This research falls within a larger effort here in Pittsburgh to develop new science and technologies related to the second quantum revolution,” he said.

    “In the first quantum revolution people discovered the world around them was governed fundamentally by laws of quantum physics. That discovery led to an understanding of the periodic table, how materials behave and helped in the development of transistors, computers, MRI scanners and information technology.

    “Now in the 21st century, we’re looking at all the strange predictions of quantum physics and turning them around and using them. When you talk about applications, we’re thinking about quantum computing, quantum teleportation, quantum communications, quantum sensing—ideas that use properties of the quantum nature of matter that were ignored before.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words

    Science X™ is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.
    Mission 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writersinclude 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    U Pitt campus

    The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 62 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America.

    From research achievements to the quality of its academic programs, the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the best in higher education.

    Faculty members have expanded knowledge in the humanities and sciences, earning such prestigious honors as the National Medal of Science, the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

    Pitt students have earned Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships, among other highly competitive national and international scholarships.

    Alumni have pioneered MRI and TV, won Nobels and Pulitzers, led corporations and universities, served in government and the military, conquered Hollywood and The New York Times bestsellers list, and won Super Bowls and NBA championships.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:12 am on May 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A 1400-mile land-based journey for rigorous testing from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Md to the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, And finally to the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton Va., Developed at the National Science Foundation Center for Space High-performance and Resilient Computing (SHREC), , One of the most powerful space-qualified computers ever made and flown, Pair of space computers developed by Pitt students and faculty was sent aboard the space station., Part of the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program-Houston 6 mission (STP-H6), Pitt supercomputer goes to the ISS, Spacecraft Supercomputing for Image and Video Processing (SSIVP) system, The project carries over from time’s spent with the University of Florida prior to moving to Pitt in 2017, University of Pittsburgh   

    From insideHPC: “NASA to Launch University of Pittsburgh Supercomputer into Space” 

    From insideHPC

    1

    A novel supercomputer developed by a University of Pittsburgh team is set to journey to the International Space Station on May 1, continuing a NASA partnership meant to improve Earth and space science.

    “It will be “one of the most powerful space-qualified computers ever made and flown,” said Alan George, department chair of the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who led Pitt researchers and graduate students on the project.”

    On the space station, the supercomputer will serve as a research “sandbox” for space-based experiments on computing, sensing, image processing and machine learning. Researchers said the main objective of these experiments is progression toward autonomous spacecraft, like a more advanced version of the self-driving cars seen in Pittsburgh.

    This radiation-tolerant computer cluster, called the Spacecraft Supercomputing for Image and Video Processing (SSIVP) system, is part of the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program-Houston 6 mission (STP-H6), developed at the National Science Foundation Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC).

    “The system “features an unprecedented combination of high performance, high reliability, low power and reconfigurability for computing in the harsh environment of space, going beyond the capabilities of previous space computers,” said George, who’s also founder and director of SHREC.”

    The project carries over from time’s spent with the University of Florida prior to moving to Pitt in 2017, when a pair of space computers developed by Pitt students and faculty was sent aboard the space station.

    Last year, the new space supercomputer embarked on a 1,400-mile land-based journey for rigorous testing, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston to the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Its final, much shorter and more meaningful trip will see it travel 250 miles skyward from NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the space station with the SpaceX-17 mission on a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket.

    The new space supercomputer is more than 2.5 times more powerful than its predecessor, which was launched to the space station with STP-H5 on SpaceX-10 in February 2017. It includes dual high-resolution cameras capable of snapping 5-megapixel images of Earth, for detailed aerial shots like the city of Pittsburgh, all in a system about the size of a breadbox.

    2
    The Spacecraft Supercomputing for Image and Video Processing sits in the bottom left corner of the SpaceX rocket’s trunk, waiting for liftoff. The computer system will travel from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station for a three to four-year research mission aboard the spacecraft, with the underlying goal of advancing autonomous spacecraft. (NASA)

    The H5 system will remain on the space station, working separately from the soon-to-be-launched H6 system on a dynamic set of space technology experiments until at least 2021. The H6 system is expected to be in service for three to four years after launch.

    The large amounts of data the new system captures will pose their own challenge.

    “There are limitations in communications between ground and spacecraft, so we’re trying to circumvent these limitations with high-performance onboard data processing to more quickly transfer data,” said Sebastian Sabogal, a third-year PhD student studying electrical and computer engineering. “We also want our systems to be highly responsive to processed sensor data to enable spacecraft autonomy, which would reduce the amount of human interaction needed to operate the spacecraft and interpret data.”

    “Everyone in the space community wants to build sensor systems that are more powerful and autonomous,” George said. “We must process the data where it’s gathered, which requires very powerful computers, but space is the most challenging place to build and deploy powerful computers.”

    Space, too, is a challenging place for computers to thrive due to high fluctuations in temperatures, strong vibrations during launch and higher levels of radiation — all of which can affect performance, said Sabogal.

    During its time in space, the supercomputer will gather and monitor data on weather patterns, deforestation, and the effects of natural disasters on Earth and the effects of space and radiation on electronic devices, among many applications in Earth and space science.

    3
    Sebastian Sabogal and Evan Gretok, PhD students in electrical and computer engineering, worked on the cluster’s design, hardware configuration and image processing. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)

    SHREC also is collaborating for the first time with the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, with the latter designing, assembling and testing the system chassis to meet the structural requirements from NASA for the computing system.

    For students, these space missions are an opportunity to hone their engineering expertise and interact closely with experts at NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

    The Spacecraft Supercomputing for Image and Video Processing marks the first known instance of the “Pitt Script” in space. (Courtesy of Alan George)

    “When I initially came in, it was one of the big projects going on here,” said Evan Gretok, a second-year PhD student studying electrical and computer engineering. “I was asked if I was up for a challenge, and I was put on developing some of the flight software for some of the secondary objectives of the mission.”

    These secondary objectives include studies regarding flight services, hardware configuration and studies on image processing.

    Gretok also earned his master’s degree in the same field at Pitt this year, and he has been working with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to certify the supercomputer’s ground-station software for mission operations that will be controlled by Pitt researchers in the SHREC lab meets NASA standards.

    “It’s really humbling to be part of a team that has this kind of access to such innovative technology,” Gretok said. “The amount of opportunities that open up for Earth observation for data analytics and for these students to develop their own applications and algorithms is exciting to see.”

    Other leading researchers for the project include Matthew Barry, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, who also works with the Center for Research Computing and was in charge of thermal modeling for the computer, and David Schmidt, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, whose team was in charge of the design and construction of the aluminum chassis to house the electronics, ensuring that it meets NASA specifications.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Founded on December 28, 2006, insideHPC is a blog that distills news and events in the world of HPC and presents them in bite-sized nuggets of helpfulness as a resource for supercomputing professionals. As one reader said, we’re sifting through all the news so you don’t have to!

    If you would like to contact me with suggestions, comments, corrections, errors or new company announcements, please send me an email at rich@insidehpc.com. Or you can send me mail at:

    insideHPC
    2825 NW Upshur
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