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Tag archives: quantum physics

Lectures with Peter Higgs, award-winning photographs, multidimentional shapes and more

Guiding Light To The Stars

By Tushna Commissariat

Each week, all of us here at Physics World comb the Internet for all things physics – we look at national and local newspapers, university news outlets, a variety of magazines, science websites and blogs, and, of course, all the  latest scientific papers. We then pool our research and pick the cream of our crop to report on. But we can’t always cover all the interesting bits of physics news that we have chanced upon and a lot of good stuff is left behind in a red folder. So, starting from today, at the end of each week we’ve decided to point all of you, our eager readers, to the stories that have caught our fancy but not made it to the site yet and leave you with some extra weekend reading from The Red Folder.

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Life inside the Perimeter

Blackboards and equations galore at the PI

Blackboards and equations galore at the PI.

By Hamish Johnston in Canada’s Quantum Valley

Today I am living the dream, at least for many theoretical physicists. I have my very own office at the Perimeter Institute (PI) for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. It comes complete with free coffee, a blackboard pre-loaded with equations and access to some of the world’s top physicists.

This morning I spoke to Daniel Gottesman, who if I am not mistaken was the first PI faculty member to work on quantum information after joining in 2002. His speciality is quantum error correction and we had a fantastic chat about the directions in which quantum computing could go in the future.

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Entering the quantum world

Not a black hole in sight: Raymond Laflamme in one of the IQC labs. The machine behind him makes diamonds for quantum computing experiments

Not a black hole in sight: Raymond Laflamme in one of the IQC labs. The machine behind him makes diamonds for quantum-computing experiments.

By Hamish Johnston in Canada’s Quantum Valley

“We have entered the quantum world and we can control it” is how Raymond Laflamme characterizes the current quantum renaissance that is sweeping across many fields of physics. Laflamme is director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at Canada’s University of Waterloo and he began his career at the University of Cambridge as a student of Stephen Hawking, working on cosmology.

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A ‘unique’ quantum research centre

Vadim Makarov with a few old friends

Vadim Makarov with a few old friends.

By Hamish Johnston in Canada’s Quantum Valley

“There’s no place like this in the world,” said Vadim Makarov (above) as we walked up to his lab at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at Canada’s University of Waterloo. What’s unique about the place, according to Makarov and others I spoke to in Waterloo, is that it brings together a diverse group of researchers (physicists, computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, etc) in one place to develop quantum-information technology.

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High-sticking in the Quantum Valley

Keep your stick on the ice! How to give a talk at PI

Keep your stick on the ice! How to give a talk at PI.

By Hamish Johnston in Canada’s Quantum Valley

I had a fantastic day today touring Canada’s “Quantum Valley”, which is what people are starting to call the region surrounding the University of Waterloo in Ontario. Waterloo is an hour’s drive west of Toronto and home to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) and the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC). There is also a small but growing cluster of quantum technology start-ups that have spun out of the university.

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An afternoon of quantum theory

By Louise Mayor

Yesterday I had an exciting trip out of the office.

This month's cover story

This month’s cover story.

Earlier this week, one of Physics World’s freelance writers, Jon Cartwright, told how me he’d been invited to the Bristol University theory department’s weekly seminar. Felix Flicker, a 2nd-year PhD student who organizes these events, had seen Jon’s article “The life of psi” in this month’s Physics World, which discusses a theorem published in Nature Physics. The theorem is interesting because if its assumptions hold, it rules out one of the four interpretations of quantum mechanics and leaves us with three.

I wanted in on the seminar action!

Last year when I was planning the Physics World special issue on quantum frontiers (which was out in March and is still available as a free PDF download), I had approached Jon to ask whether he’d like to tackle a quantum topic, and he let me know he was interested in covering the paper by Matthew Pusey, Jonathan Barrett and Terry Rudolph. Jon had seen the story reported elsewhere but had found these accounts were light on the details and didn’t get to the bottom of the science. I liked the idea and Jon went ahead. Once the story arrived in my inbox I was hooked! I found it to be one of those stories that covers some tricky concepts but if you let yourself become immersed in the story and think through what’s being explained, is very rewarding.

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Quantum frontiers – free PDF download

By Matin Durrani

Physics World

Physics World March 2013.

If you’re a member of the Institute of Physics, you’ll have had access for almost a week now to the March 2013 special issue of Physics World on quantum physics – either in print or through our digital issue, which you can access online or via our apps for smartphones and tablets (free from the App Store and Google Play).

But as we know how fascinating so many of you find the quantum world – with all that talk of quantum entanglement, Schrödinger’s cat and spooky action at a distance – we felt we wanted to share the issue more widely. So from today we’re making the issue available as a free downloadable PDF.

Of course, the PDF doesn’t have all the goodies of the digital issue, which this month includes some exclusive quantum-related audio and video content. But there’s still plenty to get stuck into, including a look at the fascinating new paradigm of “weak measurement”, the application of quantum physics to biology, the use of cold atoms to simulate the quantum world, and the use of entanglement for completely secure satellite communication.

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The March 2013 issue of Physics World is out now

By Matin Durrani

Physics World

Physics World March 2013.

If you’re a member of the Institute of Physics, it’s time to get stuck into the March 2013 issue of Physics World, which is a special issue devoted to some of the most interesting cutting-edge work at the frontiers of quantum physics.

Among the highlights are a look at the fascinating new paradigm of “weak measurement”, the application of quantum physics to biology, the use of cold atoms to simulate the quantum world, and the use of entanglement for completely secure satellite communication. Two other articles examine the impact of quantum physics on popular culture and among the physics community itself.

The issue also contains some great multimedia, including the latest in our 100 Second Science video series where physicists at Imperial College London answer key questions in quantum physics in 100 seconds or less.

And if you’re wondering about the cover – it was specially commissioned by us in the style of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, and shows Alice and Bob (the names given by convention to those sending and receiving quantum signals) peering into an ever weirder quantum world. The illustration echoes a similar image that graced the cover of our last special issue on quantum physics exactly 15 years ago this month. That one was also commissioned by us and was voted in 2008 by Physics World readers as one of their favourite covers of all time.

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