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New Study Discovers Billions of Entangled Electrons in a Metal – Interesting Engineering

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A team of physicists from Rice University in the U.S. and the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) in Austria has put their heads together for over 15 years to uncover a quantum conundrum.

The study made the incredible discovery of quantum entanglement among “billions and billions” of electrons in a quantum critical matter — or, a “strange metal.”

The study was published in the journal Science on Friday.

RELATED: GOOGLE SAYS THAT THEY HAVE JUST REACHED QUANTUM SUPREMACY

Fifteen years’ worth of research

The research studied the electronic and magnetic behavior of a “strange metal” compound of ytterbium, rhodium, and silicon as it got close to and passed through a critical transition at the boundary between two quantum phases. 

Junichiro Kono (left) and Qimiao Si in Kono’s Rice University laboratory in December 2019, Source: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

This study offers the strongest and most direct evidence to date of the role of entanglement in bringing about quantum criticality, noted Rice University theoretical physicist and co-author of the study, Qimiao Si.

Si stated “When we think about quantum entanglement, we think about small things.”

He continued, “We don’t associate it with macroscopic objects. But at a quantum critical point, things are so collective that we have this chance to see the effects of entanglement, even in a metallic film that contains billions of billions of quantum mechanical objects.”

New Study Discovers Billions of Entangled Electrons in a Metal
Former Rice University graduate student Xinwei Li (left) and Professor Junichiro Kono in 2016 with the terahertz spectrometer Li used to measure quantum entanglement in YbRh2Si2, Source: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Rice University researchers worked alongside scientists from TU Wien to overcome several challenges the study brought about.

TU Wien researchers developed a technique that involved highly complex materials synthesis to create incredibly pure films which contain one part ytterbium for every two parts of rhodium and silicon.

Rice University researchers performed terahertz spectroscopy experiments on these films at the incredibly low temperatures of up to 1.4 Kelvin. That’s -271 degrees Celcius (-457 degrees Fahrenheit).

New Study Discovers Billions of Entangled Electrons in a Metal
Former Rice University graduate student Xinwei Li in 2016 with the terahertz spectrometer he later used to measure entanglement in the conduction electrons flowing through a “strange metal” compound of ytterbium, rhodium, and silicon, Source: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Rice University graduate student and co-author of the paper, Junichiro Kono commented that “Less than 0.1% of the total terahertz radiation was transmitted, and the signal, which was the variation of conductivity as a function of frequency, was a further few percents of that.”

Kono continued “It took many hours to take reliable data at each temperature to average over many, many measurements, and it was necessary to take data at many, many temperatures to prove the existence of scaling.”

A lot of patience and precision were required for this study, but the outcome is impressive.

New Study Discovers Billions of Entangled Electrons in a Metal
Physicist Silke Bühler-Paschen of the Vienna University of Technology, Source: Luisa Puiu/TU Wien

As Si explained “Quantum entanglement is the basis for storage and processing of quantum information.”

“At the same time, quantum criticality is believed to drive high-temperature superconductivity. So our findings suggest that the same underlying physics — quantum criticality — can lead to a platform for both quantum information and high-temperature superconductivity. When one contemplates that possibility, one cannot help but marvel at the wonder of nature.”

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Scientists observe total solar eclipse in Antarctica – Global Times

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Scientists from the Chilean Union Glacier Station observe a total solar eclipse in Antarctica, Dec. 4, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

 
Scientists from the Chilean Union Glacier Station observe a total solar eclipse in Antarctica, Dec. 4, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Scientists from the Chilean Union Glacier Station observe a total solar eclipse in Antarctica, Dec. 4, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

 

Scientists from the Chilean Union Glacier Station observe a total solar eclipse in Antarctica, Dec. 4, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Scientists from the Chilean Union Glacier Station observe a total solar eclipse in Antarctica, Dec. 4, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

 

Photo taken from Chilean Union Glacier Station in Antarctica on Dec. 4, 2021 shows a total solar eclipse.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken from Chilean Union Glacier Station in Antarctica on Dec. 4, 2021 shows a total solar eclipse.Photo:Xinhua

 

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Dinosaur Tail Found In Chile Could Point To Discovery Of New Species – NDTV

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Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton.

Santiago:

Chilean paleontologists on Wednesday presented their findings on a dinosaur discovered three years ago in Patagonia which they said had a highly unusual tail that has stumped researchers.

The remains of the Stegouros elengassen were discovered during excavations in 2018 at Cerro Guido, a site known to harbor numerous fossils, by a team who believed they were dealing with an already known species of dinosaur until they examined its tail.

“That was the main surprise,” said Alexander Vargas, one of the paleontologists. “This structure is absolutely amazing.”

“The tail was covered with seven pairs of osteoderms … producing a weapon absolutely different from anything we know in any dinosaur,” added the researcher during a presentation of the discovery at the University of Chile.

The osteoderms — structures of bony plaques located in the dermal layers of the skin – were aligned on either side of the tail, making it resemble a large fern.

Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton and estimate that the animal lived in the area 71 to 74.9 million years ago. It was about two meters (almost seven feet) long, weighed 150 kilograms (330 pounds) and was a herbivore.

According to the scientists, who published their research in the journal Nature, the animal could represent a hitherto unknown lineage of armored dinosaur never seen in the southern hemisphere but already identified in the northern part of the continent.

“We don’t know why (the tail) evolved. We do know that within armored dinosaur groups there seems to be a tendency to independently develop different osteoderm-based defense mechanisms,” said Sergio Soto, another member of the team.

The Cerro Guido area, in the Las Chinas valley 3,000 km (1,800 miles) south of Santiago, stretches for 15 kilometers. Various rock outcrops contain numerous fossils.

The finds there allowed the scientists to surmise that present-day America and Antarctica were close to each other millions of years ago.

“There is strong evidence that there is a biogeographic link with other parts of the planet, in this case Antarctica and Australia, because we have two armored dinosaurs there closely related” to the Stegouros, said Soto.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Chinese Rover Exploring What Appears to Be Cube-Shaped Object on Moon – Futurism

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There’s a Moon cube now! At least, it looks that way based on some intriguing photos from the Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2, released by the country’s space agency this week.

The photos show a distant object that looks like a perfect cube, and China say the rover is headed to check it out.

It’s worth worth noting a few caveats about the photo, spotted yesterday by space journalist Andrew Jones, who described the formation as a “cubic shape.” For one thing, the object is just a few pixels in the photo, meaning it could easily be some sort of optical illusion that’ll be a disappointment up close.

And China has struggled with lunar science communication in the past. In 2019, Yutu-2 “discovered” a “gel-like substance” on the lunar surface, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be, well, rocks. It also trumpeted the discover of a “shard” on the Moon earlier this year, but that turned out to just be another interesting rock. Did we mention that there’s not a lot other than rocks on the Moon?

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Jones, for his part, is managing expectations.

“So yeah, it’s not an obelisk or aliens, but certainly something to check out,” Jones tweeted in followup.

The idea of alien artifacts on the Moon runs deep in popular culture — remember that one scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey”? — but, needless to say, none have been found in reality.

The apparent cube sits in the Von Kármán crater, and China’s space program has been dubbed it, evocatively, the “mystery house.”

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Yutu-2 will spend two or three lunar days traveling to investigate the cube; lunar days are about 50 minutes longer than solar days on Earth.

Jones speculated that the object could be a boulder carved out by an asteroid impact, and posted a photo of a similarly sharply defined boulder found previously on the Moon’s surface.

CNET’s coverage of the most recent discovery agrees with Jones’ analysis, saying the most likely explanation is that the Moon cube is a boulder.

That’s not to say Yutu-2 hasn’t ever found anything cool. In 2019, CNET reported the rover discovered that the Moon’s surface was made of different materials than we previously thought, a discovery that could better predict how Earth’s internal layers might change over time.

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We’re not saying there isn’t weird stuff on the Moon. After all, we just recently found enough buried oxygen under its surface to sustain billions of people. But suffice it to say we aren’t holding our breath over Moon cube, and if it turns out to be anything other than a rock we’ll be really impressed.

More on space: Scientists Discover Enormous Black Hole Right Near Our Galaxy

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

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