Laser Cooling Chills Radium Ions For The First Time

Researchers have successfully used laser cooling on radium ions for the first time. Given that lasers are known for heating things up, laser cooling may seem a contradiction in terms. However, scientists have devised a way to use the technology to achieve unparalleled levels of cold. Radium is the heaviest alkaline earth element, and the only ion in the column that hadn’t been laser cooled. says Andrew Jayich, an assistant professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. [Read More]

Quantum Control With Light Paves Way For Ultra-Fast Computers

Terahertz light can control some of the essential quantum properties of superconducting states, report researchers. Jigang Wang patiently explains his latest discovery in quantum control that could lead to superfast computing based on quantum mechanics: He mentions light-induced superconductivity without energy gap. He brings up forbidden supercurrent quantum beats. And he mentions terahertz-speed symmetry breaking. Then he backs up and clarified all that. After all, the quantum world of matter and energy at terahertz and nanometer scales — trillions of cycles per second and billionths of meters — is still a mystery to most of us. [Read More]

Hybrid Nano-probe Can Detect Live Cancer Cells

A new hybrid nano-probe that could lead to noninvasive detection and treatment of cancer at the level of a single cell has been developed by a University of Southern California scientist. Fabien Pinaud, assistant professor of biological sciences, chemistry and physics and astronomy at USC Dornsife, created a method for amplifying a biochemical signal on the surface of cancer cells. The new technique binds and assembles gold nanoparticles in living cells using two fragments of a fluorescent protein as “molecular glue. [Read More]

Photonic Crystals Self-Assembled From Colloidal Particles

Scientists have worked for decades to get colloidal spheres to arrange themselves in sparser lattices, which would unleash potentially valuable optical properties. The structures, called photonic crystals, could increase the efficiency of lasers, make optical components even smaller, and increase engineers’ ability to control the flow of light. Now, New York University researchers report a pathway toward the self-assembly of these elusive photonic crystal structures never assembled before on the sub-micrometer scale. [Read More]

Time Scale Stretching For Improving Prediction Of Extreme Events

A technique currently applied in the field of photonics could help predict rogue wave events on the ocean surface, along with other extreme natural phenomena. Stretching time scales to explore extreme events in nature is possible, according to a team from the Institut FEMTO-ST, which used an innovative measurement technique enabling the capture of such events in real time. This research was conducted in collaboration with teams from Finland, Ireland, and Canada, [Read More]

Photo-induced Force Microscopy Measures Nanoparticles With Light

A new technique called “photo-induced force microscopy,” which probes the optical properties of nanomaterials by measuring the physical force imparted by light, is being tested by scientists at Rice University. Isabell Thomann’s primary research centers on using nanoparticles and sunlight to reduce the carbon footprint of power plants. A major focus is photocatalysis, a class of processes in which light interacts with high-tech materials to drive chemical reactions. says Thomann, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, materials science, nanoengineering, and chemistry at Rice University. [Read More]