Condensed Matter


Quantum States on the Surface

Authors: George Rajna

An exotic state of matter that is dazzling scientists with its electrical properties, can also exhibit unusual optical properties, as shown in a theoretical study by researchers at A*STAR. [22] The breakthrough was made in the lab of Andrea Alù, director of the ASRC's Photonics Initiative. Alù and his colleagues from The City College of New York, University of Texas at Austin and Tel Aviv University were inspired by the seminal work of three British researchers who won the 2016 Noble Prize in Physics for their work, which teased out that particular properties of matter (such as electrical conductivity) can be preserved in certain materials despite continuous changes in the matter's form or shape. [21] Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new technology for switching heat flows 'on' or 'off'. [20] Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest tools: a pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint. [19] A team of researchers with the University of California and SRI International has developed a new type of cooling device that is both portable and efficient. [18] Thermal conductivity is one of the most crucial physical properties of matter when it comes to understanding heat transport, hydrodynamic evolution and energy balance in systems ranging from astrophysical objects to fusion plasmas. [17] Researchers from the Theory Department of the MPSD have realized the control of thermal and electrical currents in nanoscale devices by means of quantum local observations. [16] Physicists have proposed a new type of Maxwell's demon—the hypothetical agent that extracts work from a system by decreasing the system's entropy—in which the demon can extract work just by making a measurement, by taking advantage of quantum fluctuations and quantum superposition. [15] Pioneering research offers a fascinating view into the inner workings of the mind of 'Maxwell's Demon', a famous thought experiment in physics. [14] For more than a century and a half of physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that entropy always increases, has been as close to inviolable as any law we know. In this universe, chaos reigns supreme. [13]

Comments: 34 Pages.

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[v1] 2018-03-10 10:17:24

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