Latest Dmitry Budker Stories

2013-07-29 16:23:33

Physicists use dysprosium to put bounds on maximum speed of electrons Albert Einstein's assertion that there's an ultimate speed limit – the speed of light – has withstood countless tests over the past 100 years, but that didn't stop University of California, Berkeley, postdoc Michael Hohensee and graduate student Nathan Leefer from checking whether some particles break this law. The team's first attempt to test this fundamental tenet of the special...

Researchers Extend Electron Spin In Diamond For Incredibly Tiny Magnetic Detectors
2013-05-10 10:18:01

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory From brain to heart to stomach, the bodies of humans and animals generate weak magnetic fields that a supersensitive detector could use to pinpoint illnesses, trace drugs — and maybe even read minds. Sensors no bigger than a thumbnail could map gas deposits underground, analyze chemicals, and pinpoint explosives that hide from other probes. Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy´s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley...

2011-05-20 12:07:43

Berkeley Lab nuclear physicists and materials scientists contribute to a remarkable advance in NMRNuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), a scientific technique associated with outsized, very low-temperature, superconducting magnets, is one of the principal tools in the chemist's arsenal, used to study everything from alcohols to proteins to such frontiers as quantum computing. In hospitals the machinery of NMR's cousin, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is as loud as it is big, but nevertheless a...

2011-04-08 09:50:36

Attempt to measure biomagnetism in plants sets upper limit for what they generateSearching for magnetic fields produced by plants may sound as wacky as trying to prove the existence of telekinesis or extrasensory perception, but physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, are seriously looking for biomagnetism in plants using some of the most sensitive magnetic detectors available.In an article that appeared this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, the UC Berkeley scientists...

2011-02-15 07:55:00

Physicists propose beaming laser at atmospheric sodium to measure global magnetic field Mapping the Earth's magnetic field "“ to find oil, track storms or probe the planet's interior "“ typically requires expensive satellites. University of California, Berkeley, physicists have now come up with a much cheaper way to measure the Earth's magnetic field using only a ground-based laser. The method involves exciting sodium atoms in a layer 90 kilometers above the surface and measuring...

2010-09-16 21:04:52

How to build a better magnetometer Magnetometers come in many shapes and sizes "“ an ordinary hand-held compass is the simplest "“ but alkali-vapor magnetometers are extrasensitive devices that measure magnetic fields using light and atoms. They can detect archaeological remains and mineral deposits underground by their faint magnetic signatures, among a host of other scientific applications. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,...

2010-06-27 13:23:07

The best theory for explaining the subatomic world got its start in 1928 when theorist Paul Dirac combined quantum mechanics with special relativity to explain the behavior of the electron. The result was relativistic quantum mechanics, which became a major ingredient in quantum field theory. With a few assumptions and ad hoc adjustments, quantum field theory has proven powerful enough to form the basis of the Standard Model of particles and forces. "Even so, it should be remembered that the...

2010-06-25 10:16:06

Experiment tests underpinnings of quantum field theory, Bose-Einstein statistics of photons Of all the assumptions underlying quantum mechanics and the theory that describes how particles interact at the most elementary level, perhaps the most basic is that particles are either bosons or fermions. Bosons, such as the particles of light called photons, play by one set of rules; fermions, including electrons, play by another. Seven years ago, University of California, Berkeley, physicists asked...

2009-07-22 15:55:00

Ytterbium was discovered in 1878, but until it recently became useful in atomic clocks, the soft metal rarely made the news. Now ytterbium has a new claim to scientific fame. Measurements with ytterbium-174, an isotope with 70 protons and 104 neutrons, have shown the largest effects of parity violation in an atom ever observed "“ a hundred times larger than the most precise measurements made so far, with the element cesium."Parity" assumes that, on the atomic scale, nature behaves...

Word of the Day
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'