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Latest Phonon Stories

Light Triggers Ripples In Crystals
2014-03-07 11:09:39

University of California - San Diego First propagating surface phonon polaritons in a van der Waals crystal Light can trigger coordinated, wavelike motions of atoms in atom-thin layers of crystal, scientists have shown. The waves, called phonon polaritons, are far shorter than light waves and can be "tuned" to particular frequencies and amplitudes by varying the number of layers of crystal, they report in the early online edition of Science March 7. These properties - observed in...

Researchers Find Clear Evidence For Coherent Phonons In Superlattices
2014-02-06 13:20:27

Berkeley Lab We all learn in high school science about the dual nature of light – that it exists as both waves and quantum particles called photons. It is this duality of light that enables the coherent transport of photons in lasers. Sound at the atomic-scale has the same dual nature, existing as both waves and quasi-particles known as phonons. Does this duality allow for phonon-based lasers? Some theorists say yes, but the point has been argued for years. Recently a large...

First-ever Bridge Between Optomechanics And Microfluidics Built By Researchers
2013-06-07 11:52:38

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ever been to a whispering gallery–a quiet, circular space underneath an old cathedral dome that captures and amplifies sounds as quiet as a whisper? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are applying similar principles in the development optomechanical sensors that will help unlock vibrational secrets of chemical and biological samples at the nanoscale. "Optomechanics is an area of research in which extremely...

Unprecedented Look At Quantum Oscillations Through Neutron Experiments
2012-10-23 13:30:32

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found that nitrogen atoms in the compound uranium nitride exhibit unexpected, distinct vibrations that form a nearly ideal realization of a physics textbook model known as the isotropic quantum harmonic oscillator. In the experiment on the uranium nitride crystal -- with each of the light nitrogen atoms centered in a cage of heavier uranium atoms -- neutron scattering at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)...

2012-09-19 16:25:53

Northwestern University scientists have developed a thermoelectric material that is the best in the world at converting waste heat to electricity. This is very good news once you realize nearly two-thirds of energy input is lost as waste heat. The material could signify a paradigm shift. The inefficiency of current thermoelectric materials has limited their commercial use. Now, with a very environmentally stable material that is expected to convert 15 to 20 percent of waste heat to useful...

2012-05-21 23:59:09

Researchers try to get the temperature-independent energy spectrum of some materials for obtaining all their thermodynamic properties from their experimental heat capacities alone. However, measurements are made at finite temperatures in practice, such as with phonon spectra obtained by inelastic neutron scattering, so it is very difficult to obtain a T-independent energy spectrum for any real material. One promising method to obtain such a spectrum is to solve the so-called specific...

2012-04-03 09:29:12

Model simulates closer control over the transport of information-carrying electrons Physicists have recently devised a new method for handling the effect of the interplay between vibrations and electrons on electronic transport. Their paper is about to be published in EPJ B´. This study, led by scientists from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and the Centre for Computational Science and Engineering at the National University of Singapore, could have implications for quantum...

2011-12-20 18:17:31

Size matters“¦ but apparently so does shape — when it comes to conducting heat in very small spaces. Researchers looking at the thermal conductivity of boron nanoribbons have found that they have unusual heat-transfer properties when compared to other wire/tube-like nanomaterials. While past experiments have shown that bundles of non-metallic nanostructures are less effective in conducting heat energy than single nanostructures, a new study shows that bundling boron...

Laser Light Used To Cool Object To Quantum Ground State
2011-10-06 04:28:08

For the first time, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), in collaboration with a team from the University of Vienna, have managed to cool a miniature mechanical object to its lowest possible energy state using laser light. The achievement paves the way for the development of exquisitely sensitive detectors as well as for quantum experiments that scientists have long dreamed of conducting. "We've taken a solid mechanical system–one made up of billions of...

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2011-07-07 13:55:12

Showcasing new tools for widespread development of quantum circuits made of mechanical parts, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a flexible, broadly usable technique for steadily calming the vibrations of an engineered mechanical object down to the quantum "ground state," the lowest possible energy level. Described in a Nature paper posted online July 6, the NIST experiments nearly stop the beating motion of a microscopic aluminum drum...


Word of the Day
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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