Top ten stories of the quantum world in 2008

December 27th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Large Hadron Collider

London, Dec 27 (ANI): New Scientist has outlined its most read stories of the world of quantum science of the year 2008.
So, the top ten articles in the quantum world in the year 2008 are:
Four radical routes to a theory of everything: Einstein’’s theory of relativity does an equally good job at large scales. Quantum mechanics does a fantastic job of explaining the world of the very small. Until recently, physicists hadn”t made much progress in finding ways to reconcile the two, but now they”re spoilt for choice.
The great antimatter mystery: In the beginning, there was the big bang, which produced the universe - but how? If the big bang made equal quantities of matter and antimatter, it should all have mutually annihilated. So, why is there something rather than nothing?
Anyons: The breakthrough quantum computing needs? “Anyons”, a new class of particles that exists in only two dimensions could encode information in quantum computers.
Do birds see with quantum eyes? Migrating birds seem to be able to navigate by the Earth’’s magnetic field, using a phenomenon called the “quantum Zeno effect”.
What makes the universe tick? Time may seem like a common-sense concept, but it’’s one of the hardest things for physicists to account for - so much so that some have argued that it doesn”t actually exist at all. Now, a growing group of scientists are fighting to bring time back into the equation.
It’’s confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations: If you thought you were made of something solid and substantial, think again. New calculations show that protons and neutrons, two of the major building blocks of all matter, are mostly made up of virtual particles.
Atomic logic: In search of shape-shifting circuits: Soon, your computer’’s circuits will materialise in front of you out of beams of light and a puff of gas - and you”ll be able to transform its parts into any electronic circuitry you like.
The hunt for the Un-universe: There may be an entirely new type of particle out there, waiting to be discovered. These so-called “unparticles” are slippery customers: they can shift their identities, masquerade as fractions of particles, and even exude their own “ungravity” force.
Quantum effects may explain water’’s weirdness: It seems that the famous “uncertainty principle” could help explain why water is such an oddball.
2008: Does time travel start here? The Large Hadron Collider had barely started up before it broke down. But, when it’’s up and running again, will it create loops in time? Two Russian mathematicians think it might. (ANI)

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