Energy-space photo of light confined on a nanowire, simultaneously shows both spatial interference and energy quantization. (Fabrizio Carbone/EPFL) Physics 

First Photo of Light as Wave and Particle

In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed that light has properties of both a wave and a stream of particles. Now, researchers in Switzerland have taken  the first ever photo of light behaving both as a wave and as a stream of particles at the same time. The ability to observe light in this way could bring us a step closer to building super fast quantum computers, the researchers say. When UV light hits a metal surface it causes an emission of electrons. This is known as the photoelectric effect. A research…

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Latte foam: Photo by Piyato via Engineering Physics 

Science of Sloshing: Why Foam is Important

Have you noticed that adding foam to the top of a coffee makes walking with it easier? Foam reduces sloshing in drinks and other liquids. By Kate Stone Most of us know that carrying a full cup of hot coffee can be precarious and just one wrong move could send a wave of java sloshing over the rim. But have you ever noticed that adding a bit of foam to the top of the coffee makes moving with it easier? Scientists have found out why just a few layers of…

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Spider webs and leaves serve as models for bendable electronics (Boston College) New Technologies Physics 

Electronics Inspired by Spider Webs and Leaves

By Kate Stone Have you ever wished your smartphone was shatter-proof, bendable, or even stretchy? If so, you might not have to wait too long for the phone of your dreams because two physicists at Boston College are working on building the next generation of flexible, durable electronics. They have modeled the next generation of electronics on strong, pliable structures found in nature. In particular, spider webs and leaves. Researchers believe this approach promises portable electronics that are not only hardier, but also low-cost and simple to manufacture. The researchers…

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Brass mask used to create spiral laser beam (Stuart Hay, ANU) New Technologies Physics 

Physicists Make a Quantum Whirlpool

Physicists have made a quantum whirlpool that could lead to building computers that are faster and more powerful than anything most of us can dream of. Imagine changing matter into light and light into matter, and then using that technology to build computers that are faster and more powerful than anything most of us can dream of. That dream is closer to reality thanks to a new discovery that could link electronics with photonics. Physicists have successfully engineered a spiral laser beam that can create a vortex, or quantum whirlpool,…

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