Scientists create a new kind of matter called time crystals

January 30, 2017 by  
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Proving that there is still so much for science to discover, two groups of scientists have created a new phase of matter called time crystals. Based on a blueprint from University of California, Berkeley assistant professor of physics Norman Yao, the scientists created crystals whose structure repeats in time rather than space. If time crystals sound like a far-fetched science fiction daydream, Yao explained they move somewhat like jiggling Jell-O, but through time. Regular crystals, like diamonds , are comprised of an atomic lattice, an arrangement of atoms, that repeats in space. Time crystals’ structure can continue through time, in perpetual movement. Yao said, “Wouldn’t it be super weird if you jiggled the Jell-O and found that somehow it responded at a different period? But that is the essence of the time crystal.” Related: Scientists blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to improve solar cells The creation of time crystals in itself is crazy, but Yao said that’s not the only thrilling aspect of this advance. In a statement, he said, “This is a new phase of matter, period, but it is also really cool because it is one of the first examples of non-equilibrium matter. For the last half-century, we have been exploring equilibrium matter, like metals and insulators. We are just now starting to explore a whole new landscape of non-equilibrium matter.” In contrast, other crystals like rubies or diamonds are in motionless equilibrium, but as non-equilibrium matter time crystals continually move. Groups at Harvard University and the University of Maryland followed Yao’s blueprint and were able to create time crystals, turning futuristic fantasy into reality. They used “two totally different setups,” according to the UC Berkeley statement, and have both submitted articles for publication, with Yao as co-author on both. Physical Review Letters published a paper online earlier this month in which Yao detailed the process to create time crystals. There may be few uses for time crystals – Yao couldn’t immediately think of any – but their discovery is important as scientists begin exploring non-equilibrium matter, other phases of which could be useful, for example, in quantum computers. Via Phys.org and Popular Mechanics Images via Pixabay and Chris Monroe

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Scientists create a new kind of matter called time crystals

Upcycled urban cafe in India modeled after communal "chawls"

January 30, 2017 by  
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Call it what you will, but the creators of Cyber Hub Studio in New Delhi have applied their “anti-design” style of minimal intervention and maximum up-cycling to create one very unique urban cafe. To create the Cyber Hub Studio, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse inspired by traditional communal-living chawls found throughout India, the firm filled the space with vast array of quirky odds and ends. The designers focused on adapting a low-cost housing model from the beginning of the project, but the principal theme of chawls led the design scheme. Chawls are large buildings divided into separate tenements, which were used to provide very basic accommodation to mill laborers in Indian cities. Related: Tokyo factory is transformed into an industrial-chic Blue Bottle Coffee cafe According to the architects’ description, this theme was meant to emit a message of unified coexistence to visitors of the cafe,” Chawls were first created to house as many mill workers in one building – a space that was efficient and functional. In the same way, the hub has evolved into a space that symbolizes community living – a place that stands for unity, togetherness, security, camaraderie, cultural essence and ethos – minus all of the pretences of modern day life.” The design team went the distance to incorporate colors and themes typically found in the makeshift housing units, recreating the appearance of a thriving social living situation with a festive, creative twist that makes it an intriguing hangout for socializing. On the interior, a dark narrow hallway is flanked by rooms on either side, each one with a distinct decor. Upcycled materials and furniture are found throughout the rooms, which lead to a central courtyard that houses a bar and dance floor. Once outdoors, revelers can enjoy seating made out of large concrete pipes that have been “artistically vandalised” with graffiti. Via Archdaily + Chromed Design Studio Photography by Suryan / Dang

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Upcycled urban cafe in India modeled after communal "chawls"

Physicists announce the "possible discovery" of a fifth force of nature

August 17, 2016 by  
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Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have announced the ‘possible discovery’ of a previously unknown subatomic particle that, if confirmed, could unlock the secrets of dark matter. The discovery would represent a fifth force of nature in the form of a mysterious new particle. Theoretical physicists at UCI now believe the particle, initially theorized by a team of Hungarian researchers last year, could be a newly discovered light particle that adds a fifth component to the four known forces of nature, or even a “grander, more fundamental force” when combined with one of the existing forces. A previous study by experimental nuclear physicists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences identified an “excess of events” suggesting the existence of a new light particle 30 times heavier than an electron. At the time, there wasn’t enough evidence to explain whether it was a particle capable of transferring force, or simply a matter particle. It wasn’t until the UCI team of theoretical physicists got ahold of the study that discussions about a possible fifth force of nature began to surface. Related: Newly discovered form of spiralized light breaks everything quantum physics says about photons “If true, it’s revolutionary,” said Jonathan Feng, UCI professor of physics & astronomy. “For decades, we’ve known of four fundamental forces: gravitation , electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter.” Instead of being a dark photon , like the Hungarian experimentalists theorized, UCI physicists suggest the particle may be a “protophobic X boson.” Analysis co-author Timothy Tait, professor of physics & astronomy, said, “There’s no other boson that we’ve observed that has this same characteristic. Sometimes we also just call it the ‘X boson,’ where ‘X’ means unknown.” The findings were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters. + Physical Review Letters Via Phys.org Images via ESA/Hubble & NASA and MTA-Atomki

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Physicists announce the "possible discovery" of a fifth force of nature

Awesome Biomimicry: Leaf Veins Inspire New Model for Water and Electricity Distribution Networks

March 3, 2010 by  
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Lemon leaf with interconnected loops. Photo: RU A team of biophysicists at Rockefeller University recently published a paper in Physical Review Letters about a new way to design distribution networks based on the veins that carry water and nutrients in most tree leaves.

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Awesome Biomimicry: Leaf Veins Inspire New Model for Water and Electricity Distribution Networks

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