Characterizing the ‘arrow of time’ in open quantum systems

Characterizing the ‘arrow of time’ in open quantum systems

Even in the strange world of open quantum systems, the arrow of time points steadily forward — most of the time. A video details new experiments conducted at Washington University in St. Louis that compare the forward and reverse trajectories of superconducting circuits called qubits, and find that they largely tend to follow the second law of thermodynamics. The research is published July 9 in the journal Physical Review Letters.
The fractal brain, from a single neuron’s perspective

The fractal brain, from a single neuron’s perspective

Physicists studying the brain at Washington University in St. Louis have shown how measuring signals from a single neuron may be as good as capturing information from many neurons at once using big, expensive arrays of electrodes. The new work continues the discussion about how the brain seems to function in a “critical” state. The research was reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Center for Quantum Sensors tackles big questions

Center for Quantum Sensors tackles big questions

The university’s interdisciplinary Center for Quantum Sensors aims to harness the power of quantum mechanics to detect and decipher some of the universe’s greatest mysteries. The effort is timely as Congress recently approved a federal program supporting the development of quantum technologies.
Bender receives Humboldt Research Award

Bender receives Humboldt Research Award

Carl Bender, the Konneker Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics in Arts & Sciences, has received a Humboldt Research Award. The award is given to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.
New tools reveal prelude to chaos

New tools reveal prelude to chaos

Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed tools that mathematically describe the kinetics in a system right before it dissolves into randomness.
Flavor of the moment

Flavor of the moment

In a new paper in the journal Physical Review Letters, Bhupal Dev, assistant professor of Physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, describes how future accelerators could crash together charged particles in a new way to shed light on their behavior.
A new view on electron interactions in graphene

A new view on electron interactions in graphene

There’s a new way to look at how electrons interact with each other in graphene, an intriguing material comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms. Washington University in St. Louis researchers, led by Erik Henriksen, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, are exploring the quantum electronic properties of graphene using infrared light.
Why is radioactive iron raining down on us?

Why is radioactive iron raining down on us?

Most of the galactic cosmic rays reaching Earth come from nearby clusters of massive stars, according to new observations from NASA’s ACE spacecraft. The distance between the cosmic rays’ point of origin and Earth is limited by the survival of a radioactive isotope of iron, Fe-60, which has a half life of 2.6 million years. These tiny clocks indicate there was a source within spitting distance of Earth within the past few million years.