Week in Review: 2/14/16 – 2/20/16

February 19, 2016

Moving electrons around loops with light: A quantum device based on geometry

Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering and the University of Konstanz have demonstrated the ability to generate a quantum logic operation, or rotation of the qubit, that—surprisingly—is intrinsically resilient to noise as well as to variations in the strength or duration of the control. Their achievement is based on a geometric concept known as the Berry phase and is implemented through entirely optical means within a single electronic spin in diamond. https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2016/02/19/moving-electrons-around-loops-light-quantum-device-based-geometry

February 18, 2016

Mantis Shrimp Shells May Inspire Next-Generation Computer Chips

Mantis shrimp are well known for their powerful punch… strong enough to crack aquarium glass. But they also have incredible technicolor vision. “They can see in 12 different colors, they can see in different forms of polarized light, and they have some very bright and flashy colors on different parts of their bodies that they can display to each other.” Nick Roberts, a sensory biologist at the University of Bristol, in the U.K. http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/mantis-shrimp-shells-may-inspire-next-generation-computer-chips/

February 17, 2016

Hot find: Tightly spaced objects could exchange millions of times more heat

In a recent study, a researcher at Princeton and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a formula that describes the maximum heat transfer in such tight scenarios. Surprisingly — and encouragingly — the formula suggests that a million times more heat transfer is possible between close objects than previously thought. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S45/57/32O04/index.xml

New type of optical material discovered in the secret language of the mantis shrimp

In a quest to understand how these uncommon light signals are produced in mantis shrimp, researchers from the Ecology of Vision Group based in the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences discovered that they use a polarizing structure unlike anything ever seen or developed by humans. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/february/mantis-shrimp.html