If this is repeatable this could be very interesting news!
A group of scientists have accidentally proven a near 60-year old theory correct, thanks to a botched lab experiment. Nicolaas Bloembergen, the late Dutch-American physicist who won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to laser spectroscopy, previously predicted that it was possible to control the nucleus of a single atom …
IIRC, "spintronics" involves electron magnetic spin, not nuclear magnetic spin. I'm pretty sure it involves using magnetic, not electric fields as well. Putting electrons in an electric field, unsurprisingly, causes the electrons to move towards the positive electrode; we call this an electric current.
I can see how it could be confusing for us unfamiliar with deeper nuclear physics. I'm sure you are right because of the discussions in the article about core nucleus perturbances under the valence shells. IIRC the first time I read about spintronics, they were experimenting with using lasers and silicone based storage mediums - so things have changed a lot with that research as well.
With their teams of dozens, scores and thousands working on every little project, even the design of icons in a Ribbon, Microsoft may be finding that distributed wrecking is easy, distributed *learning* less so.
Committees are alleys down which good ideas are dragged and strangled. They are the only known life-form with many stomachs, many mouths and no brains.
"Our original goal was to explore the boundary between the quantum world and the classical world, set by the chaotic behaviour of the nuclear spin. This was purely a curiosity-driven project, with no application in mind"
Curiosity for curiosity's sake. I enjoyed reading this story, especially because curious investigation is something we should continue to encourage.
"Pure research often yields the biggest innovations ..."
The two examples I like are coherent light and an obscure inter-departmental document handling system at a particle physics lab. Neither were intended to generate profits however ... DVD's, CD's, Blu-Ray, Lasik, Google and YouTube.
Scientific research *always* pays off. Sometimes peripherally, sometimes massively.
Unlike those two, research on transistors and microcircuits were *intended* to bring profits. They sort of did. A little.
"This was purely a curiosity-driven project, with no application in mind."
I do applaud this as an example of pure research. But the article does point out that the discovery was made by a post-doc in quantum computing. UNSW has been involved in this since the 1990s under Bob Clark , and has a Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. Australia has several others too, and has invested a lot into QC research for many years.
So yes, a curiosity-driven project. But one stemming from an environment (QC research) which is seen as important, and has attracted a lot of money. Pure research is important folks!
I disagree there is no application - can you imagine how shrunken the space data storage would use with each atom spinning in its own direction, using any degree of spin in 360 degrees? it would also possibly make binary computing obsolete. You would no longer need just zeros an ones; but a whole zoo of combinations as various as a master encryption method!!
Nah. We still use zeros and ones effectively. Look at wired and wifi data. That already uses a spectrum of feilds and variable frequencies. It does not however give magic results. Using multiple "colours" in a fiber optic cable for example increases data... but not exponentially. Same with atomic spins in comparison to magnetic or ssd cell storage. You trade off accuracy and robustness for higher density. But you only get linear improvements.
Good points, I like your comparisons - thanks for commenting! Spintronics never seemed to take off, and that is probably why. I was always wondering if it were possible to disturb the spin of the valence shells, then almost anything could knock that out of kilter and result in data loss. I think the early laser experiments made more sense, as they theoretically could have been more permanent. Obviously it did't work as it looks like they abandoned that scheme.
Look up (IIRC) Core memory. The stuff that flew on the first Apollo missions, was literally magnetic rings with wire cross hatched meshes. Put a current through the wire, and the magnetic ring flips over, reverse the current, reverse the ring. The ring bridges the gaps of the wires going up/across etc. And thus gives you a nice little grid/row of memory.
So some really really sketchy designs, can be made robust. See Hamming distance in error correction code, for how it's done with mobile/wifi signals where you know it's always going to be dropping bits and data.
An article like that just begs for silly comments. In particular, the quote "You normally think of an atomic nucleus as a sphere of charge, but that's just an approximation. In reality, the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped. So the electric field can be used to reorient the 'potato' along a certain axis."
If I were an American Mega-church evangelist preacher, this would get me to say: "Clearly, if the nuclear charge is slightly potato shaped, this proves that God truly loved and continues to love potatoes!" Which makes no sense whatsoever.
But that's not me. Instead I am reminded of the odd "Ole and Lina Norwegian jokes". Please imagine the best Norwegian-American accent. Ya, will ya? Goot!
Ole goes to the beach, and he sees these pretty girls there, and he thinks to himself "Oh, if I only could get their attention!" So he talks to Lina, who always has good advice for him, and she says "To get the attention of the girls, Ole just put a potato in your swim-suit", and Ole says "Really, that's weird, but I am gonna try it". A little while later he comes back and says "Lina, your idea with the potato did not work at all!", and she looks at him and says "Ole, you know what, you hafta put da potato in da front!".
So, it's always great to solve a problem by mistake.
I used to work on power supplies for electric quadrupoles. They were a tad bigger than an atom of antimony though. We sold them as mass spectrometers.
The next thought that comes to mind is that according to Maxwell's equations, where there is a changing electric field there is a magnetic field and vice versa. As an electromagnetics compatibility engineer I encountered these effects on many occasions. There are going to be magnetic fields in there whether designed-in or not, so let's hope these quantum microchip boffins understand their EMC.
indeed, but when you go past the end they tend towards 1 sized again but in a different dimension. Egg shaped is actually a kind of infinite hyperbolic surface where the front and back sides of the surface are not connected to each other, and only close to the origin is the back side actually behind the front side.
Nicolaas Bloembergen may have gotten the Nobel for his laser spectroscopy work, but before that he (as his PhD!) pioneered NMR, which is also the underpinning for MRI. His graduate studies were somewhat interrupted by the German invasion of the Netherlands during the second world war, "hiding indoors from the Nazis, eating tulip bulbs to fill the stomach and reading Kramers' book "Quantum Theorie des Elektrons und der Strahlung" by the light of a storm lamp." A remarkable man, and it's amazing to see his ideas still bearing fruit.
Annoying, isn't it? Took me a few seconds to realise what they were, the skin colour helped.
I think this may be a UK thing. In Southern Europe they seem to be less squeamish. In Portugal and Italy their name for these things seems to be comprised of the local words for blood and orange.
Incidentally, why hasn't some boffin/plant-breeder developed a blood orange that is as easy to peel as a tangerine?
MRI is based on NMR, but the Imaging bit is quite an important development. I suppose you could call it NMRI.
Indeed, that is what it was originally known as, but for some reason, some patients got a bit nervous about being put in the big noisy machine called the "Nuclear mmpphhhmumble", so they dropped the "nuclear" bit. IIRC, the first MRI machine was actually built from a cannibalised decommissioned NMR spectrometer.
A physicist friend of mine did a lot of work on NMR scanners. The imaging was always integral to the concept - doctors would have had trouble understanding Matrix-style number cascades. He told me that they had to rename it because of the nookelar skary bit.
The best story is the scanning algorithm. The things make quite a lot of noise and early patients found the weird, dissonant hums and buzzes quite disturbing. So they redesigned the software around the even-tempered musical scale. Sadly, many nowadays opt for earphones and piped Radio Googoo, so they miss the really rather pleasant music the things have played ever since. I heard it for the first time a year or two ago when I went for a scan and, to the nurse's surprise, refused the headphones.
You can deduce some things here:
1) So there is some sort of electric oscillation, and
2) it has orientation with respect to your nucleus.
3) Which means there's an oscillating electric field resulting from that oscillation
4) Which means electrons must be dancing in that field because they have charge.
5) Which means that electric force as you know it, generated by electrons, is actually an *oscillating* field at some resonant pattern.
6) And since all atoms behave the same across the universe, that resonance is universe wide.
7) Which means the underlying electric force (the non-oscillating one) propagates infinitely fast. Because all paths through space must take zero time for that resonance to work.
So think about it for a second, you're almost there.
8) You have nucleus dancing around with a particular pattern and particular size. You have an oscillating electric field dancing around with a particular pattern and size, and you have photons somehow moving across space at some 'constant' over some field, somehow....
9) There is some energy in that resonance dance you found
10) If the dance returns to the same place the energy is called mass.
11) If the dance returned to a different place it would be motion.
12) If the dance motion is a straight line with respect to an observer, its energy would be called momentum and the motion would be called velocity
13) If the dance motion is an oscillation with respect to an observer, you can call it "Electro-Magnetic Wave Energy".
You see you've found the basis for most of physics here.
This is what you're looking at (about 2 sub comments down).:
This is why light appears to be a constant, but actually is just an arbitrary ratio:
Look at the gravity comment on this post:
There really is nothing else here, its just two particles, +ve and -ve and one force, electric_h0, space is "per wavelength" and time is "per oscillation".
I don't know why there are 3 dimension yet, but its here aswell.
Also you can deduce from 4) that the electron must have orientation if the nucleus does, because the nucleus dance is not symmetric in all direction, neither can it be for electrons dancing in that field from the nucleus. The nucleus has oscillating resonant orientation, so must the field it creates, so must the dance of electrons in that field.
So, you're a physicist and you know the explanation for magnetic fields requires a quasi particle formed from a negative number of electrons in a vacuum, and the positive number of electrons in matter, forming some sort of quasi particle of hole+electron giving the electron orientation with respect to the electric field its moving over. i.e. some mathematician trying to swap math for logic.
But here you've deduced that the electron dance is not symmetric, so the electron has orientation without needing to pretend that the vacuum of space has electron holes in it. The electron itself has an orientation with respect to electric fields. The hole isn't necessary to give it orientation anymore.
You see how you're almost there, you almost have the basis for magnetism here too.
Take two of your resonant oscillating nuclei, as long as they move together (in resonance) their field moves together. If you moved one with respect to the other there would be a force between them and an energy to move them out of resonance.
So now their dance is different. So there is motion with respect of one to another and energy associated with it.
You've found HEAT and the mechanism by which it transfers!
(search "Teleport heat" comment on this thread):
You've also discovered a lot of minor things here too.
You can see from 9)-13) that the properties of oscillation/spin/motion are all related and all with respect to the observer. i.e. they are not independent.
So you've discovered why entanglement works. Why when you filter for one form of motion, you've narrowed down all the other forms of motion to correlate too. The 'entanglement' event simply evens out the heat and makes it easier to detect.
Pretty obvious when you think about it: If you had an atom A1 oscillating and detect it with another atom oscillating A2, whether the motion of one with respect to the other is spin or velocity or oscillation is simply the *difference* between the two.
So if A1 and A2 are oscillating the same, then A1 is stationary with respect to A2 and it's oscillations are mass energy with respect to observer A2.
If A1 had more horizontal oscillation and A2 more vertical, then the net difference is spin. You can see how spin and mass are interchangeable here, the same is true of all other components of motion. They're all interchangeable simply by changing the type of oscillation of the observer.
So you've discovered the mechanism of mass to energy and energy to mass.... its just in a name and depends on the observer.
UNSW, Sydney you're having a good day. You've discovered soooo many things, right there in front of you.
"5) Which means that electric force as you know it, generated by electrons, is actually an *oscillating* field at some resonant pattern."
I'm not sure what this 'electric force' you're talking about is, but I assume it's the force imparted to a charge by the electric field that it's in. This may or may not be oscillating.
The charge in this case doesn't have to be an electron (or multiple electrons), it could be protons, or positrons (or more exotic things like muons). A stationary electron (or other charged particle etc.) produces a static electric field, and the force generated by that field is equally static.
You seem to be concluding that because the electric field that was applied in this experiment was oscillating, that all electric fields are "actually an *oscillating* field at some resonant pattern". This is incorrect, electric fields can be stable.
Your "some sort of electric oscillation" from 1) is caused by the experimenters pumping microwaves into their experiment in a (failed, as they later found out) attempt to create an oscillating magnetic field. It is not some underlying property of the atomic nucleus that they were experimenting on.
In addition 7 is also a mistake; concluding that because something is uniform it must propagate infinitely fast. If you watch waves in a canal the wavefront is flat across the canal, this doesn't mean that the wavefront is propagating infinitely fast along the canal. A related phenomenon is the lighthouse paradox, where at some distance from the lighthouse the beam is sweeping faster than the speed of light, the situation there is simply you've got outgoing light landing in different places.
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