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If you were asked what piece of awesome fictional tech you’d love to see find its way into the realm of the real, 99% of respondents would, without even thinking about it, say the Hoverboard from Back to the Future Part 2 . The idea of floating around smoothly on a board that hovers six inches above the ground is awesome. Maybe even more awesome and affordable than flying cars. Well, the gap between fiction and reality may have just closed significantly.
It has suddenly become not so difficult to imagine a future where we're all riding around on our very own Marty McFly hoverboards, or where we might actually be able to turn Quidditch into a real sport. That's because researchers have revealed that such technology is no longer in the realm of science fiction and wizardry. At a recent conference for the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), physicists from Tel Aviv University demonstrated a process called quantum levitation , whereby they were able to take a wafer of sapphire coated in a very thin, super conductive layer of yttrium barium copper oxide (frozen to negative 185 Celsius) and cause it to float in such a way that it seems as if it's being held by a very rigid invisbile net. Or the hand of Einstein's ghost. But don't take my word for it.
By Olivia Solon, Wired UK Researchers at the school of physics and astronomy at Tel Aviv University have created a track around which a superconductor can float, thanks to the phenomenon of “ quantum levitation “. This levitation effect is explained by the Meissner effect , which describes how, when a material makes the transition from its normal to its superconducting state, it actively excludes magnetic fields from its interior, leaving only a thin layer on its surface. When a material is in its superconducting state — which involves very low temperatures — it is strongly diamagnetic . This means that when a magnetic field is externally applied, it will create an equally opposing magnetic field , locking it in place.
Sep. 23, 2011 — Imagine tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching one's own dream on YouTube. With a cutting-edge blend of brain imaging and computer simulation, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are bringing these futuristic scenarios within reach. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models, UC Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people's dynamic visual experiences -- in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.
Invisibility cloaks are the result of physicists’ newfound ability to distort electromagnetic fields in extreme ways. The idea is steer light around a volume of space so that anything inside this region is essentially invisible. The effect has generated huge interest.
Demonstrating the world's first device that creates a hole in time A Temporal 'Time Cloak' Envisioned Moti Fridman et al. via arXiv We’ve written previously about the theoretical possibility of “event cloaks”--metamaterial space-time devices that could theoretically conceal an entire event in time from the view of an outsider. Well, while some bright minds were just talking about bending space-time to their whims, a team at Cornell was doing it . And it works. For 110 nanoseconds.
Oct. 13, 2011 — Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., have demonstrated for the first time that it's possible to cloak a singular event in time, creating what has been described as a "history editor." In a feat of Einstein-inspired physics, Moti Fridman and his colleagues sent a beam of light traveling down an optical fiber and through a pair of so-called "time lenses." Between these two lenses, the researchers were able to briefly create a small bubble, or gap, in the flow of light. During that fleetingly brief moment, lasting only the tiniest fraction of a second, the gap functioned like a temporal hole, concealing the fact that a brief burst of light ever occurred. The team is presenting their findings at the Optical Society's (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2011 ( http://www.frontiersinoptics.com/ ), taking place in San Jose, Calif. next week.
June 22, 2011 12:46pm EST Ever snapped a photo and only noticed it was out of focus after the fact? A new kind of camera from an ambitious startup could make such focusing mistakes obsolete. Able to take so-called "living photographs," the Lytro camera captures images in such a way that viewers can change which part is in focus while viewing them. "I am thrilled to finally draw back the curtain and introduce our new light-field camera company, one that will forever change how everyone takes and experiences pictures," Lytro CEO Ren Ng wrote in a blog post .
Lytro says its light-field camera, due to ship later this year, will let people change the focus of their photos after the fact. (Credit: Lytro) A start-up called Lytro hopes to revolutionize photography by selling a camera later this year that lets people focus their images after the fact. The technique used is called light-field photography, and it's been an active area of research for years in the optics realm. With it, lens and image sensor technology doesn't focus on a particular subject, but instead gathers light information from different directions; processing after the fact means different aspects of the scene can be recreated. Lytro has been working on the technology for years--I interviewed Chief Executive Ren Ng three years ago when his start-up was called Refocus Imaging , and he began his research at Stanford well before that.
Start-up camera maker Lytro promises that before the end of the year you will be taking pictures without worrying about pesky details such as focus, lighting, shutter speed and exposure. The company is pioneering a new kind of consumer camera that Lytro says can capture every ray of light within a camera's field of view. The technique is called "light field capture" which records various aspects of a light ray such as color, intensity, and direction. Regular cameras, Lytro says, merely record all the light rays without discerning the subtleties.
Quantum teleportation , or entanglement-assisted teleportation , is a process by which a qubit (the basic unit of quantum information) can be transmitted exactly (in principle) from one location to another, without the qubit being transmitted through the intervening space. It is useful for quantum information processing . However, it does not immediately transmit classical information , and therefore cannot be used for communication at superluminal (faster than light) speed. Quantum teleportation is unrelated to the common term teleportation – it does not transport the system itself, and does not concern rearranging particles to copy the form of an object. The seminal paper first expounding the idea was published by C.
Quantum energy teleportation is a hypothesis put forward first by Japanese physicist Masahiro Hotta of Tohoku University which proposes that it may be possible to teleport energy by exploiting quantum energy fluctuations of an entangled vacuum state of a quantum field. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] The hypothesis proposes that energy may be injected into a zero-point fluctuation of the field at one place, and extracted from a fluctuation at another place. Even for interstellar distance energy transfer, the amount of teleported energy is nonzero, [ 13 ] [ 14 ] but negligibly small. In contrast, the teleportation protocol will be effective in small quantum worlds of nanoscale devices like quantum computers . [ 15 ] The idea is a continuation of quantum teleportation which was originally proposed by C.H.
Like Schrödinger's cat, teleported light is both dead and alive This is a Teleportation Device The setup Noriyuki Lee and colleagues used to teleport quantum light. Science/AAAS
Beam me up, Scotty; scientists have finally done it! Using what looks like an incredibly complicated setup, scientists have not just figured out how to transport information using the quantum highway; they have actually made it happen. In the past, such teleportation experiments were either slow, or there was information loss in the process.
Hollywood seems to have caught alien fever. In the past few months, a slew of big-budget alien movies has hit theaters, from kiddie flicks ("Mars Needs Moms") to comedies ("Paul") to high-octane action films ("Battle: Los Angeles," "Green Lantern" and the just-released "Cowboys & Aliens," among others). And many more such movies are on the way, both this year and next. This glut of alien sci-fi films comes at a time when scientific discoveries are making the existence of life beyond Earth seem more and more plausible. And that might not be a coincidence, some experts say.