Showing posts with label MIT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MIT. Show all posts

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter

Photons with strong mutual attraction in a quantum
 nonlinear medium. Credit: Nature.

Star Trek Replicators anyone? -Bill

Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter

Sep 25, 2013

Harvard and MIT scientists are challenging the conventional wisdom about light, and they didn't need to go to a galaxy far, far away to do it.

Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules – a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical. The work is described in a September 25 paper in Nature.

The discovery, Lukin said, runs contrary to decades of accepted wisdom about the nature of light. Photons have long been described as massless particles which don't interact with each other – shine two laser beams at each other, he said, and they simply pass through one another.

"Photonic molecules," however, behave less like traditional lasers and more like something you might find in science fiction – the light saber.

"Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless, and that they do not interact with each other," Lukin said. "What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules. This type of photonic bound state has been discussed theoretically for quite a while, but until now it hadn't been observed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hactivist, Internet innovator Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Aaron Swartz
Hactivist, Internet innovator Aaron Swartz commits suicide
Juan Carlos Perez
@JuanCPerezIDG Jan 12, 2013 4:47 PM

Aaron Swartz, the brilliant Internet pioneer, passionate political activist and computer programming prodigy, committed suicide on Friday as he faced hacking-related charges that could have landed him in jail for decades, according to published reports.

Swartz, who was 26, killed himself in his New York City apartment, according to The Tech, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) newspaper that first reported his passing on Saturday.

Swartz played key roles in the development of the RSS online content syndication technology, in the creation of the Creative Commons licenses, in a campaign against the SOPA and PIPA bills and in the success of the Reddit news sharing site.

He apparently hanged himself and was found by his girlfriend, according to The New York Times.