Quantum sensors could let autonomous cars ‘see’ around corners

414D2E82-9FC2-40C1-BE97-D13018845410

High-precision metrology based on the peculiarities of the subatomic world

Quantum computers get all the hype, but quantum sensors could be equally transformative, enabling autonomous vehicles that can “see” around corners, underwater navigation systems, early-warning systems for volcanic activity and earthquakes, and portable scanners that monitor a person’s brain activity during daily life.

Quantum sensors reach extreme levels of precision by exploiting the quantum nature of matter—using the difference between, for example, electrons in different energy states as a base unit. Atomic clocks illustrate this principle. The world time standard is based on the fact that electrons in cesium 133 atoms complete a specific transition 9,192,631,770 times a second; this is the oscillation that other clocks are tuned against. Other quantum sensors use atomic transitions to detect minuscule changes in motion and tiny differences in gravitational, electric and magnetic fields.

There are other ways to build a quantum sensor, however. For example, researchers at the University of Birmingham in England are working to develop free-falling, supercooled atoms to detect tiny changes in local gravity. This kind of quantum gravimeter would be capable of detecting buried pipes, cables and other objects that today can be reliably found only by digging. Seafaring ships could use similar technology to detect underwater objects.

Continue reading… “Quantum sensors could let autonomous cars ‘see’ around corners”

0

Gravitational waves that are ‘Sounds of the Universe’

gravity 111003094408-large

This is a simulation of matter ejected from a star merger.

Einstein wrote about them, and we’re still looking for them — gravitational waves, which are small ripples in the fabric of space-time, that many consider to be the sounds of our universe. Just as sound complements vision in our daily life, gravitational waves will complement our view of the universe taken by standard telescopes.

Albert Einstein predicted gravitational waves in 1918. Today, almost 100 years later, advanced gravitational wave detectors are being constructed in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia to search for them…

Continue reading… “Gravitational waves that are ‘Sounds of the Universe’”

0

Underground Telescope Could Give Scientists First Glimpse of the Dawn of the Universe

hubble-galaxy

Scientists could get their first glimpse of the dawn of the universe from a telescope buried up to half a mile underground.  This new device is designed to detect gravitational waves.  Gravitational waves are an elusive phenomena created by some of the most violent events in the universe such as black holes, neutron stars and the Big Bang.

0