Atoms placed precisely in silicon can act as quantum simulator

In a proof-of-principle experiment, researchers have demonstrated that a small group of individual atoms placed very precisely in silicon can act as a quantum simulator, mimicking nature — in this case, the weird quantum interactions of electrons in materials. Their success provides a route to developing new ways to test fundamental aspects of quantum physics and to design new, exotic materials. …read more

The universe, where space-time becomes discrete

In quantum gravity, classical physics and quantum mechanics are at odds: scientists are still uncertain how to reconcile the quantum “granularity” of space-time at the Planck scale with the theory of special relativity. In their attempts to identify possible tests of the physics associated with this difficult union, the most commonly studied scenario is the one that implies violations of “Lorentz invariance”, the principle underlying special relativity. However, there may be another approach: to salvage special relativity and to reconcile it with granularity by introducing small-scale deviations from the principle of locality. A recent theoretical study just published in Physical Review Letters and led by the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste has analysed such a model demonstrating that it can be experimentally tested with great precision. The team is already collaborating on developing an experiment, which will take place at the LENS (European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy) in Florence, some members of which have also taken part in the theoretical study. …read more