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Scientists have never found convincing evidence for a supersolid—a crystal with superfluid properties. Now researchers have studied pure solid helium in a setup a few hundreths of a degree above absolute zero temperature without any supporting superfluid. They detect clear signs of superfluidlike mass flow under pressure. Further study is needed to determine if this state is really a supersolid.
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When a pair of black holes spiral into each other, the gravitational waves they emit preferentially in one direction can make them recoil in the other direction. This recoil in turn Doppler shifts the gravitational waves, like the sound from a passing train, which should be detectable in the future.
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Pierre Meystre of the University of Arizona has been appointed editor in chief of APS's Physical Review research journals.
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LIGO detects gravitational waves for the second time, from another pair of merging black holes. This time they were smaller and provided a longer-duration signal of their final moments. Two events within four months suggests that such detections will soon be giving astronomers a wealth of new information about previously invisible events in the Universe.
LIGO has detected a second burst of gravitational waves from merging black holes, suggesting that such detections will soon become routine and part of a new kind of astronomy.
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After Feynman proposed quantum computing in 1981, some thought it could never work because quantum bits (qubits) would be too easily disturbed by the environment. Then in the mid-90s two physicists came up with schemes to correct qubit errors that could creep in. Today quantum error correction is thought to be essential for any future large-scale quantum computer.
In the mid-1990s, theorists devised methods to preserve the integrity of quantum bits—techniques that may become the key to practical quantum computing on a large scale.
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Forget bungee jumping—a pair of masses on board the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft experienced the purest free fall ever produced by humans. In the process, they demonstrated technology needed for LISA, the space-based gravitational wave detector to be launched in the 2030s. Read LIGO Exec. Director David Reitze's commentary in Physics.
The first results from the LISA Pathfinder mission demonstrate that two test masses can be put in free fall with a relative acceleration sufficiently free of noise to meet the requirements needed for space-based gravitational-wave detection.
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If you heat up one region of a solid and then isolate it, all of the atoms will eventually come to equilibrium at a single temperature. Physicists have demonstrated cases of many-body quantum systems (such as interacting spins) that don't seem to ever equilibrate on their own, and now theorists have proven that such non-equilibration is a true prediction of quantum mechanics, at least for one class of systems, where interactions are short-range.
Theoretical work proves that interacting quantum systems can enter a many-body localized phase in which they cannot reach thermal equilibrium without an external bath.
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When simulating the evolution of a clumpy universe, it's much easier to use Newton's laws as an approximation than to implement the full equations of general relativity. Now two teams have used some of the latest computational techniques to implement fully general relativistic simulations and found some potentially important differences with previous results.
Cosmologists have begun using fully relativistic models to understand the effects of inhomogeneous matter distribution on the evolution of the Universe.
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The 2016 APS General Election is open! APS members can now vote for the 2017 APS vice president, treasurer, chair-elect of the nominating committee, international councilor, and general councilor. Learn more about the candidates and log in to cast your vote on the APS website.
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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and its sister collaboration VIRGO report important properties of the black holes whose merger led to the first direct detection of gravitational waves, including their masses, spins, and location. The paper is open access.
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A collection of 8 articles in Physics describing major results in the field of gravitational waves, from a 1967 claim of discovery to today's result by LISA Pathfinder.
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Congratulations to the LISA Pathfinder team for successfully demonstrating the technology to observe gravitational waves in space. This mission paves the way for the first space-based gravitational wave observatory, scheduled to launch in 2034.
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Have them in circles
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Working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics
Introduction
The American Physical Society (APS) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, DC.