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Science Technology

Caltech Scientists Film Photons With Electrons 46

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the tiny-pictures dept.
al0ha writes "Techniques recently invented by researchers at the California Institute of Technology which allow the real-time, real-space visualization of fleeting changes in the structure of nanoscale matter have been used to image the evanescent electrical fields produced by the interaction of electrons and photons, and to track changes in atomic-scale structures."
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Caltech Scientists Film Photons With Electrons

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:48PM (#30496584)

    This is actually quite applicable to quantum computing. We are getting to the point where we can define the qubits, but have trouble measuring the photon emissions that indicate the result of the computation. This will allow us to finally measure what amounts to the result of the quantum calculation. It's been a long time in coming, but this will finally allow us to make some significant strides towards commercializing quantum computing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      You know, I've seen more 'this is important to quantum computing!@$!!@!' in the last ten years, its like Duke Nukem Forever, Quantum Edition.

      Okay, so this may help solve one problem, what about the fact that quantum computing has about 3 to 4 billion other issues that are 'just around the corner'.

      I'm confident that its more likely that I'll see a stable, bug and exploit free version of Windows, from MS, under a BSD license, with no charge, in my life time than it is that my children will see a working quant

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by maxwell demon (590494)

        I'm confident that its more likely that I'll see a stable, bug and exploit free version of Windows, from MS, under a BSD license, with no charge, in my life time than it is that my children will see a working quantum computer.

        Well, there are working quantum computers. They successfully factor the number 15. The problem is, normal computers are already quite efficient at factorizing 15. As are elementary school students. :-)

      • its more likely that I'll see a stable, bug and exploit free version of Windows, from MS, under a BSD license, with no charge, in my life time

        You'd just need to go back in time and influence Bill Gates to the Open Source ideals.

        Time travel - how hard can it be?

        quantum computing has about 3 to 4 billion other issues that are 'just around the corner'.

        Compared to time travel, which merely has a few million issues.

    • by Interoperable (1651953) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @01:06AM (#30496896)

      You may be more well-versed in the field than I am, but I don't see it. For a quantum computer you need to: 1) prepare a set of quantum states, 2) allow them to interact in a controllable manner, 3) read the result. The states must not interact with the environment throughout. Some q-bit candidates are: photons, trapped ions, trapped neutral atoms, ensembles of atoms, quantum dots, super-conducting circuits. Each has some advantages and some disadvantages but none can perform all of the steps easily while preserving the quantum state.

      Some qubits can be easily written into others, some can't. The article does not suggest a protocol for reading the state of one qubit into another or even discuss prepared quantum states. If I've missed it, please enlighten me, but some experiments in quantum physics really are done without quantum computing as the goal.

      • Well, according to quantum physics, that may be true, you might be wrong or you both could be wrong and right at the same time.
    • As I understand the article, this technology works as follows: a short laser pulse excites the electrons of a sample material. After a short delay t, a short electron pulse hits the sample. The diffraction of the electron pulse is used to generate a picture of the electronic states in the sample at the time t after the excitation by the laser pulse. This is repeated several times, with different delays t. By combining these images, they can see how the electronic states develop over time. It is a combinatio
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:49PM (#30496588)

    I didn't see that coming.

    (C'mon! It's funny! Photons! Femtoseconds! Ahh.. fergetaboutit.)

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:59PM (#30496632) Journal

    There are two tiny pictures there, but no videos, and no links other than to another press release which also doesn't have videos.

    Am I just not looking hard enough?

    • by VanGarrett (1269030) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @12:00AM (#30496634) Homepage

      Am I just not looking hard enough?

      Try squinting. It's all so very small scale.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      There are two tiny pictures there, but no videos, and no links other than to another press release which also doesn't have videos.

      Am I just not looking hard enough?

      The videos and links are there, but every time you look for them, you change the reality of their existence.
      I suggest blindly clicking around the page until you hear the video playing.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      FTA:

      observe fundamental chemical reactions occurring at the timescale of the femtosecond (one-millionth of a billionth of a second). The work "captured atoms and molecules in motion,"

      It was a video, but it only lasted a femtosecond (and if this was Fark I'd say something about your mother here...).

  • and you're using a very high resolution camera.

    Film photons with electrons, and its another confusing /. title.

  • I'd say this is no big deal...
  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @12:26AM (#30496728)

    It's Friday, I'm drunk, but what the FUCK?! I can't grasp..

    Fuck. CalTech. Guess them nerds do know what they're doing.

    I met nerds from CalTech and MIT. MIT nerds got nothing on CalTech nerds. When it comes to physics, I'd go with CalTech nerds. p. The nerd from my Ivy League school just don't measure up, including me...

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      I doubt there are many 'nerds' that you do measure up to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by maxume (22995)

        Are you insinuating that he may be in reasonable physical condition?

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

      by oldhack (1037484) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @12:49AM (#30496826)

      Fuck you mods. Seriously. Ivy League physics depts don't measure up to CalTech and MIT.

      Ok, that probably is irrelevant to this story, but fuck, when did relevancy ever mattered here?

      That's right. Fuck you. Fuck all'o you. I'm screwing a married theatre major on the side.

      OK. Screw you losers.

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by afxgrin (208686)

        lol I'd mod you up if I had the points man, just for drunken /. posting.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Thing 1 (178996)

        Fuck all'o you. I'm screwing a married theatre major on the side.

        Hint: it may be more fun to use the front (or the back) of her.

  • by itwerx (165526)
    This article needs a "Schroedinger" tag. :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It had the tag and didn't have the tag until you looked at it.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      Heisenberg was supposed to be here, but he couldn't make the commute. We photoshoped in Schroedinger and his cat Sy. He is waving at you. Is that Duke Nucleon Forever he is playing? What is that electron doing in this picture? Bremsstrahlung.

  • "Exclusive photos of photons caught mingling with electrons", "Quantum sex scandal!", "Proton threatens divorce, electron believed gone after excitement with photon"
  • Electro? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxwell demon (590494)

    If we image things with photons, we call it a photo. Since they imaged the photons with electrons, should their image then called an electro?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Electrograph, possibly.

  • That his head exploded. He apparently looked at he picture, said "Wow, now I understand how a photo is simultaneously can be a wave and a particle" and then when his brain tried to rectify that paradox his head blew up. Services are at 10am on Tuesday.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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