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Seeing a single photon, new exoplanet search, quantum space network at 2015 DAMOP Meeting

Novel optical systems, atomic measurements, quantum communications and molecular machines to be featured at the 2015 American Physical Society DAMOP meeting in Columbus, Ohio

( The following research will be presented at the American Physical Society's 2015 Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) meeting that will take place June 8-12, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.


Telescopes aren't the only way to detect the presence of Venus passing by. It's also now possible to measure the relative motion of the Earth and Sun so precisely that physicists can use the measurement to find Venus, and eventually to find Earth-like exoplanets around distant stars. David Phillips (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and collaborators have managed the ultrasensitive measurements with a device called a laser frequency comb that detects minute changes in the light coming from the sun. The changes they looked for result from the Doppler Effect, which causes the frequencies of signals to shift when objects move toward or away from each other. Many people are familiar with the rising and falling pitch of a passing train. In the same way, light from the sun rises in frequency as the Earth and Sun move closer together, and falls in frequency when they move farther apart. As Venus goes along its orbit, it causes the Sun to wobble a very tiny amount at speeds of about 9 centimeters per second, roughly as fast as a cruising Giant Tortoise. As impressive as the measurement is, it's still just a precursor to the researchers' ultimate goal - to search for the wobble generated by Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Wobbling stars have revealed the presence of large exoplanets, but the system Phillips will present is the first one capable of detecting planets comparable to our own. The frequency comb could lead to new insights about the Sun's internal structure as well, but Phillips and collaborators are chiefly focused on planet hunting for the time being.

CAN YOU SEE A SINGLE PHOTON? Wednesday, June 10, 2:00 PM, Room: Delaware CD

Human vision is very sensitive. Researchers already know that we can see signals consisting of only a few photons, but the precise lower limit isn't known. It may be that we can see the light of a single photon. Rebecca Holmes and colleagues at the University of Illinois are out to find the answer with a source that can provide a single photon at a time. Human trials so far seem to suggest that we might spot a single photon from time to time, but the researchers expect that it will take many thousands more tests to know for sure. The system will also help us to understand better how our optical systems process light. In another year or two, the researchers hope to begin studying the way humans perceive quantum phenomena that can be produced with photons. At that point, we may be able to understand what quantum entanglement and superposition look like to the human eye.

TELEPORTING INFORMATION FROM SPACE Wednesday, June 10, 9:12 AM, Room: Delaware CD

Star Trek fans, take heart: we may not yet be able to teleport humans but some physicists are working toward eventually teleporting information from space. Trent Graham (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and colleagues are assembling an experimental system that relies on a novel variant of teleportation to transmit quantum information, potentially over long distances. Quantum teleportation involves quantum mechanically entangled objects (in this case, photons) that essentially act as a single object. The entanglement allows quantum information to be transported from one entangled object to its partner by only sending a few classical bits of information. In practice, entanglement is fragile, which makes teleporting quantum information over any distance difficult. Graham and colleagues are instead relying on SuperDense Teleportation (SDT), which is a simplified and more efficient form of quantum communication. While SDT reduces the amount of information that can be teleported, the messages are more likely to get through than with normal teleportation. The researchers have successfully demonstrated their SDT system in the lab and are currently working to develop a version that could eventually be suitable for space-to-earth communication, e.g., from the ISS. Ultimately, the experiments could lead to a quantum network in space for secure communication, as well as potentially testing the effects of general and special relativity on quantum states.

BETTER INVISIBILITY CLOAKING Friday, June 12, 12:06 PM, Room: Franklin CD

Late last year, Joseph S. Choi and John C. Howell (University of Rochester) demonstrated one of the first potentially practical invisibility cloak designs. Unlike many cloaks that require intricately structured materials (aka metamaterials), the cloak Choi and Howell built relied on conventional off-the-shelf lenses and optical components. Now, the researchers have proposed ways to improve the cloak further. Although the previously demonstrated design could hide objects from the naked eye, it would still be possible to tell that there was something strange going on by measuring characteristics of the light passing through the system. Light consists of waves, much like waves on water. While a cloak may not allow you to see what's hiding behind it, the waves of light coming out it can be shifted farther forward or back relative to where you might expect them to be if there were no cloak or hidden object at all. All you need to do to tell that there's a cloak (and potentially something hidden behind it) is to measure the so-called phase shifts in the out-of-step waves. But Choi and Howell have proposed a theoretical way to eliminate the shift, producing an essentially undetectable cloaking method, at least when viewed from a small range of directions. Unfortunately, their work also supports the growing understanding that it's not possible to cloak an object when viewed in full color from every direction..

PUBLIC LECTURE: Setting Traps for Antimatter - Dark Side of the Universe: beyond stars and the starstuff we are made of, Gerald Gabrielse (Harvard) Tuesday, June 9, 8:00 PM, Hyatt Regency Ballroom

According to the best description of modern physics, the big bang created essentially equal amounts of antimatter and matter. As the universe cooled, the particles made of antimatter and matter should have annihilated each other as they collided. Trying to understand the great mystery of how and why a whole universe survived despite our "predictions" to the contrary has stimulated searches for tiny and unexpected differences between antimatter and matter. The containment of the charged and neutral antimatter to be studied is a significant challenge to this quest. This lecture describes antimatter containment in "traps" -- containers with no walls -- and illustrates the way that antimatter and matter are most precisely compared.

ATTENDEES' MOST SCHEDULED TALKS To see the most popular talks among physicists planning to attend the meeting go to:



QUANTUM TWIN PARADOX Thursday, June 11, 9:12 AM, Room: Franklin CD A theoretical look at the effects of General Relativity on quantum systems.


ATOM INTERFEROMETRY ON A SOUNDING ROCKET Friday, June 12, 10:30 AM, Room: Fairfield




ABOUT APS The American Physical Society 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 51,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, DC.


The costs of conflict: Amputees and the Afghan war

Policy makers need to budget more than 288 million pounds over the next 40 years to adequately provide health care to all British soldiers who suffered amputations because of the Afghan war. This is the prediction of Major DS Edwards of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in the UK, in a new article appearing in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, published by Springer. He led a study into the scale and long-term economic cost of military amputees following Britain's involvement in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2014. The authors describe the traumatic ...

Ancient algae found deep in tropical glacier

Ancient algae found deep in tropical glacier
HOUSTON - (June 1, 2015) - The remains of tiny creatures found deep inside a mountaintop glacier in Peru are clues to the local landscape more than a millennium ago, according to a new study by Rice University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Ohio State University. The unexpected discovery of diatoms, a type of algae, in ice cores pulled from the Quelccaya Summit Dome Glacier demonstrate that freshwater lakes or wetlands that currently exist at high elevations on or near the mountain were also there in earlier times. The abundant organisms would likely have been ...

A new perspective on Phantom Eye Syndrome

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that approximately half of patients who have an eye removed because of a form of eye cancer experience `phantom eye syndrome.' Patients with the condition experience "seeing" and pain in the eye that is no longer there. Researchers assessed 179 patients whose eye had been removed as a result of a cancer, called intraocular melanoma. They found that more than a third of the patients experienced phantom eye symptoms every day. In most patients, the symptoms ceased spontaneously, but some patients reported that they ...

Highly explosive volcanism at Galapagos

Understanding the volcanic activity on Earth is not only important in order to limit the impact of natural disasters, volcanic eruptions also have a large impact on the climate and evolution of life on our planet. However, many details in the history of volcanic activity are still unknown. Scientists from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, together with colleagues from the USA, Taiwan, Australia and Switzerland, now have been able to track the development of the Galapagos volcanoes in the time frame between eight and 16 million years ago. In the process ...

Insulin degludec: No hint of added benefit in children and adolescents

Insulin degludec (trade name: Tresiba) has been approved since January 2015 for adolescents and children from the age of one year with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has now examined whether this new drug, alone or in combination with other blood-glucose lowering drugs, offers an added benefit over the appropriate comparator therapy. No added benefit of insulin degludec for adolescents ...

Scientists discover protein that plays key role in streptococcal infections

The effort to identify new ways of fighting infections has taken a step forward now that scientists have identified a key protein involved in the host's response to strep infections. This protein, called "NFAT," appears to play a key role in the body's inflammatory response to an infection, which when uncontrolled, can be as bad, if not worse, than the infection itself. Furthermore, this discovery was made using streptococcal bacteria, which are responsible for a wide range of human illnesses, ranging from sore throat and pink eye to meningitis and bacterial pneumonia. ...

Thin coating on condensers could make power plants more efficient

CAMBRIDGE, Mass--Most of the world's electricity-producing power plants -- whether powered by coal, natural gas, or nuclear fission -- make electricity by generating steam that turns a turbine. That steam then is condensed back to water, and the cycle begins again. But the condensers that collect the steam are quite inefficient, and improving them could make a big difference in overall power plant efficiency. Now, a team of researchers at MIT has developed a way of coating these condenser surfaces with a layer of graphene, just one atom thick, and found that this can ...

SIRFLOX study presented at ASCO 2015 Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL, USA (30 May 2015) -- The benefits of adding liver-directed SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres to a current systemic chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) reported in the SIRFLOX study, were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The results of the 530-patient SIRFLOX randomized controlled study, which open new possibilities for combining radiation targeted at liver metastases with first-line systemic treatment of mCRC, were presented by Associate Professor ...

PharmaMar's PM1183 plus doxorubicin shows remarkable activity in small cell lung cancer

Chicago and Madrid, June 1st 2015: PharmaMar today announced data from a Phase 1b study of the transcriptional inhibitor PM1183 in combination with doxorubicin in second line therapy in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) showing that the treatment induced objective responses in 67% of the patients, including 10% of them where all signs of cancer disappeared (complete responses). Every patient with SCLC denominated primary chemotherapy-sensitive (their chemotherapy-free interval (CTFI) is more than 90 days) responded to treatment, including 18% of complete responses. ...

Trabectedin shows activity in ATREUS trial in patients with sarcomatoid malignant mesothelioma

Chicago and Madrid, June 1st 2015: PharmaMar today announced data from a Phase 2 study in patients with sarcomatoid/biphasic malignant pleural mesothelioma showing that 41.2% (95% CI: 18.4-67.1) of patients treated with the anticancer drug trabectedin in second line were alive and free of progression at 12 weeks. The median progression-free survival (PFS) in these 17 evaluated patients was 8.3 weeks. There were 5 patients who continue receiving trabectedin beyond 12 weeks. "Mesothelioma patients usually do not respond to second-line treatments so the preliminary data ...


How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

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