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A Quantum Trick Implied Eternal Stability. Now the Idea May Be Falling Apart.
A series of advances seemed to promise the impossible: the existence of quantum states that would never, ever fall into disarray. But physicists are now discovering that the pull of disorder may not be so easily overcome.
Maze Proof Establishes a ‘Backbone’ for Statistical Mechanics
Four mathematicians have estimated the chances that there’s a clear path through a random maze.
Physicists Observe ‘Unobservable’ Quantum Phase Transition
Measurement and entanglement both have a “spooky” nonlocal flavor to them. Now physicists are harnessing that nonlocality to probe the spread of quantum information and control it.
Is Perpetual Motion Possible at the Quantum Level?
A new phase of matter called a “time crystal” plays with our expectations of thermodynamics. The physicist Vedika Khemani talks with Steven Strogatz about its surprising quantum behavior.
Room-Temperature Superconductor Discovery Meets With Resistance
A paper in Nature reports the discovery of a superconductor that operates at room temperatures and near-room pressures. The claim has divided the research community.
Quantum Simulators Create a Totally New Phase of Matter
One of the first goals of quantum computing has been to recreate bizarre quantum systems that can’t be studied in an ordinary computer. A dark-horse quantum simulator has now done just that.
Eternal Change for No Energy: A Time Crystal Finally Made Real
Like a perpetual motion machine, a time crystal forever cycles between states without consuming energy. Physicists claim to have built this new phase of matter inside a quantum computer.
Mathematicians Prove Symmetry of Phase Transitions
A group of mathematicians has shown that at critical moments, a symmetry called rotational invariance is a universal property across many physical systems.