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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.
Physicists Use Quantum Mechanics to Pull Energy out of Nothing
The quantum energy teleportation protocol was proposed in 2008 and largely ignored. Now two independent experiments have shown that it works.
Why This Universe? A New Calculation Suggests Our Cosmos Is Typical.
Two physicists have calculated that the universe has a higher entropy — and is therefore more likely — than alternative possible universes.
Controversy Continues Over Whether Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold
Decades after a Tanzanian teenager initiated study of the “Mpemba effect,” the effort to confirm or refute it is leading physicists toward new theories about how substances relax to equilibrium.
Physicists Rewrite the Fundamental Law That Leads to Disorder
The second law of thermodynamics is among the most sacred in all of science, but it has always rested on 19th century arguments about probability. New arguments trace its true source to the flows of quantum information.
At the Dawn of Life, Heat May Have Driven Cell Division
A mathematical model shows how a thermodynamic mechanism could have made protocells split in two.