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“Optocapacitance” Shines New Light on the Brain

Francisco Bezanilla. (Photo: Kaspar Mossman, Copyright (2008) National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.)

A novel twist on the young field of optogenetics may provide a new way to study living human brains as well as offering innovative therapeutic uses. From time immemorial, philosophers, anatomists and scientists have pondered the inner workings of the brain. Efforts to look inside the black box consistently yielded far more questions than answers. [...]

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Comedy about Isaac Newton Enlightens

Actor Haskell King in a scene from the play Isaac

Isaac Newton, the giant of classical physics and co-inventor of calculus, was a pill. His anti-social and arrogant ways are well documented, providing a small comfort to people today who might feel daunted by the towering achievements of this 17th-century genius. Yet, there is no denying his foundational importance to science, known at the time [...]

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Quantum Teleportation Achieved over Record Distances

Telescope used in teleportation experiments

Two teams of researchers have extended the reach of quantum teleportation to unprecedented lengths, roughly equivalent to the distance between New York City and Philadelphia. But don’t expect teleportation stations to replace airports or train terminals—the teleportation scheme shifts only the quantum state of a single photon. And although part of the transfer happens instantaneously, [...]

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Time Cloak Hides Very Brief Events [Animation]

For years physicists have been refining invisibility cloaks—physical setups that cleverly reroute light around a region in space, effectively concealing any object that might be inside. But now researchers at Cornell University have built the first temporal cloak, a device that obscures an object or event not at a particular point in space but at [...]

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Physics tricks could make for one-way soundproofing

Microphone in a soundbooth

One-way mirrors, which many of us know from watching police procedurals on TV, seem a bit magical—how does the mirror know which light to let through and which to reflect? The truth is, it doesn’t. The one-way mirror and its smaller cousin, the mirrored sunglass lens, rely on lighting imbalances for efficacy. If the cops [...]

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