Physical Sciences

Princeton scientists discover exotic quantum interference effect in a topological insulator device
Feb. 21, 2024
Author
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the Department of Physics

New findings open possibilities for future developments in quantum physics, spin-based electronics

Engineers use AI to wrangle fusion power for the grid
Feb. 21, 2024
Author
Written by Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

In the blink of an eye, the unruly, superheated plasma that drives a fusion reaction can lose its stability and escape the strong magnetic fields confining it within the donut-shaped fusion reactor. These getaways frequently spell the end of the reaction, posing a core…

Edge supercurrent reveals competing electron-pairing mechanisms in a topological superconductor
Jan. 16, 2024
Author
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the Department of Physics

Three years ago, scientists discovered evidence of edge supercurrents in the Weyl superconductor molybdenum telluride. Now, Princeton researchers have expanded on that finding and uncovered a series of novel features that may broaden our understanding of topological superconductivity. In the new experiment, the superconducting electrons in molybdenum telluride are forced to coexist with a stronger supercurrent injected from the conventional superconductor niobium.  The competition between the two incompatible superconducting populations leaves a distinctive imprint on oscillations executed by the edge supercurrent in the presence of a magnetic field. The oscillations provide a new window on how electrons behave in the superconducting state. This research, to appear in Nature Physics, deepens our understanding of quantum phenomena in novel materials.

IRIS-HEP receives funding for another five years of research
Jan. 11, 2024
Author
Written by Allison Gasparini for the IRIS-HEP Collaboration

This September marked the end of the first five years of research for the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP). In mid-month, an international cohort of the software collaboration’s researchers and project team gathered in Madison, Wisconsin for an all-hands…

Neta Bahcall wins preeminent astronomy award, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
Jan. 11, 2024
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

The American Astronomical Society has awarded its highest honor to Princeton astrophysicist Neta Bahcall, Princeton’s Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy. The Henry Norris Russell Lectureship is awarded annually for “a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research.”

“I…

'Sudden death' of quantum fluctuations defies current theories of superconductivity
Jan. 10, 2024
Author
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the Department of Physics

Princeton physicists developed a new experimental approach that precisely detects quantum mechanical fluctuations on the verge of a phase transition of a two-dimensional superconductor. The results uncover a new type of quantum phase transition that cannot be explained by the established theories used to describe phase transitions in superconductors. This research promises to propel the study of quantum condensed matter and superconductivity in new directions.

Physicists ‘entangle’ individual molecules for the first time, bringing about a new platform for quantum science
Dec. 7, 2023
Author
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the Department of Physics

For the first time, a team of Princeton physicists have been able to link together individual molecules into special states that are quantum mechanically “entangled.” In these bizarre states, the molecules remain correlated with each other—and can interact simultaneously—even if they are miles apart, or indeed, even if they occupy opposite ends of the universe. This research was recently published in the journal Science.

Moore Foundation Grant will fund development of microscope to zoom in on molecules within cells
Nov. 30, 2023
Author
Written by Wendy Plump, Department of Chemistry

In a funding venture that could be transformational for imaging single molecules within a cell, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded a $3.4M grant to a collaboration between Princeton’s Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology.

The four-year grant supports the development of a new microscope that will enable…

Galactic ‘lightsabers’: Answering longstanding questions about jets from black holes
Nov. 14, 2023
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

The one thing everyone knows about black holes is that absolutely everything nearby gets sucked into them.

Almost everything, it turns out.

“Even though black holes are defined as objects from which nothing can escape, one of the astonishing predictions of Einstein's theory of relativity is that black holes can actually…

New Quantum Science and Engineering Ph.D. program provides training in emerging discipline
Nov. 7, 2023
Author
Written by Tracy Meyer, Princeton Graduate School ; Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

Princeton University has launched a new Ph.D. program in Quantum Science and Engineering (QSE), providing graduate training in an emerging discipline at the intersection of quantum physics and information theory. This new field of quantum information science has broad…