Theoretically speaking, a single atom could be made to represent one computer bit — a technological prospect that could lead to unimaginably small storage devices. But getting atoms to behave in the desired way is easier said than done. Until now.
We all know the story. Electrons and protons are attracted to each other. That's why a balloon rubbed on hair clings to clothes. The electrons it gained are crying out for protons and dragging the rest of the balloon along with them. But electrons and protons are right next to each other in the atom. Why don't they…
The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical concept that no two identical particles in all the Universe may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. What does that mean, exactly? Well, for starters, it means that the butterfly effect has nothing on the consequences of the Pauli exclusion principle.
If you're a fan of lucid explanations of tricky scientific concepts, it's hard to go wrong with theoretical physicist Brian Cox. But when you mix in physicist Jim Al-Khalili and Simon Pegg, you've got yourself a recipe for pedagogic gold. Also: thinly veiled sex jokes.
This week on "Ask a Physicist" we have a doomsday twist. Is it possible to make strange new elements that could ultimately destroy the world or are you destined to be Mendeleev's bitch? In this week's column, we find out.
Scientists have figured out a way to flip the spin of individual atoms caught up in a laser matrix. Using this method, they can literally use the spin of atoms to make two-dimensional designs.
Here's everything you ever wanted to know about antimatter, but were afraid to ask. Or most of the things you kind of wondered about antimatter but didn't give that much of a crap about. Whichever.