EPJ D Highlight - Avoiding environmental losses in quantum information systems

Transitioning states in diamond imperfections.

Through new techniques for generating ‘exceptional points’ in quantum information systems, researchers have minimised the transitions through which they lose information to their surrounding environments.

Recently, researchers have begun to exploit the effects of quantum mechanics to process information in some fascinating new ways. One of the main challenges faced by these efforts is that systems can easily lose their quantum information as they interact with particles in their surrounding environments. To understand this behaviour, researchers in the past have used advanced models to observe how systems can spontaneously evolve into different states over time – losing their quantum information in the process. Through new research published in EPJ D, M. Reboiro and colleagues at the University of La Plata in Argentina have discovered how robust initial states can be prepared in quantum information systems, avoiding any unwanted transitions extensive time periods.

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EPJ D Colloquium - Simulating lattice gauge theories within quantum technologies

Lattice gauge theories, which originated from particle physics in the context of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), provide an important intellectual stimulus to further develop quantum information technologies. While one long-term goal is the reliable quantum simulation of currently intractable aspects of QCD itself, lattice gauge theories also play an important role in condensed matter physics and in quantum information science. In this way, lattice gauge theories provide both motivation and a framework for inter-disciplinary research towards the development of special purpose digital and analog quantum simulators, and ultimately of scalable universal quantum computers.

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EPJ D Highlight - Measuring electron emission from irradiated biomolecules

Variations in electron scattering angles

OrigiA new experiment has characterised the properties of the electrons emitted when a key constituent of DNA is bombarded with high-velocity ions.

When fast-moving ions cross paths with large biomolecules, the resulting collisions produce many low-energy electrons which can go on to ionise the molecules even further. To fully understand how biological structures are affected by this radiation, it is important for physicists to measure how electrons are scattered during collisions. So far, however, researchers’ understanding of the process has remained limited. In new research published in EPJ D, researchers in India and Argentina, led by Lokesh Tribedi at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, have successfully determined the characteristics of electron emission when high-velocity ions collide with adenine – one of the four key nucleobases of DNA.

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EPJ D Topical review - Wigner scattering theory for systems held together by Coulombic forces

Originally developed and formulated for nuclear scattering, Wigner’s theory is extremely general, with application in many branches of physics. Atomic Physics often makes use of an apparently separate formalism (MQDT) which is in fact a specialisation of Wigner’s theory. In a new Topical Review article published in EPJD, Jean-Patrick Connerade (Imperial College London, UK and and European Academy EASAL, France) discusses the relevance of Wigner Scattering theory and in particular its K-matrix formulation for all systems held together by coulombic forces, including not only atoms and molecules but also clusters.

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EPJ D Highlight - Stresses and flows in ultra-cold superfluids

The superfluid flow around obstacles causes exotic forces and stress in quantum liquid. Free-Photos from Pixabay at https://pixabay.com/photos/rocks-stream-water-nature-1246183/

Mathematical modelling of superfluids, which exhibit quantum mechanical properties at a macroscopic scale, shows that they become deformed when flowing around impurities.

Superfluids, which form only at temperatures close to absolute zero, have unique and in some ways bizarre mechanical properties, Yvan Buggy of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his co-workers have developed a new quantum mechanical model of some of these properties, which illustrates how these fluids will deform as they flow around impurities. This work is published in the journal EPJ D.

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EPJ D Topical review - Recent total cross section measurements in electron scattering from molecules

Accurate new experimental data on electron interactions with matter are necessary for the understanding of a wide variety of natural and technological processes occurring in complex environments. Knowledge of the efficiency of electron interactions with biomolecules is crucial for the description and modeling of ionizing radiation damage to living cells and biomolecules radiolysis. Accurate experimental data concerning electron interactions are also important for the description of many phenomena occurring in plasma physics and gaseous electronics, including modeling of processes in cometary and planetary atmospheres.

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EPJ D Highlight - Questionable stability of dissipative topological models for classical and quantum systems

A schematic model showing generalised boundary conditions (represented by the parameter gamma in the gap).

Physicists Rebekka Koch and Jan Carl Budich make important contributions to understanding dissipative topological systems by studying the spectral instabilities that occur in the mathematical description and their effect on experimental setups in a new paper in EPJ D.

Energy conservation lies at the core of every physical theory. Effective mathematical models however can feature energy gain and/or loss and thus break the energy conservation law by only capturing the physics of a subsystem. As a result, the Hamiltonian, the function that describes the system's energy, loses an important mathematical property: it is no longer Hermitian. Such non-Hermitian Hamiltonians have successfully described experimental setups for both classical problems – in e.g. some optical systems and electrical circuits - and quantum ones, in modelling the motion of electrons in crystalline solids. In a new paper in EPJ D, physicists Rebekka Koch from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Jan Carl Budich from Technische Universität Dresden, in Germany, describe how these functions provide new insights into behaviour at the edges of topological materials.

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EPJ D Highlight - Looking for dark matter

A ‘clump’ of dark matter, shown approaching the Earth, causes tiny changes to fundamental constants and therefore to mass and acceleration when it passes through.

A new paper in EPJ D, ‘Constraining domain wall dark matter with a network of superconducting gravimeters and LIGO’, suggests two novel methods of searching for dark matter by measuring tiny perturbations in fundamental constants.

Dark matter, which cannot be physically observed with ordinary instruments, is thought to account for well over half the matter in the Universe, but its properties are still mysterious. One commonly held theory states that it exists as ‘clumps’ of extremely light particles. When the earth passes through such a clump, the fundamental properties of matter are altered in ways that can be detected if instruments are sensitive enough. Physicists Rees McNally and Tanya Zelevinsky from Columbia University, New York, USA, have now published a paper in EPJ D proposing two new methods of looking for such perturbations and, thus, dark matter. This paper is part of the EPJD Topical Issue on Quantum Technologies for Gravitational Physics which is still open to submissions.

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EPJ D Topical review - Electron collisions with molecules and molecular clusters

Over the last ten years, advances in the computational investigation of electron collision processes have seen an overhaul of many of the software packages employed by researchers, in parallel with the development of new tools. In particular, the increased interest in biological molecules as targets has stimulated the development of software which makes use of current computational abilities. These developments have enabled scientists to study small targets with increasing levels of detail, larger targets than ever before, and the effect of the environment by means of the investigation of small molecular clusters.

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EPJ D Topical review - Electron-scattering on molecular hydrogen: convergent close-coupling approach

Molecular hydrogen is the simplest neutral molecule, the most abundant molecule in the universe and an important constituent of plasmas with applications in astrophysics, fusion, atmospheric physics, and various industries. Elemental collision processes play an important role in modelling these plasmas, and collisions with electrons have attracted significant interest from both experiment and theory. A number of compilations of cross sections for electron collisions with molecular hydrogen have been produced. In all cases these cross section data sets have been produced from an analysis of experimental data, even though there were significant discrepancies between different experiments for many transitions. Theoretical calculations have been largely excluded from critical evaluations of the data due to large uncertainties. This changed with the application of the convergent close-coupling (CCC) method to electron collisions with molecules.

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Editors-in-Chief
Pere Roca i Cabarrocas and Daniel Lincot
ISSN: 2105-0716 (Electronic Edition)

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