Congratulations to the winner of the golden chalk, the golden correction pen & the golden scale!
When light interacts with a crystal or a molecule, it can transfer energy to and from microscopic vibrations of their constituent atoms. The total energy is conserved, so that the difference in energy between the incoming and outgoing light equals the vibrational energy deposited in or recovered from the material. Physicists in Basel and Lausanne have developed a new technique to measure in real time the creation and destruction of individual quanta of vibrational energy (phonons) using ultra-short laser pulses and single photon detectors. They recorded the birth and death of single phonons in diamond and their technique can be applied to many different Raman active vibrational modes opening the way for detecting exotic vibrational quantum states such as entangled states where energy is delocalised over several vibrational modes. These results have been published in Physical Review Letters and selected as an Editor’s suggestion.
Quantum theory is by far our best description of the microscopic world. Surprisingly, there is nothing in the theory preventing macroscopic systems to be in quantum states. In principle, a cat could be dead and alive at the same time. A team of researchers around Nicolas Sangouard, in collaboration with colleagues from Innsbruck and Geneva, have written a review article presenting recent results on the difficulties and prospects of creating, maintaining, and detecting macroscopic quantum states. This review, which outlines the role of macroscopic quantum states in foundational questions as well as practical applications, has been published in the prestigious journal Reviews of Modern Physics and has been chosen for the cover of the next issue.
A team including physicists from the University of Basel has succeeded in using atomic force microscopy to clearly obtain images of individual impurity atoms in graphene ribbons. Thanks to the forces measured in the graphene’s two-dimensional carbon lattice, they were able to identify boron and nitrogen for the first time, as the researchers report in the journal Science Advances.
Christian Schönenberger is awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for the second time. His research project “Engineered Topological Superconductivity in van der Waals Heterostructures” investigates the superconductivity of van der Waals heterostructures.
In this Letter, we report gold-free templated growth of III-V NWs by molecular beam epitaxy using an approach that enables patternable and highly regular branched NW arrays on a far greater scale than what has been reported thus far. Our approach relies on the lattice-mismatched growth of InAs or other III-V semiconductors on top of defect-free GaAs nanomembranes (NMs) yielding laterally-oriented, low-defect InAs and InGaAs NWs. This system provides a new platform for interconnected nanowire networks of interest for topological Qubits based on Majorana fermions. Published in NanoLetters.
The growing demands of quantum materials, engineering and technology make access to microkelvin temperatures ever more essential. Experience in Europe suggests that new working methods, encouraged by an imaginative funding atmosphere, can accelerate progress in this frontier field. The EMP comprises ~20 leading European ultralow-temperature academic physics and technology partners in Europe, eight of which provide access to milli- and microkelvin experimental facilities. The node in Basel, Zumbuhl group, is specialized in cooling nanoelectronic circuits using a parallel network of magnetic refrigerators, recently reaching 150 microK with the network of refrigerators, and reporting 2.8 mK in a Coulomb blockade thermometer, the lowest temperature reported to date in a nanoelectronic circuit.
Nature Materials Review by George Pickett, Lancaster, and Christian Enss, Heidelberg.
The Center for Quantum Science and Quantum Computing (QSC) of the Universities of Basel (Switzerland) and Freiburg (Germany), embedded in EUCOR – The European Campus, invites applications for up to ten Georg H. Endress Postdoc Fellowships to start in 2018. The Center seeks to attract outstanding and highly motivated early-career scientists in QSC to engage in cutting-edge projects involving existing research groups at Basel and Freiburg. The ideal Endress Fellow has recently finished a PhD in experimental or theoretical physics (or related areas) and is eager to shape the academic environment in research and teaching at both nodes. Fellows will be appointed typically for up to three years, and will be selected on the basis of scientific excellence as well as quality and innovative potential of proposed research in the QSC target areas of the Center, such as quantum information processing (quantum computation, simulation, and metrology), quantum technologies, complex quantum systems, quantum materials, and other emerging topics in quantum science.