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This is what almost every major city in Germany looked like in 1945 (here: Dresden). From Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-Z0309–310 / G. Beyer / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Two generations ago, people in Europe fought for survival, an endeavour which is almost impossible when not followed together with other people. War-induced famine necessitated sharing food with everyone, bombs falling from the sky sheltering in cellars of other people, destroyed houses led to sharing of private living space with complete strangers.

The last generation built up on the ruins, trying to create a wealth large enough to re-create intimacy within families. …

As the start of our new series on humans in physics, I would like to give a personal opinion on the lack of (gender) diversity in the natural sciences and its connection to the very human phenomenon of “unconscious bias”. I wrote this article for celebrating “Diversity Day” in the quantum science research cluster in Munich.

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Focusing on the gender aspect of diversity, my field (condensed matter theory) is very male dominated, even compared to the Physics community as a whole. Most specialized conferences I have been to had less than 5% female attendance, often with only one or two…

It’s a sociable creature, seeking the attention of others, always in the quest to climb up the ladders of a social group, only to move on to the next when the top is reached. By getting to know many different paradigms of social interaction they learn the essential tools of sociopaths: observation, assimilation, imitation. When observed from the outside, they seem to fit in to any social group, making friends everywhere. They don’t do it for some evil reason or implication, but due to a false self-observation: Because they are attributing everything they have reached socially to the help and…

Transporting renewable energy to where it’s needed lies at the heart of the human endeavour to get rid of the need for fossil fuels. Superconductors can do so without loosing any of the precious electricity on the way, seemingly defying physical intuition. Find out in this article why many body physics is needed to understand their counter-intuitive behaviour, what role quantum entanglement plays and how quantum computation might lead to the discovery of materials which may give us the tools for a greener future.

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One of the oldest still existing rainforest in the world — Daintree at Cape Tribulation in Australia. It was the enourmous plant material produced in the forests of the Carbon age which got compressed to coal and oil
in the depths of the earth — and it is forests like this which are now endangered by global warming.

Dealing with climate change and the shortening fossil resources of our planet is one of the…

How quantum technologies enable uncrackably secure communication.

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In our modern computer world, being able to encrypt messages is not only necessary to keep some information secret from others, but is a key part of technologies such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Furthermore, the scandals around widespread eavesdropping of intelligence agencies has shown the world that in fact none of the routines used today are really secure. But what if I told you that in ten years all communication will be secure because it is physically impossible to eavesdrop on communication encrypted by quantum cryptography?

Let’s take a few steps back and look at how cryptography on the internet…

How information can be teleported through the two most counter-intuitive properties of quantum mechanics.

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By SpaceX on Unsplash

We all know the quantum world is weird, but in no place does it become as weird as in the protocol allowing almost instant transportation of information from one place to the other termed “quantum teleportation”. That may sound like it’s impossible — but what if I tell you that this can even be done without the recipient of the information knowing? And that this technology is about to make communication absolutely eavesdrop-safe?

Quantum teleportation is about to make communication absolutely eavesdrop-safe

Before I can explain to you how teleportation works, I must first explain to you the two principles…

How changes in life only come through positive self-motivation.

In the past year, I put a lot of effort into constraining myself, watching my habits to then find the ones which stand in the way of me becoming a more happy and balanced person. The second step was to trying to implement a stringent rule of the no-gos: checking news or social media when I should be working, staying too long in bed before getting up, spending too much money on restaurant meals, drinking too much alcohol or eating too much sugar, spending too much time watching stupid Netflix series.

Time only moves forward — this is what we experience in our everyday lives. Often, people connect this to the fact that there are clearly processes in nature which cannot be undone: when you boil an egg you can not make the egg-white transparent again, your coffee is very unlikely to go back into the coffee powder, which will never become a full bean again itself.

This post is a continuation of our last post on chaos. We therefore recommend you to read that one first, but it’s by no means necessary.

In physics, the irreversibility of all macroscopic processes…

Most people know that the concept of a “particle” is a pretty important in quantum physics (the latest success being the discovery of the “Higgs” particle in 2012) — but have you ever heard of QUASIparticles before?

If you haven’t, that’s okay, because you are in the right place to find out about them. What makes the notion of quasiparticles an important concept in the field of many body physics? In fact, most properties of all “normal” materials around us can be described and even quantitatively predicted with some form of quasiparticle. For example, whether a material is a conductor…

Science can be sometimes daunting for the unexperienced. Have you ever seen a scientific talk, or read a paper? There tends to be a lot of jargon flying around, circling the speaker to then buzz aggressively around the audience before it goes out the windows into the oblivion of the coffee break. This is our guide help you wizz through the jargon-jungle.

Scientific jargon is a necessary evil for us.

It allows us to focus a lot of meaning into a short word, and to be able to convey these meanings quickly to our peers. Imagine if we had to…

Alex Schuckert

Trying to make sense of quantum physics with the help of green tea.

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