Carbon Ring Storage for 1,000x Memory Increase

Attach a couple of cobalt molecules to a ring of carbon and you have the dream memory material.

There's a challenge facing electronics engineers attempting to build magnetic memory that can store data for more than 10 years or so. The density at which this data is stored depends on the size of the magnetic grains used for this process. Engineers have known for some time that they just can't continue to make these grains indefinitely smaller.

But today, Ruijuan Xiao at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, in Dresden, Germany, and a few buddies have worked out how to solve the problem. And get this: their fix doesn't just tweak the density of magnetic data storage. They reckon that they can get an improvement of three orders of magnitude.

What Xiao and co have found is a way to trick cobalt dimers into thinking that they're in a hexagonal close packed structure. Their idea is to attach the dimers to a hexagonal carbon ring such as benzene or graphene. In this scenario, one of the pair of cobalt atoms bonds with the carbon ring, and the magnetic field between the cobalt atoms can be switched by applying a weak magnetic field and a strong electric field.

If they're right, carbon ring storage should allow engineers to access this extraordinary stability, and that could lead to fantastically long-lived memory.


Cheap fusion power?

Eric Lerner heads the Focus Fusion Society, which is a charitable organization attempting to create focus fusion technology. He believes that his technique is fundamentally superior to Tri-alpha Energy (Colliding beam fusion in the reverse field configuration) and EMC2 fusion (inertial electrostatic confinement/pollywell fusion) because it results in more of the proton-boron fuel being burned. He is confident that this technology could lead to electricity generation at 2 cents per kilowatt hour. We should know if this technology if feasible or not within the next two years. If it is successful as Lerner hopes, this technology could have a profound impact on the world.


The amazing vanishing head

A trick using the eye's blind spot, plus an additional unknown effect.



A Glimpse of the Future MEMS-based Storage: Totally Green & Thumbnail Size

Khatib MEMS The University of Twente--Enschede, The Netherlands published newly conferred PhD Mohammed Ghiath Khatib's thesis, "MEMS-based Storage Devices: Integration in Energy-Constrained Mobile System". The new MEMS, (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) discovery will allow video camera batteries to increase their charging life approximately 2-1/2 times, consume 1/5th of the energy of disc storage and store 1-Tb on a postage stamp size device. Dr. Khatib expects this new technology to be available to the public within the next five-years.



Intel's Wireless Power Play

(Ed: Vivat Tesla!) Last Thursday, Intel researchers demonstrated 45 research projects, ranging from ray-tracing algorithms for better animation to organic photovoltaics for flexible solar cells, at the Computer History Museum, in Mountain View, CA. But the project that received the most attention by far was the demo of a wirelessly charged iPod speaker. The speaker was attached to a copper coil with a 30-centimeter diameter, and it was powered by magnetic fields produced from a second coil, with double the diameter, nearly a meter away.

Intel's wireless power project, first announced at the company's developer forum last August, bears a strong resemblance to a project announced by researchers at MIT in 2007, which was featured as one of the TR10 top emerging technologies of 2008. Similar to the MIT project led by Marin Soljacic and the prototypes developed by the spinoff startup WiTricity, the Intel project uses magnetic fields to transfer energy; the type of radiation shared between the two coils is nonradiative, which means that it's confined to a short distance of less than two meters.

The idea of wireless power transfer is, of course, not new. Physicist Nikola Tesla proposed it in the late 19th century. However, funding for his projects ran out at about the same time that the modern world decided to take a wired approach. And for more than a century, wires have done the job well enough. But with the advent of portable electronics that seem to need constant charging, wireless electricity is coming back in style, and researchers are exploring ways to make it practical. In addition, plug-in electric vehicles are another motivating factor, as plugging in a car (or forgetting to plug one in) is a burden that consumers may not want to bear.

There are still a number of engineering challenges, says Schatz, including finding the best way to shrink the coils, which are made of copper, so that they can be integrated easily into devices of various shapes and sizes. But he suspects that his company's products will be on the market within the next 18 months.



Bismuth telluride could revolutionize electronics

Physicists at the Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have confirmed the existence of a type of material (bismuth Telluride) that could one day provide dramatically faster, more efficient computer chips.

Bismuth Telluride allows electrons on its surface to travel with no loss of energy at room temperatures and can be fabricated using existing semiconductor technologies. Such material could provide a leap in microchip speeds, and even become the bedrock of an entirely new kind of computing industry based on spintronics, the next evolution of electronics.

This magic is possible thanks to surprisingly well-behaved electrons. The quantum spin of each electron is aligned with the electron's motion—a phenomenon called the quantum spin Hall effect. This alignment is a key component in creating spintronics devices, new kinds of devices that go beyond standard electronics. "When you hit something, there's usually scattering, some possibility of bouncing back," explained theorist Xiaoliang Qi. "But the quantum spin Hall effect means that you can't reflect to exactly the reverse path." As a dramatic consequence, electrons flow without resistance. Put a voltage on a topological insulator, and this special spin current will flow without heating the material or dissipating.

Fortunately for real-world applications, bismuth telluride is fairly simple to grow and work with. Chen said, "It's a three-dimensional material, so it's easy to fabricate with the current mature semiconductor technology. It's also easy to dope—you can tune the properties relatively easily."


Graphene's electrically tunable bandgap means Accelerated Graphene Electronics Timetable

Graphene holds the promise of 10-times faster speed than silicon chips, plus the ability to be integrated with exiting semiconductor fabrication techniques. It was thought that 2017 sub-10 nanometer lithography would be needed to bring Graphene into the semiconductor computer roadmap. Professor Feng Wang at UC Berkeley claims to have demonstrated a technology that can electrically tune graphene's bandgap, enabling it to be used for digital transistors long before lithography hits sub-10 nanometer sizes.

The researchers speculated that a new kind of graphene gate array would be possible using the technique to dynamically reconfigure millions of gates, each with both top and bottom electrodes, by retuning their bandgaps on-the-fly.

"All you need is dual gates at all positions, then you could change any location to be either a metal or a semiconductor electrically," said Wang.

Wang used exfoliation to fabricate two parallel graphene monolayers atop each other, then attached gate electrodes to the top and bottom of the bilayers. Electrical connections for the source and drain were made along the edges of the bilayer sheets. By varying the gating voltages on the top and bottom gates independently, the team was able to demonstrate an electrically tunable bandgap that varied between zero (a metal) and 250 milli-electron volts (a semiconductor). That was only a fraction of the size of bandgaps in current semiconductors (germanium and silicon have bandgaps of 740- and 1,200-meV, respectively) but wide enough to fabricate digital circuitry.

(ed. Wow! How about a cellphone that can change its own circuitry based on the program you are running!)



Anti-Recession Fiber Internet for Multi-Trillion Boost to the Economy

High speed fiber internet is being implemented with greater speed and higher penetration around the world than in the United States. The 5-10+% [700 billion to 1.4 trillion per year initially. A nextbigfuture article that covers many studies that connect broadband to economic stimulus] boost to the GDP that would come from 100+mbps symmetrical access would quickly pay for initial subsidies. Implementation by say Japan means that other countries the United States could also have them by adjusting policies and rules to prevent incumbent companies and groups from blocking successful rollout. The first example is super-broadband. The economic benefits for super-broadband have been shown. It is to the benefit of a economic benefit of country and its people to enable super-broadband (at least 100 mbps both up and down). Having a system set up that slows and prevents this rollout is stupid.

Japan is rolling out 10 gigabit per second (symmetrical, upload and download) fiber internet connections. Speeds up to 160 gigabit per second have been demonstrated and 200+ gigabit per second speed is possible. Wireless speeds of 10 gigabits per second over distances have been demonstrated.

There is no societal or technological reason to settle for lesser connection speed targets.


The Physical Basis of Atomically Precise Manufacturing

by Eric Drexler on June 12, 2009

The section below, adapted from a longer work, discusses the physical basis for understanding atomically precise fabrication systems: first, a very general class of systems, and second, the specific characteristics of high-throughput systems of a kind several technology levels above where we are today. (In my previous post, “A Telescope Aimed at the Future” I said a bit about science, modeling, and as-yet-unimplemented technologies.)

Regarding next-stage objectives for laboratory research and the trajectory of technology development, I’ve previously discussed:

Current understanding of potential systems for atomically precise manufacturing (APM) is based on long-established science, not on speculations regarding new or poorly understood physical phenomena. Molecular machinery in biological cells demonstrates the fundamental physical principles and operations that enable APM.

(ed: an outline follows in the document -- please follow the link)



Apollo 11 Owners' Workshop Manual

Apollo 11 Owners’ Workshop Manual coverOn 20th July 1969, US astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. But it had taken 400,000 men and women across the United States to put him and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin there. Achieving technical miracles and overcoming bureaucratic battles, daunting setbacks and tragedies, Apollo’s engineers and scientists worked out how to transport human beings and their home comforts across a quarter of a million miles of hostile space, to live and work on the surface of an unexplored alien world.

The fact that all this was achieved before the age of micro-computers, mobile phones and the internet, when slide rules were still in every engineer’s top pocket, is even more exceptional. The seven million engineered parts invented to fly a single mission all had to work perfectly.

Forty years on, the reality of just how difficult it was to achieve a lunar landing in the mid-20th century is recounted in Apollo 11 Owners' Workshop Manual. Presented in the successful Haynes Manual format with original NASA technical illustrations and stunning archive photographs- some previously unpublished, the down-to-earth text takes the reader behind the scenes to look at every aspect of the Apollo 11 mission, from the raw fire-breathing power of the Saturn V rocket to the development of the astronauts’ space suits. Unique ‘how it works’ and ‘how you fly it’ guides give an insight into launch procedures, ‘flying’ and landing the Lunar Module, walking on the Moon, and the Earth re-entry procedure. A fascinating book, Apollo 11 Owners' Workshop Manual chronicles the audacity of the engineers who dared to dream that such a voyage was possible and then made it happen.


Popular Giant Star Shrinks Mysteriously

A massive red star in the constellation Orion has shrunk in the past 15 years and astronomers don't know why.

Called Betelgeuse, the star is considered a red supergiant. Such massive stars are nearing the ends of their lives and can swell to 100 times their original size before exploding as supernovae, or possibly just collapsing to form black holes without violent explosions (as one study suggested).

Betelgeuse, one of the top 10 brightest stars in our sky, is a popular target among backyard skywatchers and was the first star ever to have its size measured, and even today is one of only a handful of stars that appears through the Hubble Space Telescope as a disk rather than a point of light. It was the first star (besides our sun) to have its surface photographed (by Hubble).

In 1993, measurements put Betelgeuse's radius at about 5.5 astronomical units (AU), where one AU equals the average Earth-sun distance of 93 million miles, or about 150 million km. Since then it has shrunk in size by 15 percent. That means the star's radius has contracted by a distance equal to the orbit of Venus.

"To see this change is very striking," said Charles Townes, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of physics. "We will be watching it carefully over the next few years to see if it will keep contracting or will go back up in size." (Townes won the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics for inventing the laser and the maser, a microwave laser.)

"But we do not know why the star is shrinking," said Edward Wishnow, a research physicist at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory. "Considering all that we know about galaxies and the distant universe, there are still lots of things we don't know about stars, including what happens as red giants near the ends of their lives."


Getting a theory of everything by ditching tenet of physics

Every article on quantum gravity begins the same way. On the one hand we have quantum mechanics—excellent at describing the very small and intrinsic lumpiness of the universe—and on the other hand we have general relativity—excellent at describing gravity, but it relies on a smooth universe. At some point the two meet, and just like Manchester United supporters and Liverpool fans, they just don't get along. Luckily for the universe, tire irons haven't been deployed to settle this incompatibility.

A pair of unrelated papers, which appeared in Physical Review Letters, and a News and Views article in Nature Physics all indicate that progress is occurring, but it is coming at the expense of a long-cherished tenet of physics, called the Lorentz Invariance.

Until recently, the general consensus was that string theory was the great hope, but physicists have been rocked by the discovery that string theory still requires a bunch of fine-tuned values to get to the universe we observe.

This depressing state of affairs has led to reappearance of the anthropic principle, which, while begin very deep and meaningful, also finds itself in the embarrassing position of stating the bleeding obvious. Which leads us nicely to a paper by one Petr Hořava, brought to my attention and nicely explained in the Nature Physics News and Views article. Hořava takes advantage of a recent finding that, in quantum mechanics, the universe behaves as if it has four dimensions at larger scales, but this can be reduced to two dimensions as the scale is reduced. This implies that space and time may be fractal in nature—not a new idea, but it's always nice to have evidence to support the idea.

To summarize the reduction procedure, space and time are treated separately, which would normally cause all sorts of problems in quantum mechanics. However, by treating space and time differently as well as separately, the infinities in the quantum mechanics equations vanish, and gravity behaves as it should. 

Interestingly, space remains the same in all directions, while time does not. This appeals to me, because it points to fabric of the universe supplying time with a preferred direction. One of the downsides, though, is the failure of Lorentz invariance.

To understand why physicists might be loath to give up Lorentz invariance, let's take a quick look at it. A key idea, going way back to Galileo is that all accurate observations are equally valid and must agree. A simple example of this is cars on a motorway. I am cruising along at 120km/h but, to me, my car appears to be standing still. An overtaking car appears to me to be traveling at 20km/h, while a person on the side of the road will see speeds of 120km/h and 140km/h. Now, although we all disagree on the speed of each car, we can, given some information, understand each other's results and reach an agreement. These sorts of transformations, based on Lorentz invariance, are a key part of physics and are founded on a certain conception of space and time.


Free-floating black hole may solve space 'firefly' mystery

The object responsible for the mysterious brightening seen in 2006 (right) is ordinarily too dim to detect (left) (Image: Barbary et al.)

A wandering black hole may have torn apart a star to create a strange object that brightened mysteriously and then faded from view in 2006, a new study suggests. But more than three years later, astronomers are still at a loss to explain all the features of the strange event.

The object, called SCP 06F6, was first spotted in the constellation Bootes in February 2006 in a search for supernovae by the Hubble Space Telescope. The object flared to its maximum brightness over about 100 days, a period much longer than most supernovae, which do so in just 20 days.

Further analysis of the object's spectrum in 2008 offered no more clues: SCP 06F6 seemed to resemble no known object, and astronomers couldn't even say whether the event originated in the Milky Way or beyond.

Examining the work over coffee, Boris Gaensicke of the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, and colleagues noticed that dips in the object's light spectrum looked familiar. They resembled those created when light passes through a relatively cool area that is rich in carbon. "These wiggles are basically the fingerprints of carbon molecules," Gaensicke says.

Gaensicke and colleagues envision two scenarios that might explain the object. In one, a carbon-rich star gets too close to a middle- or heavy-weight black hole, which tears the star apart. Some of this material is absorbed by the black hole, and some is blasted away in a flare that was eventually seen from Earth as SCP 06F6.

Such flares brighten and dim with the same leisurely pace seen in SCP 06F6, and they also produce X-rays with a similar brightness to those the team found at the location of the firefly-like event.



A Telescope Aimed at the Future

The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer
Our time in history is unique in that physical knowledge and computational methods enable partial understanding of technology levels
above our own — and in some areas, far above. Because we
understand the universal physical laws that govern matter and energy,
we understand the physical laws that will govern the material
structures of future technologies.

Our time is also unique in that growing computational capacity can
enable us to simulate systems that have not yet been built: New
aircraft typically fly as expected, new computer chips typically
operate as expected. These same capabilities can also be used to
simulate systems that cannot yet be built. These systems
include some of the products and processes that will be enabled by
higher levels of technology. Indeed, in semiconductor technology, a
company must design chips before they can be made, or lose to its
The Schrodinger equation
Using computational simulation this way is like the earlier use of
telescopes to view planets that spacecraft could not yet reach. Like a
telescope, it does not provide a detailed picture — that is the
role of spacecraft. But like a telescope, it can identify potential
targets and help engineers plan how to reach them. And likewise, the
easiest targets to see are not necessarily the easiest targets to reach.


"Web 2.0": English Gets Its Millionth Word

English contains more words than any other language on the planet
and added its millionth word early Wednesday, according to the Global
Language Monitor, a Web site that uses a math formula to estimate how
often words are created.

The site estimates the millionth English word, "Web 2.0" was added
to the language Wednesday at 5:22 a.m. ET. The term refers to the
second, more social generation of the Internet.

The site says more than 14 words are added to English every day, at the current rate.



Six Ways that Google Wave is Going to Change Your Business, Career and Life

Google recently announced their most ambitious project to date called Google Wave. According to Google, Wave is “what email would look like if it was invented today.”

If you haven’t made time to watch the one hour video, I’d highly recommend you do so today.

And please -- click through and read this article in its entirety.

1. Extensions

Google is making it easy to augment the power of Wave by writing Wave Extensions.
These are similar to Firefox Add-ons and they fall into two areas:
Robots and Gadgets.

2. Embedding APIs

Google has created a huge API to Wave, but one of the really interesting parts is the ability to embed a Wave
into any web page. A great example of how this could be used with
blogging. You can create a Wave and then publish it to your blog. Then
whenever someone comments on the blog post, it appears as a reply to
you Wave in your Wave client - no need to visit the site.

3. Collaboration

The separation between documents and emails will be completely
removed with Waves. This is because Waves can be edited by more than
one person. A great example would be taking notes for a meeting.

4. Open Source

Google doesn’t intend to ‘own’ Wave. They have open-sourced the technology and created the Wave Federation Protocol.

5. Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

Wave is written entirely in Google Web Toolkit.
GWT allows you to write HTML 5 web apps in Java, which are then
cross-compiled into optimized JavaScript. If you want to learn more,
this video explanation is very helpful.

6. Playback

The increased collaboration that possible with Wave might actually
make it confusing for someone to be added to a Wave after a lot of
editing and replies have been made. Enter ‘Wave Playback. The
best way to explain it is by jumping to minute 13:00 on the Wave introduction video.


Radio-controlled bullets leave no place to hide

A RIFLE capable of firing explosive bullets that can
detonate within a metre of a target could let soldiers fire on snipers
hiding in trenches, behind walls or inside buildings.

US army has developed the XM25 rifle to give its troops an alternative
to calling in artillery fire or air strikes when an enemy has taken
cover and can't be targeted by direct fire. "This is the first
leap-ahead technology for troops that we've been able to develop and
deploy," says Douglas Tamilio, the army's project manager for new weapons for soldiers. "This gives them another tool in their kitbag."

rifle's gunsight uses a laser rangefinder to calculate the exact
distance to the obstruction. The soldier can then add or subtract up to
3 metres from that distance to enable the bullets to clear the barrier
and explode above or beside the target.

As the 25-millimetre round is fired, the gunsight
sends a radio signal to a chip inside the bullet, telling it the
precise distance to the target. A spiral groove inside the barrel makes
the bullet rotate as it travels, and as it also contains a magnetic
transducer, this rotation through the Earth's magnetic field generates
an alternating current. A patent
granted to the bullet's maker, Alliant Techsystems, reveals that the
chip uses fluctuations in this current to count each revolution and, as
it knows the distance covered in one spin, it can calculate how far it
has travelled.

rifle would allow a soldier faced with a sniper firing from a window to
take a distance measurement to the window, add a metre, fire through
the window, and have the round detonate 1 metre inside the room. The
same method could be used to fire behind a wall or over a trench.



US team create carbon nanotube ultra-memory

US researchers have demonstrated a form of nanotube archival memory
that can store a memory bit for a billion years, and has a theoretical
trillion bits/square inch density.

The researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California
(UC) Berkeley were led by physicist Alex Zettl. They built a prototype
device based on a nanoscale iron particle, about 1/50,000th the width
of a human hair, moving along a carbon nanotube like a shuttle.

By applying an electric current, the iron particle shuttle could be
made to move inside the nanotube either away from or towards the
current source. When the current was turned off the particle was, as it
were, frozen in position. By applying the current in a timed pulse the
particle could be made to move a fixed 3nm distance in steps. The speed
of movement could be altered by varying the applied bias voltage.

The researchers say that placing the shuttle either side of the
mid-point along the length of the nanotube can constitute a digital one
or zero. A transmission electron microscope showed the shuttle moving -
there is a video showing this accessible here.
In a practical device the shuttle position could be read via detecting
the axial electrical resistance of the nanotube by small voltage
pulses. This is sensitive to the physical location of the enclosed
nanoparticle shuttle and the pulses do not alter the state of the

Other calculations suggest a complete archival chip could store a
trillion bits in a square inch in this way. Fascinating stuff, but any
practical usage is still many, many years away.


Revolutionary Ultrasonic Nanotechnology May Allow Scientists To See Inside Patient’s Individual Cells

ScienceDaily (June 3, 2009)
Revolutionary ultrasonic nanotechnology that could allow scientists to
see inside a patient’s individual cells to help diagnose serious
illnesses is being developed by researchers at The University of

The new technique would utilise ultrasound technology — more
commonly used to look at whole bodies such as fetal scanners — to
look inside cells. The components of the new technology would be many
thousand times smaller than current systems.

The technology would be tiny enough to allow scientists to see
inside and image individual cells in the human body, which would
further our understanding of the structure and function of cells and
could help to detect abnormalities to diagnose serious illnesses such
as some cancers.

Ultrasound refers to sound waves that are at a frequency too high to
be detected by the human ear, typically 20 kHz and above. Medical
ultrasound uses an electrical transducer the size of a matchbox to
produce sound waves at much higher frequencies, typically around
100-1000 times higher to probe bodies.

The Nottingham researchers are aiming to produce a miniaturised
version of this technology, with transducers so tiny that you could fit
500 across the width of one human hair which would produce sound waves
at frequencies a thousand times higher again, in the GHz range.

Dr Matt Clark of the Ultrasonics Group, said: “By examining
the mechanical properties inside a cell there is a huge amount that we
can learn about its structure and the way it functions. But it’s
very much a leap into the unknown as this has never been achieved

“One of the reasons for this is that it presents an enormous
technical challenge. To produce nano-ultrasonics you have to produce a
nano-transducers, which essentially means taking a device that is
currently the size of a matchbox and scaling it down to the nanoscale.
How do you attach a wire to something so small?

“Our answer to some of these challenges is to create a device
that works optically — using pulses of laser light to produce
ultrasound rather than an electrical current. This allows us to talk to
these tiny devices.”


Electronic Memory Chips That Can Bend And Twist

ScienceDaily (June 3, 2009) — Electronic memory chips may soon gain the ability to bend and twist as a result of work by engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As reported in the July 2009 issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters, the engineers have found a way to build a flexible memory component out of inexpensive, readily available materials.

Though not yet ready for the marketplace, the new device is promising not only because of its potential applications in medicine and other fields, but because it also appears to possess the characteristics of a memristor, a fundamentally new component for electronic circuits that industry scientists developed in 2008. NIST has filed for a patent on the flexible memory device (application #12/341.059).

Electronic components that can flex without breaking are coveted by portable device manufacturers for many reasons—and not just because people have a tendency to drop their mp3 players. Small medical sensors that can be worn on the skin to monitor vital signs such as heart rate or blood sugar could benefit patients with conditions that require constant maintenance, for example. Though some flexible components exist, creating flexible memory has been a technical barrier, according to NIST researchers.



NIST Physicists Demonstrate Quantum Entanglement in Mechanical System

BOULDER, Colo.—Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated entanglement—a phenomenon peculiar to the atomic-scale quantum world—in a mechanical system similar to those in the macroscopic everyday world. The work extends the boundaries of the arena where quantum behavior can be observed and shows how laboratory technology might be scaled up to build a functional quantum computer.

The research, described in the June 4 issue of Nature,* involves a bizarre intertwining between two pairs of vibrating ions (charged atoms) such that the pairs vibrate in unison, even when separated in space. Each pair of ions behaves like two balls connected by a spring (see figure), vibrating back and forth in opposite directions. Familiar objects that vibrate this way include pendulums and violin strings.

The NIST achievement provides insights into where and how "classical" objects may exhibit unusual quantum behavior. The demonstration also showcased techniques that will help scale up trapped-ion technology to potentially build ultra-powerful computers relying on the rules of quantum physics. If they can be built, quantum computers may be able to solve certain problems, such as code breaking, exponentially faster than today’s computers. (For further details, see: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/quantum/quantum_info_index.html.)

"Where the boundary is between the quantum and classical worlds, no one really knows," says NIST guest researcher John Jost, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder and first author of the paper. "Maybe we can help answer the question by finding out what types of things can—and cannot be—entangled. We’ve entangled something that has never been entangled before, and it’s the kind of physical, oscillating system you see in the classical world, just much smaller."

graphic showing the four steps