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From the College of Natural Sciences
Quantum Computer Scientist Named Simons Foundation Investigator

Quantum Computer Scientist Named Simons Foundation Investigator

Scott Aaronson

Computer scientist Scott Aaronson of The University of Texas at Austin has been selected as a 2017 Simons Investigator in Theoretical Computer Science by the Simons Foundation for his work in quantum computation.

When Will We Have Quantum Computers? (Audio)

When Will We Have Quantum Computers? (Audio)

Quantum computers might sound like science fiction. A fully functioning quantum computer could complete calculations in a matter of seconds that would take a conventional computer millions of years to process.

Physics Professor Wins NSF CAREER Award

Physics Professor Wins NSF CAREER Award

Andrew Potter, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, has received the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. The award will support theoretical research and education towards understanding and controlling the dynamics of complex quantum systems

A New Era for Physics? With Creation of New Form of Matter, a Time Crystal, It Just Might Be

A New Era for Physics? With Creation of New Form of Matter, a Time Crystal, It Just Might Be

Salt, snowflakes and diamonds are all crystals, meaning their atoms are arranged in 3-D patterns that repeat. Today scientists are reporting in the journal Nature on the creation of a phase of matter, dubbed a time crystal, in which atoms move in a pattern that repeats in time rather than in space.

Steven Weinberg On The Future of Quantum Mechanics

Steven Weinberg On The Future of Quantum Mechanics

Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, recently discussed some of his concerns about the use and interpretation of quantum mechanics at a gathering of science communicators hosted by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW).

New Superconductor Could Pave Way to Practical Quantum Computers

New Superconductor Could Pave Way to Practical Quantum Computers

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new superconducting material that might allow the construction of quantum computers that are more resistant to outside noise, such as electromagnetic interference.

Can General Relativity, at 100, Withstand Some Holes?

Can General Relativity, at 100, Withstand Some Holes?

This is the first of a three-part series on general relativity. 

In November 1915, Albert Einstein stood before his colleagues in the Prussian Academy of Sciences and unveiled a set of equations that would forever change the way we see the universe. The Theory of General Relativity, Einstein's description of gravity, explained the motions of everything we see in the universe.

New Nanostructure Could Lead to Advanced Optical Devices

New Nanostructure Could Lead to Advanced Optical Devices

When a quantum dot (right) is placed next to it, the light scattering properties of a much larger gold nanoparticle (center) change. A polarized light shining on the nanoparticle generates an electric field (surrounding bands of color).

Physicists Xiaoqin "Elaine" Li, Gennady Shvets and their colleagues have been exploring new ways to manipulate light on the nanoscale. In a paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they describe work that could lead to better biological sensors and improved devices for optical communications and computing.

Scientists Create New Tool to Study Emerging Materials for Spintronics

Scientists Create New Tool to Study Emerging Materials for Spintronics

As traditional electronics begin to reach their physical limits of compactness and speed, scientists and engineers are looking for new ways to stay on track with Moore's Law. One possible solution is to develop spintronics, devices that use a property of electrons known as spin to represent the 0's and 1's in computers. A class of materials called topological insulators (TIs) might have the right properties for spintronics, but since they were discovered less than a decade ago, scientists still know little about their properties.

Researchers Tackle the Dark Side of Moore's Law

Researchers Tackle the Dark Side of Moore's Law

This month marks the 50th Anniversary of Moore's Law, an observation that every couple of years, computer chip manufacturers manage to squeeze twice as many transistors onto a computer chip. Because transistors are the tiny on-off switches that perform calculations and temporarily store information, Moore’s Law also embodies the exponential increase in raw computing power that has unleashed a blizzard of tech innovations.