King Faisal Award Ceremony
Watch how Daniel Loss is awarded the King Faisal International Prize! Link to Video
Rare Earths Become Water-repellent Only as They Age
Surfaces that have been coated with rare earth oxides develop water-repelling properties only after contact with air. Even at room temperature, chemical reactions begin with hydrocarbons in the air. In the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of Basel, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Paul Scherrer Institute report that it is these reactions that are responsible for the hydrophobic effect. more...
Patrick Maletinsky becomes associate professor
Prof. Patrick Maletinsky holds the Georg-H.-Endress-position as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Basel since February 2012. He has been promoted by the university council to associate professor effective February 1st, 2017.
Daniel Loss Receives the King Faisal International Prize
Professor Daniel Loss from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Science 2017. The King Faisal Foundation awarded Loss the renowned science prize for his discovery of a concept for development of a quantum computer based on the intrinsic angular momentum of electrons. Loss has further refined his theory over recent years and established a completely new field of research.
Gravitational wave factories in the early universe
Researchers from the Particles & Cosmology group at the Department of Physics have found that in the early universe after inflation, so-called oscillons can act as "gravitational wave factories" and produce much more gravitational waves than previously thought. Oscillons are localized and strong scalar field fluctuations that are comparatively long-lived. Numerical simulations showed that the produced gravitational waves have a specific frequency, related to the underlying theory of the early universe, and manifest themselves as a pronounced peak in the otherwise rather broad spectrum of gravitational waves from early universe dynamics. If this peak is in the right frequency range, the effects from the oscillons can be observed by the running or planned gravitational wave detectors, e.g. by the aLIGO-AdVirgo detector network. The detection of such a gravitational wave signal would provide a fascinating window into the physics of the early universe. The results are published in Physical Review Letters.
Researchers Take First Look into the “Eye” of Majoranas
© Uni Basel
Majorana fermions are particles that could potentially be used as information units for a quantum computer. An experiment by physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics has confirmed their theory that Majorana fermions can be generated and measured on a superconductor at the end of wires made from single iron atoms. The researchers also succeeded in observing the wave properties of Majoranas and, therefore, in making the interior of a Majorana visible for the first time. The results were published in the Nature journal npj Quantum Information.
Tunable source of single photons from a cold atomic ensemble
© Uni Basel
The Sangouard group works actively on the development of quantum networks — networks where the nodes are made with atoms that are connected by means of single photons. These networks will enable secure communications over long distances — a kind of internet with a security based on the laws of quantum physics. The group collaborated with a team from ICFO to demonstrate a source of single photons from a cold atomic ensemble with a tunability of the photon duration across more than 3 orders of magnitude up to 10 microseconds. These photons can address many different devices including systems which have a sharp energy structure and opens up an avenue for the implementation of hybrid quantum networks where one takes the best of various systems for high rate long distance quantum communications. These results have been published in Nature Communications.
Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope
© Uni Basel
A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists of the Poggiolab and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology. more...
On October 18, 2016 the Neue Zürcher Zeitung published an article entittled "Eine Kompassnadel für die Nanowelt"(a compass needle for the nanoworld) highlighting Prof. Poggio’s work using nanowires as sensors for atomic force microscopy.
On-Surface Chemistry Leads to Novel Products
© Uni Basel
On-surface chemical reactions can lead to novel chemical compounds not yet synthesized by solution chemistry. The first-step, second-step, and third-step products can be analyzed in detail using a high-resolution atomic force microscope, as demonstrated in Nature Communications by scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at Basel University and their colleagues from Japan and Finland. more...
Christoph Gerber received the Kavli Prize
This week, Christoph Gerber of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel received the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. He was honoured together with Gerd Binnig and Calvin Quate for the development of the first atomic force microscope 30 years ago. more (German)...