Category archives: Physics

We Still Don’t Know How We Smell: The Shape and Vibrational Theories of Olfaction

We Still Don’t Know How We Smell: The Shape and Vibrational Theories of Olfaction

NeurobiologyPhysics

By Daniel Manzano

Olfaction is one of the most important senses. It protects us from eating spoiled food, it helps animals to detect their relatives, it makes the perfume business quite successful and, in general, it connects us to the volatile chemicals surrounding us. These chemicals, usually called “odorants”, can be detected even if they are in a […]

Quantum kisses between optical nanoantennas

Quantum kisses between optical nanoantennas

Physics

By Invited Researcher

The wave nature of light expresses itself in the propagation all over space, showing an intrinsic limitation to be localized beyond the so-called diffraction limit which is of the order of half the wavelength of the photons propagating. However when interacting with matter, light often gets reflected, diffracted, scattered or absorbed depending on the interactions […]

Looking through opaque materials

Looking through opaque materials

Physics

By Isabel de la Fuente

A translucent material allows light to pass through, but if we try to look an object behind such a material, the image will appear blurred or distorted. Think, for example, of the semitransparent glasses commonly used as showers screens. The reason why the image deforms when passing through the glass is the scattering of light […]

The ongoing debate about the foundations of quantum mechanics

The ongoing debate about the foundations of quantum mechanics

PhysicsQuantum physics

By Daniel Manzano

Quantum mechanics is one of the most fruitful and accepted physical theories. Nevertheless, its foundations and philosophical implications are still a vivid topic of debate. Because of that reason, during the conference “Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality,” held in July 2011 and organized by Anton Zeilinger, a set of experts were polled. A […]

Nature cares about the direction time flows: T symmetry breaking measured

Nature cares about the direction time flows: T symmetry breaking measured

Particle physicsPhysics

By Mario Herrero-Valea

Back in the decade of 1950, and inspired by the beauty of the formulation of Quantum Electrodynamics, carried out by Feynman among others in the first half of the twentieth century; scientists thought that all physics had to be invariant under three fundamental symmetries that could relate different physical processes between them. These symmetries were […]