Who said physics isn’t cool? With its many mathematical formulas and rules, physics may seem to be a dry subject for some students. However, physics is actually an instrumental science that has led to many groundbreaking discoveries over the years. Physics helps us to understand more about the world around us, and produce new technologies that help to solve problems.
Don’t let your struggle in physics hinder you from appreciating this field of science. Physics tuition is widely available to help you cement your foundation in physics. You might even start to enjoy physics and want to pursue it further in future!
Right now, what you need may just be some inspiration from these wow-inducing physics breakthroughs:
Think teleportation is impossible? In 1993, physicist Charles Bennett and his team of researchers discovered that teleportation is possible – although this only happens at miniscule levels. Quantum teleportation can occur when two particles share a state of quantum entanglement. Although we often think of teleportation as the transportation of matter, quantum teleportation is the transmission of tiny amounts of information from point to point, without physically carrying a particle across. The size of the information is measured in quantum bits, or qubits, and by far the largest amount of information that has been transmitted is as large as a molecule. The longest distance for quantum teleportation might impress you though – researchers have recorded quantum teleportation across distances up to 1,400 kilometres!
Nuclear energy is on the radar of the world’s scientists because it is supposed to be a clean and practically unlimited source of energy. However, the biggest challenge is how to power nuclear fusion – the reaction that provides nuclear energy – so that there is a net gain in energy. Currently, the input of energy required for nuclear fusion reactions is more than the energy than it gives out, making it unviable. In November 2018, a team of researchers in China built a fusion reactor that was the first in the world to reach temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius – that’s nearly seven times hotter than the sun’s core! Both governments and private organisations have invested massive funds into fusion research, hoping to design a reactor that can produce a net gain in energy. While there is still some road to go before reaching this goal, it is exciting to see that advancements are being made every so often, making this reality nearer and nearer each day.
Acoustic Tractor Beam
With today’s technology, you can control the direction of soundwaves. If that doesn’t make you go ‘huh?’, what if I tell you that these soundwaves can also make things levitate? In 2018, scientists unveiled a device that consists of an acoustic tractor beam made from transducer arrays, and a metamaterial which allows sound to pass through. This device, coined SoundBender, is able to manipulate the direction and amplitude of sound, which allows an object above it to levitate and move according to the nature of the sound. In their research, the SoundBender was able to control the movement of a small styrofoam bead floating above the device. If taken further, this technology has the potential to be applied in areas such as medicine and human-computer interactions.
Surely you’ve heard of the Big Bang Theory – no, not the TV show, but the theory of how the universe came to be. For many years, Big Bang theory remained just that: a theory. However, in 2014, scientists found what they thought was the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation. Researchers Chao-Lin Kuo and the BICEP2 telescope research team gathered data on microwave radiation in the background of the universe, and analysed the orientation and polarisation of ancient light rays. Through this, they were able to find information supporting the idea that the universe has been undergoing rapid expansion, and it is still ever-growing today.
Do these physics breakthroughs wow you? If you want to make a difference in the world through amazing discoveries like these, maybe it’s time to brush up on your physics with some physics tuition!