537 research outputs found

    On the Sharpness and Bias of Quantum Effects

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    The question of quantifying the sharpness (or unsharpness) of a quantum mechanical effect is investigated. Apart from sharpness, another property, bias, is found to be relevant for the joint measurability or coexistence of two effects. Measures of bias will be defined and examples given.Comment: Substantially expanded version, with new results and some proofs correcte

    Degeneracy lifting of Majorana bound states due to electron-phonon interactions

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    We study theoretically how electron-phonon interaction affects the energies and level broadening (inverse lifetime) of Majorana bound states (MBSs) in a clean topological nanowire at low temperatures. At zero temperature, the energy splitting between the right and left MBSs remains exponentially small with increasing nanowire length LL. At finite temperatures, however, the absorption of thermal phonons leads to the broadening of energy levels of the MBSs that does not decay with system length, and the coherent absorption/emission of phonons at opposite ends of the nanowire results in MBSs energy splitting that decays only as an inverse power-law in LL. Both effects remain exponential in temperature. In the case of quantized transverse motion of phonons, the presence of Van Hove singularities in the phonon density of states causes additional resonant enhancement of both the energy splitting and the level broadening of the MBSs. This is the most favorable case to observe the phonon-induced energy splitting of MBSs as it becomes much larger than the broadening even if the topological nanowire is much longer than the coherence length. We also calculate the charge and spin associated with the energy splitting of the MBSs induced by phonons. We consider both a spinless low-energy continuum model, which we evaluate analytically, as well as a spinful lattice model for a Rashba nanowire, which we evaluate numerically

    Synthetic cell research: Is technical progress leaving theoretical and epistemological investigations one step behind?

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    Advancements in the research on so-called “synthetic (artificial) cells” have been mainly characterized by an important acceleration in all sorts of experimental approaches, providing a growing amount of knowledge and techniques that will shape future successful developments. Synthetic cell technology, indeed, shows potential in driving a revolution in science and technology. On the other hand, theoretical and epistemological investigations related to what synthetic cells “are,” how they behave, and what their role is in generating knowledge have not received sufficient attention. Open questions about these less explored subjects range from the analysis of the organizational theories applied to synthetic cells to the study of the “relevance” of synthetic cells as scientific tools to investigate life and cognition; and from the recognition and the cultural reappraisal of cybernetic inheritance in synthetic biology to the need for developing concepts on synthetic cells and to the exploration, in a novel perspective, of information theories, complexity, and artificial intelligence applied in this novel field. In these contributions, we will briefly sketch some crucial aspects related to the aforementioned issues, based on our ongoing studies. An important take-home message will result: together with their impactful experimental results and potential applications, synthetic cells can play a major role in the exploration of theoretical questions as well

    Topological Floquet Phases in Driven Coupled Rashba Nanowires

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    We consider periodically driven arrays of weakly coupled wires with conduction and valence bands of Rashba type and study the resulting Floquet states. This nonequilibrium system can be tuned into nontrivial phases such as topological insulators, Weyl semimetals, and dispersionless zero-energy edge mode regimes. In the presence of strong electron-electron interactions, we generalize these regimes to the fractional case, where elementary excitations have fractional charges e/m with m being an odd integer

    Optimal geometry of lateral GaAs and Si/SiGe quantum dots for electrical control of spin qubits

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    We investigate the effects of the orientation of the magnetic field and the orientation of a quantum dot, with respect to crystallographic coordinates, on the quality of an electrically controlled qubit realized in a gated semiconductor quantum dot. We find that, due to the anisotropy of the spin-orbit interactions, by varying the two orientations it is possible to tune the qubit in the sense of optimizing the ratio of its couplings to phonons and to a control electric field. We find conditions under which such optimal setup can be reached by solely reorienting the magnetic field, and when a specific positioning of the dot is required. We also find that the knowledge of the relative sign of the spin-orbit interaction strengths allows to choose a robust optimal dot geometry, with the dot main axis along [110], or [110], where the qubit can be always optimized by reorienting the magnetic field

    Coexistence of qubit effects

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    Two quantum events, represented by positive operators (effects), are coexistent if they can occur as possible outcomes in a single measurement scheme. Equivalently, the corresponding effects are coexistent if and only if they are contained in the ranges of a single (joint) observable. Here we give several equivalent characterizations of coexistent pairs of qubit effects. We also establish the equivalence between our results and those obtained independently by other authors. Our approach makes explicit use of the Minkowski space geometry inherent in the four-dimensional real vector space of selfadjoint operators in a two-dimensional complex Hilbert space

    A Role for Bottom-Up Synthetic Cells in the Internet of Bio-Nano Things?

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    he potential role of bottom-up Synthetic Cells (SCs) in the Internet of Bio-Nano Things (IoBNT) is discussed. In particular, this perspective paper focuses on the growing interest in networks of biological and/or artificial objects at the micro- and nanoscale (cells and subcellular parts, microelectrodes, microvessels, etc.), whereby communication takes place in an unconventional manner, i.e., via chemical signaling. The resulting “molecular communication” (MC) scenario paves the way to the development of innovative technologies that have the potential to impact biotechnology, nanomedicine, and related fields. The scenario that relies on the interconnection of natural and artificial entities is briefly introduced, highlighting how Synthetic Biology (SB) plays a central role. SB allows the construction of various types of SCs that can be designed, tailored, and programmed according to specific predefined requirements. In particular, “bottom-up” SCs are briefly described by commenting on the principles of their design and fabrication and their features (in particular, the capacity to exchange chemicals with other SCs or with natural biological cells). Although bottom-up SCs still have low complexity and thus basic functionalities, here, we introduce their potential role in the IoBNT. This perspective paper aims to stimulate interest in and discussion on the presented topics. The article also includes commentaries on MC, semantic information, minimal cognition, wetware neuromorphic engineering, and chemical social robotics, with the specific potential they can bring to the IoBNT

    Exploiting the photoactivity of bacterial reaction center to investigate liposome dynamics

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    Charge recombination kinetics of bacterial photosynthetic protein Reaction Center displays an exquisite sensitivity to the actual occupancy of ubiquinone-10 in its QB-binding site. Here, we have exploited such phenomenon for assessing the growth and the aggregation/fusion of phosphocholine vesicles embedding RC in their membrane, when treated with sodium oleate

    First Record of Emys orbicularis (Boulenger, 1882), (Reptilia, Testudinati) in the “Castel di Guido” Natural Park (Northern Latium, Italy): a Case of Interest for Species Conservation

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    The finding of five specimens of Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus, 1758), (Reptilia, Testudinati) in the “Castel di Guido” Natural Park (Northern Latium, Italy), is reported. This is the first record for the species in the area, regularly monitored since 2006. It is assumed that the species has recently colonized the site through highly populated and degraded territory; the data is of conservation interest, proving the capacity of the species to cross polluted environments
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