Topic Review
Transparent Solar Windows
Many modern glass and window products are based on metal-dielectric coatings, which can control properties such as thermal emissivity, heat gain, colour, and transparency. These can also enable solar energy harvesting through PV integration, if the glazing structure is purpose-designed, to include luminescent materials and special microstructures. Recently, significant progress has been demonstrated in building integrated transparent solar windows, which are expected to add momentum towards the development of smart cities. These window systems are, at present in 2019, the only type of transparent and clear construction materials capable of providing significant energy savings in buildings, simultaneously with renewable energy generation.
  • 2.9K
  • 15 May 2024
Topic Review
Materials Science, Glasses
Glasses are solid amorphous materials which transform into liquids upon heating through the glass transition. The International Commission on Glass defines glass as a state of matter, usually produced when a viscous molten material is cooled rapidly to below its glass transition temperature, with insufficient time for a regular crystal lattice to form. The solid-like behaviour of glasses is separated from the liquid-like behaviour at higher temperatures by the glass transition temperature, Tg. The IUPAC Compendium on Chemical Terminology defines glass transition as a second order transition in which a supercooled melt yields, on cooling, a glassy structure. It states that below the glass-transition temperature the physical properties of glasses vary in a manner similar to those of the crystalline phase. Moreover, it is deemed that the bonding structure of glasses has the same symmetry signature in terms of Hausdorff-Besikovitch dimensionality of chemical bonds as for the crystalline materials. 
  • 3.0K
  • 09 May 2024
Topic Review
Thermodynamic Insights into Symmetry Breaking
Symmetry breaking is a phenomenon that is observed in various contexts, from the early universe to complex organisms, and it is considered a key puzzle in understanding the emergence of life. The importance of this phenomenon is underscored by the prevalence of enantiomeric amino acids and proteins. The presence of enantiomeric amino acids and proteins highlights its critical role. However, the origin of symmetry breaking has yet to be comprehensively explained, particularly from an energetic standpoint.  Therefore, a novel approach is explored by considering energy dissipation, specifically the lost free energy, as a crucial factor in elucidating symmetry breaking. A comprehensive thermodynamic analysis applicable to all scales from elementary particles to aggregate structures such as crystals is performed, we present experimental evidence establishing a direct link between nonequilibrium free energy and energy dissipation during the formation of the structures. Results emphasize the pivotal role of energy dissipation, not only as an outcome but as the trigger for symmetry breaking. This insight suggests that understanding the origins of complex systems, from cells to living beings and the universe itself, requires a lens focused on nonequilibrium processes  
  • 119
  • 15 Apr 2024
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
The Second Quantum Revolution: Unexplored Facts and Latest News
The Second Quantum Revolution refers to a contemporary wave of advancements and breakthroughs in the field of quantum physics that extends beyond the early developments of Quantum Mechanics that occurred in the 20th century. One crucial aspect of this revolution is the deeper exploration and practical application of quantum entanglement. Entanglement serves as a cornerstone in the ongoing revolution, contributing to quantum computing, communication, fundamental physics experiments, and advanced sensing technologies. Here, we present and discuss some of the recent applications of entanglement, exploring its philosophical implications and non-locality beyond Bell’s theorem, thereby critically examining the foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Additionally, we propose educational activities that introduce high school students to Quantum Mechanics by emphasizing entanglement as an essential concept to understand in order to become informed participants in the Second Quantum Revolution. Furthermore, we present the state-of-art developments of a largely unexplored and promising realization of real qubits, namely the molecular spin qubits. We review the available and suggested device architectures to host and use molecular spins. Moreover, we summarize the experimental findings on solid-state spin qubit devices based on magnetic molecules. Finally, we discuss how the Second Quantum Revolution might significantly transform law enforcement by offering specific examples and methodologies to address the evolving challenges in public safety and security.
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  • 02 Apr 2024
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Integrated Fabry–Perot Cavities: A Quantum Leap in Technology
Integrated Fabry–Perot cavities (IFPCs), often referred to as nanobeams due to their form factor and size, have profoundly modified the landscape of integrated photonics as a new building block for classical and quantum engineering. In this entry, the main properties of IFPCs will be summarized from the classical and quantum point of view. The classical will provide some of the main results obtained in the last decade, whereas the quantum point of view will exp
  • 262
  • 29 Mar 2024
Topic Review
Water Ice Resources on Shallow Subsurface of Mars
The planet Mars is the most probable among the terrestrial planets in our solar system to support human settlement or colonization in the future. The detection of water ice or liquid water on the shallow subsurface of Mars is a crucial scientific objective for both the Chinese Tianwen-1 and United States Mars 2020 missions, which were launched in 2020. Both missions were equipped with Rover-mounted ground-penetrating radar (GPR) instruments, specifically the RoPeR on the Zhurong rover and the RIMFAX radar on the Perseverance rover. The in situ radar provides unprecedented opportunities to study the distribution of shallow subsurface water ice on Mars with its unique penetrating capability. The presence of water ice on the shallow surface layers of Mars is one of the most significant indicators of habitability on the extraterrestrial planet.
  • 97
  • 27 Mar 2024
Topic Review
Solid-State Color Centers for Single-Photon Generation
Single-photon sources are important for integrated photonics and quantum technologies, and can be used in quantum key distribution, quantum computing, and sensing. Color centers in the solid state are a promising candidate for the development of the next generation of single-photon sources integrated in quantum photonics devices. They are point defects in a crystal lattice that absorb and emit light at given wavelengths and can emit single photons with high efficiency. 
  • 112
  • 20 Mar 2024
Topic Review
Applications of Droplet Microsystems in Optics and Photonics
The micro- and nano-machining techniques applied to solid materials have yielded remarkable success in the semiconductor industry by integrating complex functionalities into microscale devices, thus spearheading the modern electronics revolution. Extending similar miniaturization strategies to process and assemble soft matter for creating multileveled functional structures over various length scales presents significant scientific and practical potential. Soft matter, including liquid crystals (LC), colloids, polymers, and biological substances, exhibits widespread influence across nature, living organisms, daily life, and industry. The biomimetic properties, responsiveness to stimuli, and efficacy in controlled release and sensing make soft matter extensively applicable in biology and chemistry.
  • 133
  • 18 Mar 2024
Topic Review
Plasma-Driven Phenomena
Plasma-driven science is defined as the artificial control of physical plasma-driven phenomena based on complex interactions between nonequilibrium open systems.
  • 122
  • 18 Mar 2024
Topic Review
Pictor
Pictor, a relatively faint constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere, is named after the easel used by artists to hold their canvases. It is located between the star Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud.
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  • 15 Mar 2024
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