. Scientific Frontline: Physics
Showing posts with label Physics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Physics. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Atomic dance gives rise to a magnet

Tong Lin (from left), Hanyu Zhu and Jiaming Luo at EQUAL lab.
Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Quantum materials hold the key to a future of lightning-speed, energy-efficient information systems. The problem with tapping their transformative potential is that, in solids, the vast number of atoms often drowns out the exotic quantum properties electrons carry.

Rice University researchers in the lab of quantum materials scientist Hanyu Zhu found that when they move in circles, atoms can also work wonders: When the atomic lattice in a rare-earth crystal becomes animated with a corkscrew-shaped vibration known as a chiral phonon, the crystal is transformed into a magnet.

According to a study published in Science, exposing cerium fluoride to ultrafast pulses of light sends its atoms into a dance that momentarily enlists the spins of electrons, causing them to align with the atomic rotation. This alignment would otherwise require a powerful magnetic field to activate, since cerium fluoride is naturally paramagnetic with randomly oriented spins even at zero temperature.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Physicists trap electrons in a 3D crystal for the first time

The rare electronic state is thanks to a special cubic arrangement of atoms (pictured) that resembles the Japanese art of “kagome.” 
Image Credit: Courtesy of the researchers / MIT

Electrons move through a conducting material like commuters at the height of Manhattan rush hour. The charged particles may jostle and bump against each other, but for the most part they’re unconcerned with other electrons as they hurtle forward, each with their own energy.

But when a material’s electrons are trapped together, they can settle into the exact same energy state and start to behave as one. This collective, zombie-like state is what’s known in physics as an electronic “flat band,” and scientists predict that when electrons are in this state, they can start to feel the quantum effects of other electrons and act in coordinated, quantum ways. Then, exotic behavior such as superconductivity and unique forms of magnetism may emerge.

Now, physicists at MIT have successfully trapped electrons in a pure crystal. It is the first time that scientists have achieved an electronic flat band in a three-dimensional material. With some chemical manipulation, the researchers also showed they could transform the crystal into a superconductor — a material that conducts electricity with zero resistance.

TUM makes first daily current measurements of changes in the earth's rotation

The ring laser in Wettzell has been continuously improved since its commissioning.
Photo Credit: Astrid Eckert / TUM 

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have succeeded in measuring the earth's rotation more exactly than ever before. The ring laser at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell can now be used to capture data at a quality level unsurpassed anywhere in the world. The measurements will be used in determining the earth's position in space, will benefit climate research and will make climate models more reliable.

Care to take a quick step down to the basement and see how fast the earth has been turning in the last few hours? Now you can at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell. TUM researchers have improved the ring laser there so that it can provide daily current data, which until now has not been possible at comparable quality levels.

What exactly does the ring laser measure? On its journey through space the earth rotates on its axis at slightly varying speeds. In addition, the axis around which the planet spins is not completely static, it wobbles a bit. This is because our planet is not completely solid, but is made up of various component parts, some solid, some liquid. So, the insides of the earth itself are constantly in motion. These shifts in mass accelerate or brake the planet's rotation, differences which can be detected using measurement systems like the TUM ring laser.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Under Pressure: Seeing the Squeeze in Living Organisms

Double emulsion droplet (pink and cyan) located in between cells (yellow) of a living zebrafish embryo. Monitoring the changes in droplet size allows scientists to measure the osmotic pressure in the tissue.
Image Credit: © PoL / Antoine Vian

In order to survive, organisms must control the pressure inside them, from the single-cell level to tissues and organs. Measuring these pressures in living cells and tissues in physiological conditions has been very challenging. Now, researchers from the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life (PoL) at the Technical University in Dresden (TU Dresden), Germany, report in the journal Nature Communications a new technique to ‘visualize’ these pressures as organisms develop. These measurements can help understand how cells and tissues survive under pressure, and reveal how problems in regulating pressures lead to disease. 

When molecules dissolved in water are separated into different compartments, water has the tendency to flow from one compartment to another to equilibrate their concentrations, a process known as osmosis. If some molecules cannot cross compartments, a pressure imbalance, known as osmotic pressure, builds up across them. This principle is the basis for many technical applications, such as the desalination of seawater or the development of moisturizing creams. It turns out that maintaining a healthy functioning organism makes the list too. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Researchers demonstrate novel technique to observe molten salt intrusion in nuclear-grade graphite

From left, Yuxuan Zhang, James Keiser, Jisue Moon, Cristian Contescu, Erik Stringfellow (back) and Nidia Gallego, with Dino Sulejmanovic (not shown), first visualized molten salt distribution in graphite pores.
Photo Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

In response to a renewed international interest in molten salt reactors, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a novel technique to visualize molten salt intrusion in graphite.

During ORNL’s revolutionary Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, or MSRE, in the 1960s, scientists first demonstrated the feasibility of nuclear fission reactions with molten fluoride salt used both as a fuel carrier and as a coolant, substituting for the solid fuel and water used in traditional nuclear reactors. Molten salt reactor designs show great promise as a means of carbon-free power generation.

To slow down neutrons so they can easily promote nuclear fission, nuclear reactors use a material called a moderator. To moderate the MSRE, scientists used synthetic graphite, which is resistant to thermal shock and dimensionally stable because of its extensive pore system resulting from the manufacturing process. MSRE graphite was custom-made and specially coated to decrease porosity and defend against detrimental effects that may occur when hydraulic and gas pressures cause molten salt to seep into graphite’s pores. Moreover, preventing molten salt intrusion avoids additional issues with waste management during reactor decommissioning.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The importance of the Earth's atmosphere in creating the large storms that affect satellite communications

Illustration Credit: ERG Science Team

A study from an international team led by researchers from Nagoya University in Japan and the University of New Hampshire in the United States has revealed the importance of the Earth’s upper atmosphere in determining how large geomagnetic storms develop. Their findings reveal the previously underestimated importance of the Earth’s atmosphere. Understanding the factors that cause geomagnetic storms is important because they can have a direct impact on the Earth’s magnetic field such as causing unwanted currents in the power grid and disrupting radio signals and GPS. This research may help predict the storms that will have the greatest consequences. 

Scientists have long known that geomagnetic storms are associated with the activities of the Sun. Hot charged particles make up the Sun's outer layer, the one visible to us. These particles flow out of the Sun creating the ‘solar wind’, and interact with objects in space, such as the Earth. When the particles reach the magnetic field surrounding our planet, known as the magnetosphere, they interact with it. The interactions between the charged particles and magnetic fields lead to space weather, the conditions in space that can affect the Earth and technological systems such as satellites.  

Monday, October 30, 2023

New Frequency Comb Can Identify Molecules in 20-Nanosecond Snapshots

A new frequency comb setup can capture the moment-by-moment details of carbon dioxide gas escaping from a nozzle at supersonic speeds in an air-filled chamber, followed by rapid oscillations of gas due to complex aerodynamics within the chamber. The data plot shows the absorbance of light (vertical) over time (horizontal left to right) across a range of frequencies (horizontal forward to back).
Illustration Credit: G. Mathews/University of Colorado Boulder

From monitoring concentrations of greenhouse gases to detecting COVID in the breath, laser systems known as frequency combs can identify specific molecules as simple as carbon dioxide and as complex as monoclonal antibodies with unprecedented accuracy and sensitivity. Amazing as they are, however, frequency combs have been limited in how fast they can capture a high-speed process such as hypersonic propulsion or the folding of proteins into their final three-dimensional shapes.

Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Toptica Photonics AG and the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a frequency comb system that can detect the presence of specific molecules in a sample every 20 nanoseconds, or billionths of a second. With this new capability, researchers can potentially use frequency combs to better understand the split-second intermediate steps in fast-moving processes ranging from the workings of hypersonic jet engines to the chemical reactions between enzymes that regulate cell growth. The research team announced its results in a paper published in Nature Photonics.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Spinaron: A Rugby in a Ball Pit. New Quantum Effect Demonstrated for the First Time

The cobalt atom (red) has a magnetic moment (“spin,” blue arrow ), which is constantly reoriented (from spin-up to spin-down) by an external magnetic field. As a result, the magnetic atom excites the electrons of the copper surface (gray), causing them to oscillate (creating ripples). This revelation by the Würzburg-Dresden Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat was made possible thanks to the physicists’ inclusion of an iron tip (yellow) on their scanning tunneling microscope.
Illustration Credit: © Juba Bouaziz/Ulrich Puhlfürst

For the first time, experimental physicists from the Würzburg-Dresden Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat have demonstrated a new quantum effect aptly named the “spinaron.” In a meticulously controlled environment and using an advanced set of instruments, they managed to prove the unusual state a cobalt atom assumes on a copper surface. This revelation challenges the long-held Kondo effect – a theoretical concept developed in the 1960s, and which has been considered the standard model for the interaction of magnetic materials with metals since the 1980s. These groundbreaking findings were published today in the esteemed journal Nature Physics.

Ultra-Cold & Ultra-Strong: Pushing Boundaries in the Lab

Extreme conditions prevail in the Würzburg laboratory of experimental physicists Professor Matthias Bode and Dr. Artem Odobesko. Affiliated with the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat, a collaboration between JMU Würzburg and TU Dresden, these visionaries are setting new milestones in quantum research. Their latest endeavor is unveiling the spinaron effect. They strategically placed individual cobalt atoms onto a copper surface, brought the temperature down to 1.4 Kelvin (–271.75° Celsius), and then subjected them to a powerful external magnetic field. “The magnet we use costs half a million euros. It’s not something that’s widely available,” explains Bode. Their subsequent analysis yielded unexpected revelations.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Better batteries for electric cars

Eric Ricardo Carreon Ruiz (left) and Pierre Boillat in front of part of PSI's Swiss spallation neutron source SINQ. There, at the BOA experimental station, they conducted their investigations.
Photo Credit: Paul Scherrer Institute/Mahir Dzambegovic

PSI researchers are using neutrons to make changes in battery electrolytes visible. The analysis enables better understanding of the physical and chemical processes and could aid in the development of batteries with better characteristics. The results have now been published in Science Advances.

The range is too limited, charging is too slow when it’s cold . . . the list of prejudices against electric cars is long. Even though progress is rapid, batteries remain the critical component for electromobility – as well as for many other applications, from smartphones to large storage devices designed to stabilize the power grid. The problem: Battery developers still lack a full understanding of what is happening, chemically and physically, during charging and discharging, especially in liquid electrolytes between the two electrodes through which charge carriers are exchanged.

Now Eric Ricardo Carreon Ruiz of PSI is bringing light into this darkness. A doctoral researcher in Pierre Boillat’s group at PSI, he is using neutrons from the Swiss spallation neutron source SINQ to investigate different electrolytes, studying for example their behavior at fluctuating temperatures. His results provide important insights that could help in the development of new electrolytes and higher-performance batteries.

Scientists Modeled How to Improve Thrombosis Treatment

Physicists led by Andrey Zubarev have calculated how to increase the speed of drug delivery.
Photo Credit: Anna Marinovich

Scientists from the Ural Federal University and the Côte d'Azur University (France) have developed a mathematical model to improve the delivery of drugs that restore blood flow in thrombosed blood vessels. The scientific paper was published in the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials

Thrombosis of the blood vessels is a serious and difficult-to-treat condition that can often be fatal. The main method of treating thrombosis is the injection of thrombolytics - drugs that dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow. However, thrombolytics spread too slowly in a vessel with blocked blood flow, significantly reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.

"Attempts are being made to accelerate the distribution of thrombolytics through various physical effects. For example, researchers at the University of Texas have proposed introducing a drop of magnetic nanoparticles into a thrombosed vessel and then subjecting it to an alternating - oscillating or, for example, rotating - magnetic field. As a result, the nanoparticles should be set into rotational and translational motion, involving the surrounding fluid, i.e. the blood in the vessel, in this motion. This should lead to the intensification of the mixing of a drop of thrombolytic agent with blood and accelerate the "spreading" of the drop through the vessel. As a result, the drug reaches the thrombus more quickly," describes Andrey Zubarev, professor at the Department of Theoretical and Mathematical Physics at UFU, head of the development of the mathematical model and co-author of the article.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Researchers probe molten rock to crack Earth’s deepest secrets

Deep inside rocky planets like Earth, the behavior of iron can greatly affect the properties of molten rock materials: properties that influenced how Earth formed and evolved. Scientists used powerful lasers and ultrafast X-rays to recreate the extreme conditions in these molten rock materials, called silicate melts, and measure properties of iron. 
Illustration Credit: Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Deep inside rocky planets like Earth, the behavior of iron can greatly affect the properties of molten rock materials: properties that influenced how Earth formed and evolved. 

In fact, the evolution of our entire planet may be driven by the microscopic quantum state of these iron atoms. One special feature of iron is its “spin state,” which is a quantum property of the electrons in each iron atom that drives their magnetic behavior and reactivity in chemical reactions. Changes in the spin state can influence whether iron prefers to be in the molten rock or in solid form and how well the molten rock conducts electricity.

Until now, it’s been challenging to recreate the extreme conditions in these molten rock materials, called silicate melts, to measure the spin state of iron. Using powerful lasers and ultrafast X-rays, an international team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Universite ́ Grenoble Alpes, Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation des Lasers Intenses (LULI), and Arizona State University overcame this challenge. They showed that at extremely high pressures and temperatures, the iron in silicate melts mostly has a low-spin state, meaning its electrons stay closer to the center and pair up in their energy levels, making the iron less magnetic and more stable.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Scientists propose super-bright light sources powered by quasiparticles

A team of scientists ran advanced computer simulations on supercomputers to propose a way to use quasiparticles for super-bright light sources.
Image Credit: Bernardo Malaca

An international team of scientists is rethinking the basic principles of radiation physics with the aim of creating super-bright light sources. In a new study published in Nature Photonics, researchers from the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Portugal, the University of Rochester, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Applied Optics Laboratory in France proposed ways to use quasiparticles to create light sources as powerful as the most advanced ones in existence today, but much smaller.

“The most fascinating aspect of quasiparticles is their ability to move in ways that would be disallowed by the laws of physics governing individual particles.”

Quasiparticles are formed by many electrons moving in sync. They can travel at any speed—even faster than light—and withstand intense forces, like those near a black hole.

“The most fascinating aspect of quasiparticles is their ability to move in ways that would be disallowed by the laws of physics governing individual particles,” says John Palastro, a senior scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and an associate professor at the Institute of Optics.

Physical theory improves protein folding prediction

Protein folding models. Four iterations of WSME, from the original to the new, and two specialized versions for more specific circumstances.
Illustration Credit: ©2023 Ooka & Arai CC-BY

Proteins are important molecules that perform a variety of functions essential to life. To function properly, many proteins must fold into specific structures. However, the way proteins fold into specific structures is still largely unknown. Researchers from the University of Tokyo developed a novel physical theory that can accurately predict how proteins fold. Their model can predict things previous models cannot. Improved knowledge of protein folding could offer huge benefits to medical research, as well as to various industrial processes.

You are literally made of proteins. These chainlike molecules, made from tens to thousands of smaller molecules called amino acids, form things like hair, bones, muscles, enzymes for digestion, antibodies to fight diseases, and more. Proteins make these things by folding into various structures that in turn build up these larger tissues and biological components. And by knowing more about this folding process, researchers can better understand more about the processes that constitute life itself. Such knowledge is also essential to medicine, not only for the development of new treatments and industrial processes to produce medicines, but also for knowledge of how certain diseases work, as some are examples of protein folding gone wrong. So, to say proteins are important is putting it mildly. Proteins are the stuff of life.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

From a five-layer graphene sandwich, a rare electronic state emerges

When stacked in five layers in a rhombohedral pattern, graphene takes on a rare “multiferroic” state, in which the material’s electrons (illustrated here as spheres) exhibit two preferred electronic states: an unconventional magnetism (represented as orbits around each electron), and “valley,” or a preference for one of two energy states (depicted in red versus blue). The results could help advance more powerful magnetic memory devices.
Illustration Credits: Sampson Wilcox, RLE

Ordinary pencil lead holds extraordinary properties when shaved down to layers as thin as an atom. A single, atom-thin sheet of graphite, known as graphene, is just a tiny fraction of the width of a human hair. Under a microscope, the material resembles a chicken-wire of carbon atoms linked in a hexagonal lattice. 

Despite its waif-like proportions, scientists have found over the years that graphene is exceptionally strong. And when the material is stacked and twisted in specific contortions, it can take on surprising electronic behavior.

Now, MIT physicists have discovered another surprising property in graphene: When stacked in five layers, in a rhombohedral pattern, graphene takes on a very rare, “multiferroic” state, in which the material exhibits both unconventional magnetism and an exotic type of electronic behavior, which the team has coined ferro-valleytricity. 

“Graphene is a fascinating material,” says team leader Long Ju, assistant professor of physics at MIT. “Every layer you add gives you essentially a new material. And now this is the first time we see ferro-valleytricity, and unconventional magnetism, in five layers of graphene. But we don’t see this property in one, two, three, or four layers.”

Monday, October 16, 2023

Photonic Crystals Bend Light as Though It Were Under the Influence of Gravity

The experimental set-up of beam trajectory in a DPC.
Photo Credit ©K. Kitamura et.al

A collaborative group of researchers has manipulated the behavior of light as if it were under the influence of gravity. The findings, which were published in the journal Physical Review A on September 28, 2023, have far-reaching implications for the world of optics and materials science, and bear significance for the development of 6G communications.

Albert Einstein's theory of relativity has long established that the trajectory of electromagnetic waves--including light and terahertz electromagnetic waves--can be deflected by gravitational fields.

Photonic Crystals Bend Light as Though It Were Under the Influence of Gravity--i.e., pseudogravity--is possible by deforming crystals in the lower normalized energy (or frequency) region.

"We set out to explore whether lattice distortion in photonic crystals can produce pseudogravity effects," said Professor Kyoko Kitamura from Tohoku University's Graduate School of Engineering.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Simulations of ‘backwards time travel’ can improve scientific experiments

Image Credit: Scientific Frontline stock graphic

If gamblers, investors and quantum experimentalists could bend the arrow of time, their advantage would be significantly higher, leading to significantly better outcomes. 

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have shown that by manipulating entanglement – a feature of quantum theory that causes particles to be intrinsically linked – they can simulate what could happen if one could travel backwards in time. So that gamblers, investors and quantum experimentalists could, in some cases, retroactively change their past actions and improve their outcomes in the present.

Whether particles can travel backwards in time is a controversial topic among physicists, even though scientists have previously simulated models of how such spacetime loops could behave if they did exist. By connecting their new theory to quantum metrology, which uses quantum theory to make highly sensitive measurements, the Cambridge team has shown that entanglement can solve problems that otherwise seem impossible. The study appears in the journal Physical Review Letters.

“Imagine that you want to send a gift to someone: you need to send it on day one to make sure it arrives on day three,” said lead author David Arvidsson-Shukur, from the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory. “However, you only receive that person’s wish list on day two. So, in this chronology-respecting scenario, it’s impossible for you to know in advance what they will want as a gift and to make sure you send the right one.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A New Way to Erase Quantum Computer Errors

While errors are normally hard to spot in quantum devices, researchers have shown that, with careful control, some errors can cause atoms to glow. Researchers used this capability to execute a quantum simulation using an array of atoms and a laser beam, as shown in this simplified artist's concept. The experiment showed that they could discard the glowing, erroneous atoms and make the quantum simulation run more efficiently.
Illustration Credit: Caltech/Lance Hayashida

Quantum computers of the future hold promise in solving all sorts of problems. For example, they could lead to more sustainable materials, new medicines, and even crack the hardest problems in fundamental physics. But compared to classical computers in use today, rudimentary quantum computers are more prone to errors. Wouldn't it be nice if researchers could just take out a special quantum eraser and get rid of the mistakes?

Reporting in the journal Nature, a group of researchers led by Caltech is among the first to demonstrate a type of quantum eraser. The physicists show that they can pinpoint and correct mistakes in quantum computing systems known as "erasure" errors.

"It's normally very hard to detect errors in quantum computers, because just the act of looking for errors causes more to occur," says Adam Shaw, co-lead author of the new study and a graduate student in the laboratory of Manuel Endres, a professor of physics at Caltech. "But we show that with some careful control, we can precisely locate and erase certain errors without consequence, which is where the name erasure comes from."

Illuminating the dance of RNA with ultrabright X-rays

Researchers demonstrated the ability to observe fine details, right down to angstrom-scale features in RNA at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).   
Photo Credit: Olivier Bonin/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

DNA, RNA, and proteins are three pillars of molecular biology. While DNA holds genetic instructions and proteins put these plans to action, RNA serves as the messenger and interpreter. DNA is transcribed to RNA, which then decodes those instructions to synthesize proteins. But large portions of RNA don't proceed to produce proteins, with a vast majority remaining just as RNA. What these molecules do or why they exist in such a state is still not fully understood.

Now, scientists have developed a promising method to uncover RNA’s secrets. Using X-ray free-electron laser sources such as the Linac Coherent Light Source at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, researchers can now observe fine details, right down to angstrom-scale features, in RNA that is freely dispersed in solution so that large scale structural changes can occur – just as they would in our bodies. Not only does this research shed light on RNA's behavior, but the techniques developed can also be applied to other biological molecules. The implications are far-reaching, from better understanding diseases to designing new therapeutics. The results were published last week in Science Advances.

Exploring Parameter Shift for Quantum Fisher Information

Image Credit: Scientific Frontline stock image

Quantum computing uses quantum mechanics to process and store information in a way that is different from classical computers. While classical computers rely on bits like tiny switches that can be either 0 or 1, quantum computers use quantum bits (qubits). Qubits are unique because they can be in a mixture of 0 and 1 simultaneously - a state referred to as superposition. This unique property enables quantum computers to solve specific problems significantly faster than classical ones.

In a recent publication in EPJ Quantum Technology, Le Bin Ho from Tohoku University's Frontier Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences has developed a technique called "Time-dependent Stochastic Parameter Shift" in the realm of quantum computing and quantum machine learning. This breakthrough method revolutionizes the estimation of gradients or derivatives of functions, a crucial step in many computational tasks.

Typically, computing derivatives requires dissecting the function and calculating the rate of change over a small interval. But even classical computers cannot keep dividing indefinitely. In contrast, quantum computers can accomplish this task without having to discrete the function. This feature is achievable because quantum computers operate in a realm known as "quantum space," characterized by periodicity, and no need for endless subdivisions.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Superconducting niobium waveguide achieves high-precision communications for B5G/6G networks

Researchers fabricated 20mm length waveguides made of the superconducting metal niobium (right).  It shows improved conductivity compared with normal metal materials such as a gold-plated tellurium copper (middle)  and aluminum alloy (left), and can transmit radio waves that are necessary for B5G/6G communications. 
Photo Credit: Taku Nakajima

A team of researchers has made a breakthrough discovery in the world of Beyond 5G/6G (B5G/6G) signal transmission. Taku Nakajima and Kazuji Suzuki of Nagoya University in Japan, along with their collaborators, created a waveguide made of niobium that speeds up the transition of B5G/6G signals.  

The frequency of data waves has continued to increase as B5G/6G technologies have been introduced. Although the currently used metal transmission lines can handle B5G/6G, research has focused on superconducting metals, such as niobium, that have lower transmission loss and can handle higher frequencies.  

Nakajima and his collaborators evaluated the use of niobium in a waveguide, a three-dimensional transmission line consisting of a metal tube that guides and confines waves along a specific path, minimizing losses due to radiation and absorption. However, working with the metal proved to be difficult as it was susceptible to deformation and damage during fabrication and handling.  

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