Melting ice caps have released far more water than previously thought. The missing water's hiding place? Artificial reservoirs. Scientists at the National Central University in Chung-Li, Taiwan, estimate that nearly 29,500 reservoirs around the globe now hold about 10,800 cubic kilometers of water, or roughly twice the volume of Lake Michigan. Although global sea level has climbed steadily during the past 80 years, reservoir construction has artificially kept sea levels from rising another 30 millimeters in the past 50 years, the researchers estimate in findings published online March 13 in Science. By 2100, sea levels may rise by 100 to 900 millimeters because of global warming.
—Charles Q. ChoiCLOUDS OF ENTANGLEMENT
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have combined quantum entanglement—the faster-than-light communication among particles—with the technique of halting light dead in its tracks. Physicists used a beam splitter to cleave a single photon into an entangled pair and stored the two states one millimeter apart in a cloud of cesium atoms chilled to near absolute zero. When they recombined the pair back into light, 20 percent of the original entanglement remained—better than prior entanglement experiments.
The demonstration opens the door for entangling two distinct atomic clouds and using quantum teleportation to flash the quantum state of a particle from one cloud to the other, a kind of quantum telecom network.
—JR MinkelMINI SOLAR SYSTEM
Astronomers have discovered a pair of planets around a star 5,000 light-years away that resembles smaller versions of Jupiter and Saturn. Scott Gaudi, an astronomer at Ohio State University and lead author of the study published in the February 15 Science, discovered the planets with his colleagues over a twoweek period in 2006, when their stellar parent crossed in front of a more distant star, causing the nearer star to magnify the light from the more distant one. The finding suggests that solar systems like ours, with rocky inner planets and outer gas giants, may be common.