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Physics tip sheet #19 June 26, 2002

1) Major climate models don't represent reality
R. B. Govindan, D. Vyushin, A. Bunde, S. Brenner, S. Havlin,. H.-J. Schellnhuber
Physical Review Letters (Print issue: July 8, 2002)

Seven leading global climate models were tested for certain statistical properties that reflect real climate behavior. None of the models correctly reproduce these properties but the models perform better when they incorporate the effect of aerosols rather than just greenhouse gases. Scenarios that only consider greenhouse gases tend to overestimate climate trends. The study provides an independent evaluation that aerosols must be considered to realistically model climate change as claimed in the recent IPCC Climate Change report.

Journal article: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v89/e028501

2) Nanospintronics: a single-spin transistor
M. Ciorga, A. Wensauer, M. Pioro-Ladriere, M. Korkusinski, J. Kyriakidis, A. S. Sachrajda, P. Hawrylak
Physical Review Letters (Print issue: June 24, 2002)

Spintronics is a relatively new field in which the electron's spin, not just its charge, can be exploited in devices and circuits. The ultimate spintronics degree of control would come from controlling a circuit at the level of a single spin. These physicists are the first to create a prototype of a single-spin transistor, which consists of a quantum dot connected to spin-polarized leads. The impressive control of spin achieved at the quantum dot may play a role in the future solid state form of quantum computing where the unit of quantum manipulation, the qubit might consist of specially prepared spin states.

Physics News Update: http://www.aip.org/enews/physnews/2002/split/595-2.html
Journal article: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v88/e25
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Contact: David Harris
harris@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
26-Jun-2002


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