BBC: In 1976, two years after India’s first nuclear test explosion, Canada banned the trade of nuclear materials with India. In 2010 the two nations signed a deal to allow private companies to export nuclear fuel from Canada to India. However, finalization of the deal was delayed by disputes over how the fuel would be supervised in India. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the agreement would strengthen the Canadian mining and nuclear industries. And Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Canada would be a primary fuel supplier for India’s growing nuclear power program. Increasing modernization and growth in India has led to an increased need for electricity. The country hopes to build 30 new reactors and to obtain a quarter of its energy from nuclear power by 2050.
Ars Technica: Two experiments on entangled photons have forced the photons to display both their wave-like and particle-like properties. Normally, an observation that reveals the wave-like properties prevents later observations from showing the particle-like properties—and vice versa. In both experiments, polarized photons were sent through a device where they initially encountered a beam splitter giving them equal chance to take either of two paths. On one of the paths, the polarization is rotated, and mirrors redirect both paths toward an intersection with two detectors beyond. If the intersection does not have a second beam splitter in place, both detectors click with equal frequency, because the photons behave like particles. If there is a beam splitter in the intersection, the photons behave like waves, travel down both paths, and interfere with themselves, resulting in only one of the detectors registering hits. In one of the experiments, measurements of one of the entangled photons after the first had been through the device could determine whether the first had encountered the second beam splitter or not. The other experiment manipulated the polarization of the photons in ways that allowed them to control whether the first photon was more wave-like or more particle-like.
Science: Particle physicist and Democrat Bill Foster beat Republican incumbent Judy Biggert in the bid for Illinois’s 11th district seat in the US House of Representatives. Foster had previously served in Congress from 2008 through 2011, when he represented Illinois’s 14th district. Science featured prominently in the race: The 11th district contains part of Argonne National Laboratory and borders Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. In addition, Biggert served on the House Science Committee throughout her seven terms in office. Foster received nearly $400 000 in campaign donations from researchers all over the US. When he takes his seat in the 113th Congress next January, he will join Rush Holt, the only other physicist in the House. Holt, a Democrat, easily won reelection to New Jersey’s 12th district.
Nature: After four years of successful operation, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope is getting a much-needed software upgrade. Just last week it was reported that Fermi had made the most accurate measurement to date of all the starlight in the universe. Yet because of software problems and insufficient memory in one of its detectors, the space telescope has been unable to detect photons with energies exceeding 10 GeV. With the upgrade, not only will the telescope be better able to gather data from the highest-energy gamma rays, but researchers may be able to reanalyze data from gamma-ray bursts already detected by Fermi since it began operating in 2008. Fermi’s newfound capacity could help researchers better understand such enigmatic phenomena as dark matter.