In this article, we will take a look at 10 best fundamental stocks to buy. If you want to see some more of the best fundamental stocks to buy, go directly to 5 Best Fundamental Stocks To Buy.
A good fundamentals stock is a stock of a company that's profitable and that has durable competitive advantages to maintain its profitability over time and to grow. Ideally that company would also be well run and have substantial growth opportunities in its future. That company would have scale and a strong history of earnings.
Furthermore the best fundamental stocks would also include those aforementioned companies that also trade for a potential discount to their long term value. In terms of metrics, indicators such as a strong history of profits and history of returning profits back to shareholders is important. A history of dividends can also help.
Currently, the market is facing several headwinds including rising interest rates and also a potentially slowing economy. Despite the economy potentially slowing, inflation is still a problem as well.
Due to all the headwinds, the market has declined substantially with even many of the leading high quality stocks down over 20%+ year to date. In terms of the major indexes, the NASDAQ is down around 32%, the S&P 500 is down around 23.6% and the Dow Jones is down around 19.3%.
While the market could decline further given geopolitical events or if the economic data fails to meet expectations, there is also potential opportunity for long term investors to buy quality stocks.
In the long term, quality companies with strong fundamentals could increase their earnings over time and potentially be worth more in times when the market is more bullish in terms of valuations on earnings.
Given the market decline, the stocks of many quality companies are on sale, and there are several companies that could potentially fit in the list of the 10 best fundamentals stocks to buy.
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For our list of 10 Best Fundamental Stocks To Buy, we used subjective measures to pick 10 stocks that have a strong history of quality earnings that also trade for reasonable valuations.
We then ranked the 10 stocks based on the number of hedge funds in our database who held shares in the stocks at the end of Q2.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 50
McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) operates and franchises McDonald's restaurants both in the United States and internationally. As of December 31, 2021, the company operated 40,031 restaurants, making it one of the largest restaurant chains in the world. Given its size, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has economies of scale that give it higher margins than many of its competitors.
Due to the market decline, shares have fallen 13% year to date but have rebound potential if economic data doesn't slow as much as expected. Out of the 895 hedge funds in our database, 50 were long McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) at the end of the second quarter.
Alongside Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is also a stock with strong fundamentals.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 71
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) sells branded consumer packaged goods worldwide. The company has many leading brands and reported net sales of $80.2 billion for the fiscal 2022 year. For the year, the company also generated operating cash flow of $16.7 billion and adjusted free cash flow productivity of 93%.
Due to the market decline, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) trades for a forward P/E ratio of 19.56 which could be attractive if interest rates don't rise much further. Bill Chappell of Truist lowered his price target to $160 from $175 but kept a 'Buy' rating in August. 71 hedge funds we track were long The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) at the end of Q2 2022 with GQG Partners among the top 5. Given the number of hedge fund holders, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) ranks #9 on our list of 10 Best Fundamental Stocks To Buy.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 83
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) researches, develops, manufacturers, and sells various products in the healthcare field worldwide. Given the company's strong fundamentals, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has raised its dividend for 60 consecutive years. As of October 7, the company has a forward annual dividend of $4.52 per share which is a dividend yield of 2.82%. On October 5, Joanne Wuensch of Citi lowered her price target on Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to $198 from the previous $201 but kept a 'Buy' rating. 83 hedge funds in our database were long Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) at the end of Q2 2022, ranking it #8 on our list of 10 Best Fundamental Stocks To Buy.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 104
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) operates a financial services company worldwide. The bank is regarded by many as one of the stronger and well run banks among the big four. Given the market decline and fears of a potential slowdown which could increase write offs in the future, shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) are down 33% year to date. On October 5, Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley cut her price target to $126 from $127 and kept an 'Underweight' rating, citing higher cost deposits for banks in general to increasingly fund their loan growth. 104 hedge funds in Insider Monkey's database were long JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) at the end of Q2. Arrowstreet Capital owned almost 7.6 million shares at the end of Q2.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 109
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is an entertainment company that operates through two segments, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Due to the market decline, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) shares have fallen 37% year to date and trade at a forward P/E ratio of 17.99. On October 4, Philip Cusick of JPMorgan cut his price target on The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) to $145 from $160 but nevertheless kept an 'Overweight' rating.
109 hedge funds we track were long The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) at the end of the second quarter, making it #6 in terms of our list of the 10 Best Fundamental Stocks To Buy.
Oakmark Fund mentioned The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) in its Q2 2022 investor letter:
“Disney (NYSE:DIS) is one of the most beloved consumer companies in the world. Its media business has a rich library of intellectual property, which provides a powerful engine for creating new content across the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars brands. This content also contributes to the success of Disney’s theme parks, which generated nearly half the company’s earnings and grew more than 10% annually in the decade prior to the pandemic. Shares have fallen nearly 50% over the past year as investors worried about the company’s ability to transition its media business to a direct-to-consumer streaming world. This transition has required management to make investments in its Disney+ streaming service that are depressing profitability today. However, we believe these investments will ultimately produce attractive returns as Disney+ continues to grow subscribers and increase pricing over time. As a result, we were able to purchase shares at a substantial discount to our estimate of intrinsic value.”
Stocks like Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are also among the best fundamental stocks to buy.
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Disclosure: None. 10 Best Fundamental Stocks To Buy is originally published on Insider Monkey.
Recently, a research team led by associate Prof. XU Zhenyu from Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences suggested a new method to detect atmospheric greenhouse gas column with high-resolution laser heterodyne spectroscopy.
The method, which was in Optics Letter and highlighted as an Editor's Pick, solved the challenge of the increase of the collected effective radiation power limited by the restricted solid angle as described by optical antenna theory.
In the past years, Laser Heterodyne Spectrometer (LHS) was taken as a complementary tool to ground-based Fourier transform spectrometer in terms of the greenhouse gas column measurement, due to its high spectral resolution, small size and easy integration. However, for laser heterodyne spectroscopy, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of heterodyne signal couldn't be enhanced by increasing the size of the optical receiver because of the optical antenna theory resulting in a limitation of the effective collected solar radiation power.
This would further limit the measurement accuracy of the greenhouse column abundances/vertical profiles.
The novel method proposed in this research improved LHS's SNR by utilizing a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) to resolve the issue with limited SNR induced by the optical antenna theory.
The research results showed that the precision of the greenhouse column measurement and the ability of weak light signal detection in terms of the developed SOA-assisted LHS, have achieved a great improvement compared to the traditional LHS.
This research work enhanced the performance of LHS, which showed great potential in the remote sensing of the atmospheric greenhouse gases.
"Our work improved SNR and the measurement precision of CO2 column abundance significantly. It would be promoted to mid-infrared LHR for high-resolution sensitive detection of atmospheric column or vertical profiles of more gas components," said DENG Hao, first author of this paper.
Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA) Helps High-precision Measurements of Atmospheric CO2 Column
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
In this article, we discuss 10 best fundamental penny stocks to invest in. If you want to see more stocks in this selection, check out 5 Best Fundamental Penny Stocks To Invest In.
Penny stocks are volatile securities which are priced under $5. Their price tends to fluctuate wildly, and this attracts growth investors, as they are usually looking for very high returns quickly. These companies have small market capitalizations, limited or no profits, and little public domain information. There are numerous instances of penny stocks giving massive returns to investors. Multiple billion-dollar firms, including Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) once traded as penny stocks, which attests to the potential of fundamentally strong penny stocks.
Investors are worried about the market volatility and are largely wary of committing big sums of money to their stock portfolios, given the macro backdrop that consists of an escalating war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, mounting COVID-19 cases in China, and the potential for supply chains to be disrupted yet again if the Asian superpower employs a lockdown once again. This is where penny stocks come in. Investors look for growth catalysts, research ongoing projects and their feasibility, and look out for funding options available to these firms so they execute on their plans. Traders who realize the value of the ongoing projects of these firms often buy penny stocks in droves for future gains.
Another reason why fundamental penny stocks are gaining popularity in the stock market is the get-rich-quick mindset of retail investors. They place bets on high volatility penny stocks that can potentially grow big in a few months. The stock market is seeing cash inflows by millennials and Gen Z, who have meaningfully higher risk tolerance and do not worry about retirement portfolios just yet, which is why they often lean towards penny stocks with strong fundamentals.
We have selected the stocks that were priced under $5 as of October 12. We have shortlisted penny stocks that offer unique growth fundamentals, have positive analyst ratings, and have the capacity to drive resilient returns in the future. The hedge fund sentiment was assessed from Insider Monkey’s database of elite hedge funds, tracked as of the second quarter of 2022.
Photo by Mohamed Hadji on Unsplash
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 3
Share Price as of October 12: $0.7999
Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA) is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, operating as an immunotherapy company specializing in the development and commercialization of Superkines and empowered Superkines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
On September 13, Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA) announced that it had entered into a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA)’s agonist, MDNA11, is being evaluated in the early to mid-stage trial as a monotherapy, and paired with Merck’s Keytruda, it can potentially be a treatment for cancerous tumors. As per the collaboration agreement, Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA) will sponsor the study and Merck will supply Keytruda. This is a positive catalyst for Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA), making it one of the best fundamental penny stocks to invest in.
Oppenheimer analyst Matthew Biegler on September 28 reiterated an Outperform rating on Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA) with an $8 price target after the company announced that the partial responder in MDNA11's dose escalation trial now has a confirmed response. The "now confirmed evidence of single-agent activity against this usually tough-to-treat tumor type is notable and not a fluke," the analyst told investors in a research note. The analyst said he is "puzzled by the tepid investor reaction" since the partial trial data was first reported back in August, and believes the quality of clinical data that MDNA11 has presented thus far "deserves more credit than it is currently getting."
According to Insider Monkey’s data, 3 hedge funds were bullish on Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA) at the end of June 2022, compared to 2 funds in the prior quarter. Orin Hirschman’s AIGH Investment Partners is the leading position holder in the company, with 2.27 million shares worth $2.6 million.
In addition to Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:MDNA) is one of the notable stocks to monitor in the present macro backdrop.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 6
Share Price as of October 12: $2.1050
Bionano Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:BNGO) is a California-based company that provides genome analysis software solutions. Its primary offering is Saphyr, a sample-to-result solution for structural variation analysis by optical genome mapping for understanding of genetic variation and function. Bionano Genomics on October 4 announced the publication of a study indicating the use of optical genome mapping to investigate a molecular subgroup of hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common type of liver cancer, in order to explore the complicated structural variations caused by replication stress. It is one of the best fundamental penny stocks to watch.
On September 26, Bionano Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:BNGO) and OptraHEALTH announced their collaboration to use HealthFAX's proprietary AI platform to Improve genetic counseling services and care for patients receiving diagnostic services through the Bionano Laboratories. Bionano Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:BNGO) believes that providing CLIA-certified services will allow it to execute its growth strategy.
Oppenheimer analyst Francois Brisebois on July 18 assumed coverage of Bionano Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:BNGO) with an Outperform rating and a $12 price target due to a reallocation of the firm's analyst resources.
According to Insider Monkey’s data, 6 hedge funds were long Bionano Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:BNGO) at the end of Q2 2022, with collective stakes worth about $8 million, compared to 6 funds in the prior quarter worth $4 million. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies is the leading stakeholder of the company, with 3.65 million shares valued at $5 million.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 4
Share Price as of October 12: $1.2085
Vizsla Silver Corp. (NYSE:VZLA) was incorporated in 2017 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. The company engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of precious and base metals. Vizsla Silver Corp. (NYSE:VZLA) primarily explores for gold, silver, and copper deposits. It is one of the best fundamental penny stocks to invest in.
On September 27, Stifel analyst Stephen Soock initiated coverage of Vizsla Silver Corp. (NYSE:VZLA) with a Buy rating and a C$3.50 price target. The resource at the Panuco project in Mexico is "world-class and growing rapidly," said the analyst, who sees the deposits driving mid-tier level production with a high margin over an 11-year mine life.
Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 4 funds reported owning stakes worth $11.4 million in Vizsla Silver Corp. (NYSE:VZLA) at the end of the second quarter of 2022, compared to 3 funds in the prior quarter worth $19.3 million.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 2
Share Price as of October 12: $0.5102
Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI) is a New York-based company that designs, manufactures, and sells structural parts and assemblies for mission-critical aerospace and defense applications. It acts as a prime contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense. Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI) operates through two segments – Complex Machining and Turbine and Engine Component. Priced at $0.51 as of October 12, Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI) is one of the best fundamental penny stocks to buy.
On September 15, Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI) announced that it had secured two contracts collectively worth $5 million. Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI)’s Air Industries Machining division was awarded a $2.2 million five-year contract to manufacture flight-critical assemblies for the Blackhawk helicopter. Its other unit, Sterling Engineering, bagged a $2.8 million order from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) for engine components to be used in the F404 jet engine.
Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI) disclosed on October 4 a reverse split of its issued and outstanding common stock with par value of $0.001 per share, at a ratio of one share of common stock for every ten shares of common stock, effective from October 18, 2022. As a result of this reverse split, the amount of outstanding common shares will be slashed from 32,324,670 to 3,232,467.
According to Insider Monkey’s Q2 data, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group held 21,500 and 10,935 shares in Air Industries Group (NYSE:AIRI) respectively. The shares were collectively worth $23,000.
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 23
Share Price as of October 12: $2.8100
Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) is a Connecticut-based shipping and mailing company, offering technology, logistics, and financial services to businesses, retailers, and government clients in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company operates through Global Ecommerce, Presort Services, and SendTech Solutions segments.
At the end of August, Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) announced that it had partnered with autonomous middle mile logistics firm Gatik to provide autonomous trucks for e-commerce shipments in the Dallas market. The company will use Gatik's class 6 autonomous box trucks in its e-commerce logistics network in the Dallas market starting in the first quarter of 2023. Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) is one of the best fundamental penny stocks to consider.
According to Insider Monkey’s database, Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) was part of 23 hedge fund portfolios at the end of June 2022, up from 20 in the prior quarter. D E Shaw held the largest stake in the company, comprising 3.35 million shares worth over $12 million.
Like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), elite hedge funds are closely monitoring Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI).
Here is what Miller Value Partners has to say about Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) in its Q3 2021 investor letter:
“Pitney Bowes (PBI) was also a accurate laggard of nearly 20% during the quarter. The company has been building out an E-commerce business for the past 10 years that is approaching $2B in revenue and growing revenues longer-term at a double digit pace. With the E-commerce segment approaching scale, management has significant new initiatives underway to help Improve the segment’s profitability to normalized levels (8-12% EBIT margins) over the next couple of years. Success in achieving normalized profitability for the segment would dramatically enhance Pitney Bowes earnings (>$1 in EPS) and annual free cash flow generation (>$250M). Last quarter we highlighted the digital service business within Pitney’s E-commerce segment and the significant embedded value that was suggested by the accurate acquisition of a direct competitor Stamps.com at 8x revenue. However, another accurate market transaction suggests the E-commerce business has even greater embedded value. At the end of the second quarter, Global-e (GLBE), a UK company that focuses on cross-border business came public at $25/share or approx. $4B market capitalization. The initial IPO price suggested 2021 Enterprise value to Revenue >20x. Since the IPO, GLBE has climbed to greater than $50/share. Within Pitney Bowes’s E-commerce segment there is a much larger cross border business representing approximately $500M in revenue. The current valuation of Global-e suggests Pitney’s cross border business is worth significantly more than the company’s current market cap. With the marketplace valuing many businesses in excess of 10x revenue, we believe that Pitney Bowes shares remain significantly mispriced at only .35x of revenue and >30% normalized earnings and free cash flow yield. In our opinion, the shares are becoming increasingly attractive as their E-commerce segment appears to be significantly undervalued and has the potential to unlock significant equity value over the next couple of years.”
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Disclosure: None. 10 Best Fundamental Penny Stocks To Invest In is originally published on Insider Monkey.
If you often find yourself off by one when counting your socks after doing the laundry, you might want to sit down for this.
Scientists in Japan have now counted the number of extra -- or missing -- charges down to a precision of just one electron in single platinum nanoparticles having diameters only one-tenth those of common viruses.
This new process for precisely studying differences in net charge on metal nanoparticles will aid in the further understanding and development of catalysts for breaking down greenhouse and other harmful gases into fuels and benign gases or for efficiently producing ammonia needed for fertilizers used in agriculture.
Led by Kyushu University and Hitachi Ltd., the research team achieved this feat of extreme counting through hardware and software improvements that increased tenfold the sensitivity of a technique called electron holography.
While transmission electron microscopy uses a beam of electrons to observe materials down to the atomic level, electron holography utilizes the wave-like properties of electrons to probe electric and magnetic fields.
Interaction of an electron with fields causes a phase shift in its wave that can be identified by comparing it with a reference wave of an unaffected electron.
In the new work, the researchers focused their microscopes on single nanoparticles of platinum on a surface of titanium oxide, a combination of materials that is already known to act as a catalyst and speed up chemical reactions.
On average, the platinum nanoparticles had diameters of only 10 nm -- so small that it would take nearly 100,000 to span one millimeter.
"While each particle contains a few tens of thousands of atoms of platinum, the addition or removal of just one or two negatively charged electrons causes significant changes in the behavior of the materials as catalysts," says Ryotaro Aso, associate professor at Kyushu University's Faculty of Engineering and first author on the paper in the journal Science reporting the work.
Measuring the fields just around a platinum nanoparticle -- which vary depending on the imbalance of positive and negative charges in the particle -- in an environment free of air, the researchers could determine the number of extra or missing electrons that are creating the fields.
"Amongst the millions of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons balancing each other out in the nanoparticle, we could successfully tell if the number of protons and electrons was different by just one," explains Aso.
Although the fields are too weak to observe with previous methods, the researchers improved sensitivity by using a state-of-the-art 1.2-MV atomic-resolution holography microscope developed and operated by Hitachi that reduces mechanical and electrical noise and then processing the data to further tease out the signal from the noise.
Developed by Osaka University's Yoshihiro Midoh, one of the paper's co-authors, the signal processing technique utilized the so-called wavelet hidden Markov model (WHMM) to reduce the noise without also removing the extremely weak signals of interest.
In addition to identifying the charge state of individual nanoparticles, the researchers were able to relate differences in the number of electrons, which ranged from one to six, to differences in the crystal structure of the nanoparticles.
While the number of electrons per area has been previously reported by averaging over a large-area measurement of many particles, this is the first time scientists could measure a single electron difference in a single particle.
"By combining breakthroughs in microscopy hardware and signal processing, we are able to study phenomenon on increasingly smaller levels," comments Yasukazu Murakami, professor at Kyushu University's Faculty of Engineering and supervisor of the Kyushu U team.
"In this first demonstration, we measured the charge on a single nanoparticle in vacuum. In the future, we hope to overcome the challenges that currently prevent us from doing the same measurements in the presence of gas to get information in environments closer to actually applications."
Research into the synthesis of new materials could lead to more sustainable and environmentally friendly items such as solar panels and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Scientists from Ames National Laboratory and Iowa State University have developed a colloidal synthesis method for alkaline earth chalcogenides. This method allows them to control the size of the nanocrystals in the material. They were also able to study the surface chemistry of the nanocrystals and assess the purity and optical properties of the materials involved. Their research is discussed in the paper "Alkaline-Earth Chalcogenide Nanocrystals: Solution-Phase Synthesis, Surface Chemistry, and Stability," published in ACS Nano.
Alkaline earth chalcogenides are a type of semiconductor that is of growing interest among scientists. They have a variety of possible applications such as bioimaging, LEDs, and thermal sensors. These compounds may also be used to make optical materials such as perovskites, which convert light into energy.
According to Javier Vela, Ames Lab scientist and the John D. Corbett Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University, one reason these new materials are of interest is because "they are comprised of earth-abundant and biocompatible elements, which make them favorable alternatives compared to the more widely used toxic or expensive semiconductors."
Vela explained that more widely used semiconductors contain lead or cadmium, both elements that are detrimental to human health and the environment. Additionally, the most popular technique scientists use to synthesize these materials involves solid-state reactions. "These reactions often occur at extremely high temperatures (above 900 °C or 1652 °F) and require reaction times that can last anywhere from days to weeks," he said.
On the other hand, Vela explained that "solution-phase (colloidal) chemistry can be performed using much lower (below 300 °C or 572 °F) temperatures and shorter reaction times." So, the colloidal method Vela's team used requires less energy and time to synthesize the materials.
Vela's team found that the colloidal synthesis method allowed them to control the size of the nanocrystals. Nanocrystal size is important because it determines the optical properties of some materials. Vela explained that by changing the size of the particles, scientists can influence how well the materials absorb light. "This means we can potentially synthesize materials that are more suited for specific applications just by changing the nanocrystal size," he said.
According to Vela, the team's original goal was to synthesize semiconducting alkaline-earth chalcogenide perovskites, because of their potential use in solar devices. However, to accomplish this goal, they needed a deeper understanding of the fundamental chemistry of alkaline earth chalcogenides. They chose to focus on these binary materials instead.
Vela said that their research fills a need to Improve scientists' understanding of photovoltaic, luminescent, and thermoelectric materials that are made of earth-abundant and non-toxic elements. He said, "We hope that our developments with this project ultimately aid in the synthesis of more complex nanomaterials, such as the alkaline-earth chalcogenide perovskites."
Study authors included Alison N. Roth, Yunhua Chen, Marquix A. S. Adamson, Eunbyeol Gi, Molly Wagner, Aaron J. Rossini, and Javier Vela.
Citation: Fundamental research improves understanding of new optical materials (2022, September 20) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-fundamental-optical-materials.html
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An international team of physicists, with the participation of the University of Augsburg, has for the first time confirmed an important theoretical prediction in quantum physics. The calculations for this are so complex that they have hitherto proved too demanding even for supercomputers. However, the researchers succeeded in simplifying them considerably using methods from the field of machine learning. The study improves the understanding of fundamental principles of the quantum world. It has been published in the journal Science Advances.
The calculation of the motion of a single billiard ball is relatively simple. However, predicting the trajectories of a multitude of gas particles in a vessel which are constantly colliding, being slowed down and deflected, is way more difficult. But what if it is not even at all clear exactly how fast each particle is moving, so that they would have countless possible velocities at any given time, differing only in their probability?
The situation is similar in the quantum world: Quantum mechanical particles can even have all potentially possible properties simultaneously. This makes the state space of quantum mechanical systems extremely large. If you aim to simulate how quantum particles interact with each other, you have to consider their complete state spaces.
"And that is extremely complex," says Prof. Dr. Markus Heyl from the Institute of Physics at the University of Augsburg. "The computational effort increases exponentially with the number of particles. With more than 40 particles, it is already so large that even the fastest supercomputers are unable to cope with it. This is one of the grand challenges of quantum physics."
Neural networks make the problem manageable
To simplify this problem, Heyl's group used methods from the field of machine learning—artificial neural networks. With these, the quantum mechanical state can be reformulated. "This makes it manageable for computers," explains Heyl.
Using this method, the scientists have investigated an important theoretical prediction that has remained an outstanding challenge so far—the quantum Kibble-Zurek mechanism. It describes the dynamical behavior of physical systems at what is called a quantum phase transition. An example of a phase transition from the macroscopic and more intuitive world is the transition from water to ice. Another example is the demagnetization of a magnet at high temperatures.
If you go the other way round and cool the material , the magnet starts to form again below a certain critical temperature. However, this does not happen evenly across the entire material. Instead, many small magnets with differently aligned north and south poles are created at the same time. Thus, the resulting magnet is actually a mosaic of many different, smaller magnets. Physicists also say that it contains defects.
The Kibble-Zurek mechanism predicts how many of these defects are to be expected (in other words, how many mini-magnets the material will eventually be composed of). What is particularly interesting is that the number of these defects is universal and thus independent of microscopic details. Accordingly, many different materials behave precisely identically, even if their microscopic composition is completely different.
The Kibble-Zurek mechanism and the formation of galaxies after the Big Bang
The Kibble-Zurek mechanism was originally introduced to explain the formation of structure in the universe. After the Big Bang, the universe was initially completely homogeneous, which means that the hosted matter was distributed perfectly evenly. For a long time it has been unclear how galaxies, suns or planets could have formed out of such a homogeneous state.
In this context the Kibble-Zurek mechanism provides an explanation. As the universe was cooling down, defects developed in a similar way to magnets. In the meantime these processes in the macroscopic world are well understood. But there is one type of phase transition for which it has not yet been possible to verify the validity of the mechanism—namely the quantum phase transitions already mentioned before. "They only exist at the absolute zero temperature point of -273 degrees Celsius," explains Heyl. "So the phase transition does not take place during cooling, but through changes in the interaction energy—you could think, perhaps, of varying the pressure."
The scientists have now simulated such a quantum phase transition on a supercomputer. They were thus able to show for the first time that the Kibble-Zurek mechanism also applies in the quantum world. "That was by no means an obvious conclusion," says the Augsburg physicist. "Our study allows us to better describe the dynamics of quantum mechanical systems of many particles and hence to understand more precisely the rules that govern this exotic world."
Provided by Universität Augsburg
Citation: Researchers answer fundamental question of quantum physics (2022, September 22) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-fundamental-quantum-physics.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.