Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: Netflix 50 Photos Wonderstorm If you can’t wait for the final season of Game of Thrones, The Dragon Prince might satiate your hankering for a fantasy epic show. Bonus: You can watch it with your kids. The animated series on Netflix magically, and effectively, checks off a lot of entertainment boxes. The tone wildly swings from silly to sad and poignant, yet somehow manages to juggle all the conflicting emotions in a charming, binge-worthy package. While it’s a cartoon, The Dragon Prince, like the now-concluded Voltron: Legendary Defender, straddles the line between adult and children’s entertainment. That’s no coincidence, as the showrunners of both also worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender, a Nickelodeon cartoon that’s built up a massive cult following over the years. Share your voice 1:59 What’s streaming in February 2019 “Hopefully, it’s something you can watch more than once at different ages, and see something different,” co-creator Aaron Ehasz said in an interview at New York Comic-Con in October. The Dragon Prince centers around three central characters: teenage prince Callum; his younger stepbrother, Ezran, the true heir to the throne; and Rayla, an elfin assassin on a quest to kill their father. Complications and a key revelation tied to the show’s name band the unlikely trio together on a Lord of the Rings-style journey. To reveal more would be spoiling the fun, but here’re some reasons you should check out The Dragon Prince. Likeable, complex characters Seeing an assassin bond with her target’s two sons isn’t a dynamic you’d normally encounter in a cartoon, but it’s effective thanks to their natural chemistry. It helps that all the characters are really likeable. Rayla is a Moonshadow Elf assassin. But she’s got a sunny side to her too. Wonderstorm Callum starts off as the wisecracking lead, and Rayla the brooding one, but the showrunners wisely choose to spend plenty of time exploring the characters’ depth. Conversely, Callum goes through an intense emotional journey as the show goes on, while Rayla gets to be silly once in a while. Ezran is anything but the typical annoying 10-year-old, exuding a calmness and charm that make him easy to root for. “We try to find a balance between archetypes and tropes but also be original and authentic to the character,” Ehsaz said. Flipping the script Fantasy stories have almost universally had a European bent, so it’s refreshing to see a splash of diversity here. Where many fantasy and children’s stories position the stepmother as the antagonist, here the stepparent is a positive force: King Harrow is a wise, noble stepfather to Callum. Subverting fantasy cliches was one of the creative team’s goals. “There’s an opportunity to tell a story in a genre that’s been done a lot of ways, with characters that are more complex, that reflect the modern world, reflect a more diverse world,” Ehasz said. One of the most engaging characters is Amaya, Callum and Ezran’s aunt on their departed mother’s side. She’s deaf, and the show’s creators spare no expense animating her sign language. Subtitles don’t appear when she communicates, but you figure things out through context. She’s a general, and you quickly learn through bold action that she’s the most badass character, a fantastic example of the mantra “show, don’t tell.” Epic world building The Dragon Prince’s first season, which started last September, is only nine half-hour episodes. But it lays out an expansive world steeped in hints of history. There’s the unique way magic works for humans versus other creatures like elves. Years before the show’s story starts, humans used dark magic to kill the Dragon King, resulting in a detente between humans and elves, with each side occupying half the land. The second season, meanwhile, builds on that world, wisely using flashbacks to tell the tragic backstory of the previous generation of key players. Past mistakes ripple through to affect Callum and Ezran. Well-rounded villains There’s only one full-blown antagonist on the show, Viren, once the faithful adviser to King Harrow. But the dark mage has a somewhat understandable justification for his actions, even while they sink deeper into darkness as the show goes on. More entertaining are his two children, the dark, magic-wielding Claudia and her boisterous brother and crown guard, Soren. Both are tasked with retrieving the princes, and they walk the line between threat and comedy relief. Claudia, who often has to sacrifice creatures to power her dark magic, is particularly effective as someone who genuinely cares for the main characters, adding a satisfying level of emotional complexity. Fantasy, for beginners Though my 2-year-old is a bit too young for The Dragon Prince, I can imagine him taking to this show in a few years. I didn’t get into J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings until I was in junior high school, but this show gives kids a relatively safe place to get their feet wet in fantasy. Lord of the Rings this is not. New Line Cinema That’s not to say there isn’t death and some mature themes. But the show handles its darker tones with an impressive deftness. Adorable creaturesThere’s a grumpy toad called Bait who changes colors and glows. And he’s just the start. Trust me, your kids will love the creatures in this show. “We want to tell a great epic story with epic characters that we hope the audience finds funny and compelling,” Ehsaz said. You can catch The Dragon Prince on Netflix now. 0 TV and Movies 2019 TV shows you can’t miss Tags
© 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —Optical transistors and switches are fundamental in both classical and quantum optical information processing. A key objective in optics research is determining and developing the structural and performance limits of such all-optical devices, in which a single gate photon modifies the transmission or phase accumulation of multiple source photons – a feature necessitating strong interaction between individual photons. While significant progress has been made – especially in cavity QED experiments, which use resonators to enhance interaction between photons, confined in a reflective enclosure, and natural or artificial atoms – the goal is to achieve high optical gain and high efficiency using a free-space – that is, cavity-free – approach. Recently, scientists at Universität Stuttgart, Germany demonstrated a free-space single-photon transistor based on two-color Rydberg interaction, which they say could lead to a high optical gain, high efficiency optical transistor through further improvements. (In a Rydberg atom a single electron is excited to a state with a large principal quantum number, meaning that it has high potential energy.) Moreover, the researchers state that the finding may lead to advances in quantum information processing, condensed matter physics, single step multi-photon entanglement, and other important areas. In addition, the paper notes that their novel approach could enable a high optical gain, high efficiency optical transistor, which so far has been realized only in a cavity QED setup, in which attenuation of hundreds of source photons has been demonstrated. “Cavity QED experiments employ an optical resonator to increase light-matter interaction,” Gorniaczyk says. “However, resonators come with technological challenges and fundamental limitations, such as limited bandwidth, which free-space experiments do not suffer.””Optical transistors open a wide range of potential optics applications, one of which is the single-shot detection of single photons,” Hofferberth tells Phys.org. “In addition, investigating different state combinations can lead to an increase in optical gain. In particular, the use of so-called Förster resonances1, as well as working with states that are directly coupled, can significantly boost performance. Modification of trap geometry for the cold atomic cloud would also improve our system by leading to a greater optical depth for source photons in the presence of gate photons – and thus to a higher attenuation. Finally, the retrieval of gate photons after the transistor experiment would open up the door to quantum computation.”Furthermore, the paper points out that the combination of two independently controlled Rydberg-EIT (electromagnetically induced transparency) schemes offers high flexibility. With two excitation schemes, the gate photon can efficiently be stored using a detuning to the intermediate state, whereas the source photons can propagate through the medium with reduced group velocity. Additionally, the two-color scheme enables novel fields of study, such as Förster resonances or directly dipole-dipole coupled Rydberg states. “Förster resonances occur when a pair state involving two Rydberg states resonantly couples to another pair state,” Tresp explains. “Using a suitable resonance allows to increase the interaction between gate and source photons, while the interaction among source photons can be kept low. This can lead to an increase in gain.” Theoretically, the researchers say, their optical transistor can be extended such that an imaging system with source photons can determine the position of gate excitations in a single shot. If the interaction between gate and source photons is very high, the exact position of gate excitations cannot be tracked back, so the resolution decreases with increasing interaction, especially if more gate excitations are present. “Moreover, our optical transistor can be seen as a device that entangles the gate photon with many source photons,” Gorniaczyk says. “The presence of source photons, for instance, implies the absence of the gate photon in the first place. Systems with strong many-body correlations are of high interest in quantum information technology, and many ideas could be realized including quantum gate arrays.” Quantum gate arrays are basic quantum circuits that process small numbers of qubits and are combined to construct quantum circuits.Another possible quantum computation application is the experimental embodiment of a two-photon phase gate based on Rydberg-polariton collisions(Polaritons are part matter, part light quasiparticles).) “We currently show that a gate photon efficiently attenuates source photons –or in other words, the gate photon causes absorption of source photons,” Hofferberth tells Phys.org. “It’s also possible, though, to modify the scheme such that the gate photon causes dispersion of the source photons, causing a phase shift of the source photons. The only modification required for this is to send the source photons with a different detuning into the medium. Currently they are tuned exactly onto resonance with an optical transition to cause strong absorption, but by detuning them the effect can be turned into a conditional phase shift.” A two-qubit phase-gate is a universal quantum gate, meaning that if a reliable phase gate is available along with single qubit gates), any quantum computation can be realized. “Our system would be the first purely photonic deterministic two qubit gate,” Hofferberth adds.In addition to the research plans discussed above, Gorniaczyk says since their work demonstrates controlled interaction between individual photons , the scientists can now turn towards realizing long-standing goals such as all-optical quantum computation. “Our explicit next goal is to demonstrate that the transistor can be operated with gain greater than 1, and the gate photon retrieved afterwards with all of its quantum properties intact. This will enable multi-photon entanglement in a single step and entangled states of multiple particles – in this case, the latter being photons – which are a key quantum information resource.”Another of their ideas is similar to the non-destructive detection of single atoms: If the gate photon can survive the transistor process, it will enable non-destructive quantum state detection of single photons. “Currently, all photon detection methods are destructive and limited in efficiency – in practice, usually to below 0.3,” Tresp explains. “A non-destructive detector with high fidelity would be an innovation with many applications in optical science.”Addressing other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Hofferberth notes that while their current work focuses on making the Rydberg-mediated interaction between photons useful for quantum applications, more generally it realizes a novel system of strongly interacting particles. “If the number of photons interacting with each other simultaneously can be further increased, such a system could be a novel approach to study many-body physics problems, as encountered in condensed matter physics. In addition,” he concludes, “the enormous flexibility of our system could be the foundation of a photon-based quantum simulator used to investigate systems that cannot easily be studied directly.” A transistor-like amplifier for single photons (a) Level scheme, (b) simplified schematic, and (c) pulse sequence of our all-optical transistor. (d) The absorption spectrum for the source field (dots) over the full intermediate state absorption valley shows the EIT window on resonance; the gate field spectrum (circles) is taken around the two-photon resonance at δg = 40 MHz. The solid lines are fits to the EIT spectra. The linewidth of the source EIT window Δν = 2 MHz and the optical depth OD ¼ 25 of our system are extracted from the brown curve. Credit: H. Gorniaczyk et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 28 July 2014. Journal information: Physical Review Letters Doctoral students Hannes Gorniaczyk and Christoph Tresp, along with Dr. Sebastian Hofferberth, discussed the paper that they and their co-authors published in Physical Review Letters. They first addressed the challenge of devising a novel approach to implement a free-space single-photon all-optical transistor with an optical gain exceeding a factor of 10. “Photons do not inherently interact,” Gorniaczyk tells Phys.org. “Therefore, one has to think about ways of introducing interaction – and it’s been shown that the interaction of Rydberg atoms in a cold atomic cloud can be mapped onto the photons to create an effective interaction.””Due to the large micrometer size of these atoms,” Tresp points out, “the interaction between them is very strong – and we use this property to create strong interaction between single photons. The new aspect of our transistor scheme is that we use two different Rydberg states at the same time, allowing us to independently address the gate and source photons.” This approach enables the scientists to show that an optical gain G > 10 can be reached with, on average, less than one gate photon.Another challenge was mapping gate and source photons into Rydberg excitations with different principal quantum numbers in an ultra-cold atomic ensemble. “To map the gate and source photons of the optical transistor into Rydberg excitations requires experimental effort.” Gorniaczyk explains. “First, it’s necessary to create a cold and dense cloud of atoms in a favorable geometry; then, four excitation laser beams have to be overlapped and aligned on the atomic cloud; and finally, while the strong interaction between Rydberg atoms is the key to our scheme, they are also very susceptible to any external perturbation, requiring great care in shielding the experiment from external electric fields.”A key result was using the optical transistor to demonstrate the nondestructive detection of a single Rydberg atom. The conventional method is to ionize Rydberg atom and detect the resulting ion on an ion detector, with typical detection efficiencies below 0.5. However, by using their optical transistor the researchers mapped the existence of one Rydberg atom onto a probe light pulse by over 10 photons – which would be impossible if source photons destroyed gate excitations. This makes the new approach well-suited to independent control of gate and source photons. “While this is very similar to how electronic transistors are used to amplify signals,” Tresp notes, “our new approach is a clear improvement: Even with all imperfections taken into account, we achieve fidelity of 0.72 for the single shot detection of a Rydberg atom without destroying it during the process.” Moreover, optical transistors based on the interaction of Rydberg excitations are robust, and photon Interaction can be mediated by interaction between Rydberg states with different principal quantum numbers. Citation: Step lightly: All-optical transistor triggered by single photon promises advances in quantum applications (2014, August 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-lightly-all-optical-transistor-triggered-photon.html More information: Single-Photon Transistor Mediated by Interstate Rydberg Interactions, Physical Review Letters 113, 053601 (28 July 2014), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.053601Related:1Single-Photon Transistor Using a Förster Resonance, Physical Review Letters 113, 053602 (28 July 2014), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.053602 Explore further 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.
Xenko, a game engine owned by Silicon Studios has officially released its third version on August 2. The major change in Xenko 3.0 is the transition to being open-source. It also comes with changes made to the project system and added support for videos as well as hair, and skin rendering. Open-source and support Although Xenko won’t be supported officially anymore by Silicon Studios, the members of the Xenko development team will continue contributing to it. Virgile Bello, Lead Developer at Xenko Game Engine stated that he will personally work on it fulltime for the next couple of months in the official blog. The new version is released under the MIT License on Github. It is well received by the open source community. The Xenko repository has already gained almost 700 stars and a couple of issues showing active involvement. Changes in the Xenko 3.0 game engine Other than the open-source transition, there are a few other changes in the engine itself. Xenko 3.0 has made the switch to the new C# project system, which makes your game csproj as simple as a PackageReference to Xenko. This makes package management more convenient. It is now also possible to add video to your games with the latest release. This feature is not completely tested on all platforms so you may run into issues while implementing it. Hair and skin rendering support are also added, but like videos, this feature may need some improvements and tuning. The package names have also been changed since the move to open-source. The SiliconStudio.Xenko package is now Xenko. Also the SiliconStudio.Core and SiliconStudio.* packages are now Xenko.Core. Your earlier projects should automatically be updated but a backup before the upgrade is recommended. Virgile has set up a Patreon page if you’d like to support the project financially. The release notes state that the future plan is to split Xenko further into separate packages such as Xenko.Graphics, Xenko.Physics and Xenko.Editor. These are only the major changes. For the complete changelog and other minor updates in Xenko 3.0, you can see the Release Notes. Read next: Think Silicon open sources GLOVE: An OpenGL ES over Vulkan middleware Working with shaders in C++ to create 3D games Unity assets to create interactive 2D games [Tutorial]