Physicists discover nuclear fireworks

in science •  last year

Previously unknown behaviour of ultracold atoms surprises researchers

Observed for the first time: The ultracold atoms of a Bose-Einstein condensate emit coordinated particle jets - like fireworks. © Cheng et al.

Unexpectedly coordinated: In ultracold atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate, physicists have discovered a previously completely unknown behavior. When these atoms are collided by magnetic pulses, some are thrown out of the composite. But these do not randomly shoot from the crowd, but form surprisingly coordinated particle fountains, as the researchers report in the journal "Nature". Such a collective issue is completely new.

Cooling down clouds of atoms to just above absolute zero, they go into an exotic matter state: the so-called Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, the atoms adopt their quantum states and behave like a single "giant" atom. In terms of quantum physics: The individual particles, which can also be described as waves, oscillate in a common mode.

Coordinated particle fountains

In their experiment, Logan Clark and his colleagues from the University of Chicago have literally provoked such a Bose-Einstein condensate out of 30,000 cesium atoms, so to speak: they put the "matched" atomic cloud into a pulsating magnetic field. The alternating field shook the atoms and resulted in collisions within the condensate.

For the first few milliseconds, we did not initially observe any changes, the researchers report. But then suddenly fountains of particles from the composite shot.

The surprising thing about it: These particles were not randomly distributed, but formed coordinated, simultaneous jets.

We see thousands of bosons shooting together in the same direction, explains Clark. It's like people talking and leaving a place in groups.

Collective emission from an ultracold atomic cloud © Cheng et al / University of Chicago

"Completely new fundamental behavior."

As the physicists observed, the particle fountains at a certain excitation threshold leave the condensate in circular halos - similar to the glowing particles in a firecracker.

It's a fundamental behavior that we've never seen before - it was a real surprise for us, says Clark.

This discovery was also unexpected because Bose-Einstein condensates have been intensively researched for years. That, of all things, a completely new phenomenon is observed in this exotic, but supposedly well-known state of matter, astonished even the physicists.

When you discover something so crazy in such a simple experiment, you wonder what else is out there, says Clark's colleague Lei Feng.

Also possible with other quantum systems?

The researchers are already speculating whether these collective emissions could occur in other quantum systems. Because for these particle fountains there might even be technical applications:

If you send an atom in one direction, then in such a system it would be followed by a whole group of other atoms in that direction, explains Clark. That could help, for example, to amplify small signals in the quantum world.

Because these collective particle jets often shoot two fountains in exactly the opposite direction, this newly discovered behavior might also be useful for quantum physical measurements, the researchers said.

Source: Nature, 2017; doi: 10.1038

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Resteemed and Upvoted by @resteemable
loading.gif By-donation Upvote & Resteem Service
Works on Any Steemit Article. Join the Trail


Really appreciate it! Thanks!

great information bro always stunning research and explanation bro ... keep it up


Thanks a lot! It's my pleasure!


welcome ☺

very helpful articel friend @n3bul4


Thank you! I am glad you liked it.


i support for you friend carry on of luck @n3bul4

full of space and universal facts which never was know really your blog is source of knowledge


Thanks for all the compliments! I'll try to keep it on...

its good post



good contains i just like it scientific knowledge it's appropriate ☺

This wonderful post has received a bellyrub 15.38 % upvote from @bellyrub. Please make sure to vote for my pops as a witness @zeartul,Here

Calling @originalworks :)
img credz:
Nice, you got a 10.0% @minnowbooster upgoat, thanks to @n3bul4
Want a boost? Minnowbooster's got your back!


The @OriginalWorks bot has determined this post by @n3bul4 to be original material and upvoted(1.5%) it!

To call @OriginalWorks, simply reply to any post with @originalworks or !originalworks in your message!

This post has received a 5.72 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @n3bul4.

Congratulations @n3bul4! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of comments

Click on any badge to view your own Board of Honor on SteemitBoard.
For more information about SteemitBoard, click here

If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

By upvoting this notification, you can help all Steemit users. Learn how here!

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by n3bul4 from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews/crimsonclad, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network. Please find us in the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.