Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


From three to four: A quantum leap in few-body physics

In 2007 and 2008 two groups of theoretical physicists (Hammer and Platter, and von Stecher, D'Incao, and Greene) predicted the existence of universal four-body states that are closely tied to Efimov trimer states.

Now, a team of scientists of the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, has proven these states experimentally in an ultracold gas of cesium atoms.

At particular energy separations from an Efimov state, they found two four-body loss resonances, which are a strong evidence for the existence of a pair of four-body states closely tied to Efimov trimers. „Ultracold atomic clouds provide a very good system to study these few-body phenomena in experiments", Francesca Ferlaino says, „because we are able to accurately control the interaction conditions and, thus, the separation between the particles."

Few-body problems are among the most difficult ones in physics and for centuries the cleverest minds have been engaged in looking for solutions to the problems that arise in this field. Today it takes comprehensive experiments and an enormous numerical computing effort to solve the problems. The scientific world has now made an important step towards finding simple laws for the complex relations between several interacting objects.

The starting point was the discovery of the Russian physicist Vitali Efimov at the beginning of the 1970s, who predicted the existence of an infinite series of universal three-body quantum states. One of the remarkable properties is the fact that three particles bind to form a weakly bound entity – a trimer - while a dimer of the same particles is not formed. In 2006, 35 years after Efimov presented his paradigm, scientists led by Rudolf Grimm succeeded in proving the phenomenon experimentally and the research on Efimov states has now become a field of research in its own right in the physics of ultracold atoms.

The Innsbruck scientists report on their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters. The project is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The successful Italian physicist Francesca Ferlaino, who has worked as a junior scientist in Rudolf Grimm's group for three years, is supported by the Lise-Meitner program of the Austrian Science Fund. She has started to establish her own research group at the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck.

Francesca Ferlaino | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm
23.03.2018 | Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics

nachricht Drug or duplicate?
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>