Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dilating time with superconductors

26.01.2009
Solitary waves trapped in superconducting junctions could illustrate time dilation effects similar to those in special relativity

Solitary waves, known as solitons, can be striking. The first observation of a soliton was documented in 1834: a large moving heap of water formed by a boat on a canal in Scotland. Since then, solitons have been found in many areas of science including nonlinear optics, condensed matter physics, astrophysics (for example Jupiter's red spots), and biology (during energy transfer in DNA).

Solitons can also be found in a so-called Josephson junction, where a thin insulating layer is sandwiched between two superconductors. A team, including RIKEN scientists at the Advanced Science Institute in Wako, has discovered a new type of soliton excitation in a Josephson junction that could be used to measure time dilation effects similar to those in Einstein’s special relativity (1).

In a Josephson junction, the role of a soliton is played by a ‘Josephson vortex’—a lump of magnetic field that can be accelerated inside the material (2). When a Josephson vortex approaches the speed of light for the material, it should start to experience relativistic effects. One of these effects, the Lorentz (length) contraction of solitons, has been observed in experiments. However the measurement of another relativistic effect, time dilation, has been a challenge.

“It has been difficult to observe time dilation for a moving Josephson vortex because we need something internal acting as a clock to measure time in its frame of reference,” explains team member Franco Nori from RIKEN and the University of Michigan, USA. “We can’t find such a clock in conventional Josephson junctions, but we found one that can exist in vortices in long, wide Josephson junctions.”

The ‘clock’ discovered by Nori and co-workers is a nonlinear wave that propagates along Josephson vortices, and therefore belongs to the vortex frame of reference. The excitations are associated with distortions in the Josephson vortices, and are similar to shear waves in solids. They can have almost any shape and retain it for a long time while the wave is propagating.

“The new excitation that we discovered can act as the ‘minute hand’ of a clock, keeping track of time in the frame of reference of a moving soliton,” says team member Dmitry Gulevich from Loughborough University, UK, and RIKEN.

Feo Kusmartsev and Sergey Savel’ev, also from Loughborough University, add: “This effect could be used to transmit information, and as waveguides for Terahertz radiation.” The research team plans to put the predicted effect into practice in the near future.

Reference

1. Gulevich, D.R., Kusmartsev, F.V., Savel’ev, S., Yampol’skii, V.A. & Nori, F. Shape waves in 2D Josephson junctions: Exact solutions and time dilation. Physical Review Letters 101, 127002 (2008).

2. Gulevich, D.R., Savel’ev, S., Yampol'skii, V.A. Kusmartsev, F.V. and Nori, F. Josephson vortices as flexible waveguides for terahertz waves. Journal of Applied Physics 104, 064507 (2008).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Digital Materials Team

Saeko Okada | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/630/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht NASA team finds noxious ice cloud on saturn's moon titan
19.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>