The team used a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to a temperature of 3 millionths of a degree above absolute zero to produce the molecule. The longest-lived molecule produced by the team survived only for 18 microseconds.
James Shaffer, professor in the OU Department of Physics, was part of the German-led team that made the recent discovery that some say demonstrates a ‘new’ type of bonding, which makes this molecule different from other Rydberg molecules. The electron scattering in this approach can be used as a benchmark test for future quantum calculations of atomic and molecular structure.
Shaffer says a weak bond forms when an electron far from the nucleus and another ground state (normal) atom interact. The electron is slightly attracted to the ground state atom and vice versa. The electron pulls the ground state atom back toward the Rydberg atom just enough so it does not escape. The result is the rare Rydberg molecule like the one produced by the team in Germany.
None of this could occur without the low temperatures obtained using laser cooling and trapping combined with the high-end density of the most advanced types of atom traps. These molecules are an important test for atomic theory which first emerged in 1934 when Enrico Fermi predicted how another atom might behave when interacting with an electron far from its nucleus.
OU researchers are looking for the same types of molecules formed by Cesium atoms, but a Cesium atom is slightly different because there is more than one type of molecule depending on how the spins of the system align. This feature can be used to understand how the magnetic moments of the electron and atom interact.
Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe
23.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
New study maps space dust in 3-D
23.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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