Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions

26.08.2014

Findings from a physics study by a Kansas State University researcher are helping scientists accurately predict the once unpredictable.

Yujun Wang, research associate with the James R. Macdonald Laboratory at Kansas State University, and Paul Julienne at the University of Maryland, looked at theoretically predicting and understanding chemical reactions that involve three atoms at ultracold temperatures. Their findings help explain the likely outcome of a chemical reaction and shed new light on mysterious quantum states.


Probability density -- given by the radius of the surface points to the origin -- of an Efimov trimer state at different three-body geometries that are characterized by the polar angle -- indicated by the trimer legends. The azimuthal angle characterizes the permutation of three atoms. The key feature in the probability density is that unlike ordinary molecular binding that mostly has a single geometry, the Efimov trimer covers have a broad range of geometries. The atoms in such states behave more like in a fluid drop.

Credit: Yujun Wang, Kansas State University.

The scientific journal Nature Physics recently published their findings in the article "Universal van der Waals Physics for Three Cold Atoms near Feshbach Resonances."

In the theoretical study, Wang and Julienne developed a robust yet simple model that successfully predicts what happens in atomic reactions at ultracold temperatures. Their model, which is considered the best available, accounts for spin physics of the atoms as well as the van der Waals force — the attractive long-range forces between the forming molecules.

"For a long time there has been the belief that this kind of reaction in three or more particles is too difficult to predict because the interaction is so complicated," Wang said. "Now, this research has shown consistent observations that indicate and imply that theoretical prediction is possible."

These findings can guide research in chemical engineering, molecular physics and other fields because the model gives scientists a largely accurate idea of how the atoms will bind to form a molecule, Wang said.

Additionally, their work may help scientists understand the Efimov effect.

The Efimov effect, which was first predicted in the early 1970s, is what happens when two atoms that normally repel each other become loosely bound when a third atom is introduced. The result is three atoms that all stick together despite trying to repel each other — a reaction that defies conventional knowledge.

"It's a very bizarre mechanical phenomenon in quantum mechanics that cannot be understood using the classical model of physics," Wang said. "The details of the Efimov effect are seemingly random and therefore complicated to study. But, because we showed that our atomic model and calculations can pretty accurately predict the position of such molecular states, we have new knowledge that may help us bypass those old barriers."

###

The study was funded through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Program and the National Science Foundation.

Wang, an alumnus, received his doctorate from Kansas State University in 2010.

Yujun Wang | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

Further reports about: Multidisciplinary Physics observations outcome reactions temperatures

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Streamlining accelerated computing for industry
24.08.2016 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

nachricht Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche
24.08.2016 | Lehigh University

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: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

Towards the connected, automated and electrified automobiles: AMAA conference in Brussels

02.08.2016 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2016: 7th Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

29.07.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Recommended blood pressure targets for diabetes are being challenged

24.08.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>