With the help of ultrafast lasers, Dutch researcher Anouk Wetzels from the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics has visualised the wave function of slow electrons. The wave function describes how the electron moves around the nucleus of an atom. With this it is possible to directly visualise atomic and even molecular wave functions.
Wetzels used light pulses with a duration of a millionth of a millionth of a second to visualise the wave function of electrons in atoms. With these rapid pulses the physicist specifically kicked electrons out of an atom. A special technique called velocity map imaging was then used to visualise the speed distribution of the electrons. This resulted in a direct measurement of the wave function of an electron in a Rydberg atom.
In Rydberg atoms the outermost electron is so slow that the orbiting time is longer than the duration of an ultrafast light pulse. As a result of this, the interaction between the pulse, which consists of just half a wavelength, and the electron can be seen as a ’kick’. The result of the kick depends on the location and speed of the electron in its orbit around the nucleus. By kicking the electron in the direction of the detector, the speeds of the electrons perpendicular to the detector remain unchanged.
Nalinie Moerlie | EurekAlert!
Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
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Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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