Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New method for quantum cooling discovered


Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a new technique for cooling atoms and molecules that will allow them to study quantum physics more effectively with a greater variety of particles.

The researchers have found a way to use lasers to form walls that allow atoms and molecules to pass through in one direction, but do not allow them to return.

The technique could lead to advances in atomic clocks, which are used to standardize time worldwide.

Dr. Mark Raizen of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and his colleagues describe the one-way wall technique in Physical Review Letters and Europhysics Letters published earlier this year.

Raizen and his colleagues show that atoms and molecules can first be trapped in a box whose walls are built of laser light. The box can then be separated with an optical wall constructed of two lasers. These two lasers work in concert to allow atoms and molecules to pass through to one side of the box but block them from getting back to the other side. The box then has two distinct spaces, one filled with particles and one void of particles.

Raizen’s one-way wall extends the capabilities of laser and evaporative cooling, which have been limited to cooling a small number of atoms in the periodic table. The new method is applicable to a greater diversity of atoms and molecules and can expand the capability of researchers to test laws of quantum physics at extremely low temperatures.

“In nature, the cell wall is the classic example where atoms and molecules move through a one-way barrier,” Raizen said.

Cells regulate the flow of ions through one-way channels in order to create osmotic pressure. Raizen and his colleagues illustrate it is possible to create a manmade barrier to such atomic movement.

“The beauty of the one-way atomic wall,” Raizen said, “is that there is almost no increase in kinetic energy.”

With no increase in kinetic energy comes no increase in heat. By expanding and contracting the space that holds the trapped atoms and molecules, the temperature of this space, which Raizen calls a “quantum refrigerator,” can be lowered until it reaches very close to Absolute Zero.

It’s at these ultra cold temperatures, -459 degrees Fahrenheit, that quantum physicists can manipulate atoms and molecules.

For more information contact: Lee Clippard, College of Natural Sciences, 512-232-0675.

Lee Clippard | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>