Using laser pulses that last just 70 femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second), physicists have observed in greater detail than ever before what happens when atoms collide. The experiments at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder, confirm a decades-old theory of how atoms--like tennis balls--briefly lose form and energy when they hit something. The results will help scientists study other atomic-scale processes and better understand the laws of physics.
JILA scientists used brief flashes of laser light to reveal how atoms, like tennis balls, briefly lose form and energy when they collide. Image credit: V. Lorenz, JILA
The new data, reported in the Oct. 14 issue of Physical Review Letters,* provide the equivalent of missing frames in movies of colliding atoms (see simulated images in accompanying graphic). As is the case when a tennis ball is hit by a racquet, the motion is too quick for the eye but can be detected using short flashes of light. The JILA scientists collected data on atoms properties before, during and after collisions lasting just half a picosecond (trillionth of a second) using laser "flashes" that were even faster.
In the JILA experiments, about 10 quintillion potassium atoms in a dense gas were packed into a titanium container just 1 square centimeter in size and heated to 700 degrees C (almost 1,300 degrees F). With such high temperatures and large numbers of atoms, the experiment is designed to maximize the number of atom collisions. Rapidly alternating pulses of laser light then are used to "freeze frame" the action.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News