Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists create new state of matter: Quantum gas, liquid and crystal all-in-one

02.02.2016

Scientists from the University of Stuttgart (Germany) combinethe properties of gases, crystals and superfluids to a single unique state of matter.

The world of quantum mechanics happens only in small scales around a few nanometers. In this nanoworld, particles can behave like waves, and vice versa and have only some probability to be in a particular region. These effects can be directly observed in ultracold dilute gases.


Schattenrissaufnahme des Quanten-Ferrofluids im Experiment. Die kristallartige Anordnung der Tröpfchen ähnelt deutlich den regelmäßigen Spitzen im klassischen Ferrofluid (unten), die sich ausbilden, wenn ein Magnetfeld angelegt wird. Abb. Universität Stuttgart

For this purpose thousands or a million atoms are cooled down to a few billionth of a degree above absolute zero. At such low temperatures particles become indistinguishable und unite collecitvely to a single giant matter wavecalled Bose-Einstein condensate which has astonishing properties. The matter wave flows as quantum fluid practically without inner friction, thus it is namedsuperfluid.

Researchers around Tilman Pfau at the Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology IQSTin Stuttgart (Germany) created such a quantum fluid made of tiny magnets – that areatoms of the most magnetic element dysprosium. They call it “quantum ferrofluid” since it is superfluid and has magnetic properties similar to classical ferrofluids.

Ferrofluids consist of ferromagnetic nanoparticles dissolved in oil or water. When a strong magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the surface of the ferrofluid it undergoes a so-called Rosensweig instability. The surface is no longer smooth like normal fluids, but it generates a regular thorny surface resembling a hedgehog.

From the point view of the tiny magnets in a ferrofluid, every south- and northpole attract each other. Therefore, it is energetically favourable to be on top of each other along the field direction, so the fluid grows peaks out of the smooth surface.

For their investigations, described in the science journal “Nature”, the researchers from Stuttgart created a quantum ferrofluid with 15,000 atoms and induced a magnetic instability. They observedthen the emergence of regular patterns consisting ofmicroscopic droplets, similar to the Rosensweig instability of ferrofluids.

Each droplet has a radius smaller than 1 µmand theirexistence was not expected with the current state of research on these systems.Their observation could thus lead to a new field of research, as the researchers expect quantum fluctuations, related to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle,to play an important role in the droplet existence.These quantum fluctuations allow a unique state of matter that connects opposite properties of gases, crystals and superfluids. This connectioncould be the path to a so-called supersolid, a spatially ordered material with superfluid properties.

Kontakt: Prof. Dr. Tilman Pfau, Universität Stuttgart, 5. Physikalisches Institut, Tel. 0711/685-68025, E-Mail: t.pfau (at) physik.uni-stuttgart.de

Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

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”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

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...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>