Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World's best thermometer made from light

02.06.2014

University of Adelaide physics researchers have produced the world's most sensitive thermometer – three times more precise than the best thermometers in existence.

Published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers from the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) report they have been able to measure temperature with a precision of 30 billionths of a degree.


Caption: A computer generated image of the Light Thermometer. A slight difference in the speed of the green and red light can tell us the temperature.

Credit: Image by Dr James Anstie, IPAS and School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide.

"We believe this is the best measurement ever made of temperature − at room temperature," says project leader Professor Andre Luiten, Chair of Experimental Physics in IPAS and the School of Chemistry and Physics, pointing out that it is possible to make more sensitive measurements of temperature in cryogenic environments (at very low temperatures) near absolute zero.

"We've been able to measure temperature differences to 30 billionths of a degree in one second," says Professor Luiten. "To emphasise how precise this is, when we examine the temperature of an object we find that it is always fluctuating. We all knew that if you looked closely enough you find that all the atoms in any material are always jiggling about, but we actually see this unceasing fluctuation with our thermometer, showing that the microscopic world is always in motion."

... more about:
»Australian »IPAS »Phone »Photonics »Physics »measure »temperature

The paper – Nano-Kelvin Thermometry and Temperature Control: Beyond the Thermal Noise Limit – describes a new and very sensitive, but unorthodox, thermometer that uses light to measure temperature. PhD candidate Wenle Weng carried out the work.

The thermometer injects two colours of light (red and green) into a highly polished crystalline disk. The two colours travel at slightly different speeds in the crystal, depending on the temperature of the crystal.

"When we heat up the crystal we find that the red light slows down by a tiny amount with respect to the green light," Professor Luiten says.

"By forcing the light to circulate thousands of times around the edge of this disk in the same way that sound concentrates and reinforces itself in a curve in a phenomena known as a "whispering gallery" – as seen in St Paul's Cathedral in London or the Whispering Wall at Barossa Reservoir – then we can measure this minuscule difference in speed with great precision."

Professor Luiten says the researchers have developed a new technique which could be redesigned for ultra-sensitive measurements of other things such as pressure, humidity, force or searching for a particular chemical.

"Being able to measure many different aspects of our environment with such a high degree of precision, using instruments small enough to carry around, has the capacity to revolutionise technologies used for a variety of industrial and medical applications where detection of trace amounts has great importance," Professor Luiten says.

###

The research is supported by the Australian Research Council and the South Australian Government's Premier's Science and Research Fund.

Media Contact:

Professor Andre Luiten
Professor of Experimental Physics
Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing
School of Chemistry and Physics
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 2359
Mobile: +61(0) 404 817 168
andre.luiten@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084
robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au

Andre Luiten | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/

Further reports about: Australian IPAS Phone Photonics Physics measure temperature

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Active pits on Rosetta’s comet
03.07.2015 | Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen

nachricht Researchers find the macroscopic Brownian motion phenomena of self-powered liquid metal motors
02.07.2015 | Science China Press

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: Viaducts with wind turbines, the new renewable energy source

Wind turbines could be installed under some of the biggest bridges on the road network to produce electricity. So it is confirmed by calculations carried out by a European researchers team, that have taken a viaduct in the Canary Islands as a reference. This concept could be applied in heavily built-up territories or natural areas with new constructions limitations.

The Juncal Viaduct, in Gran Canaria, has served as a reference for Spanish and British researchers to verify that the wind blowing between the pillars on this...

Im Focus: X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time

New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions

A new technique pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real...

Im Focus: Iron: A biological element?

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and...

Im Focus: Thousands of Droplets for Diagnostics

Researchers develop new method enabling DNA molecules to be counted in just 30 minutes

A team of scientists including PhD student Friedrich Schuler from the Laboratory of MEMS Applications at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of...

Im Focus: Bionic eye clinical trial results show long-term safety, efficacy vision-restoring implant

Patients using Argus II experienced significant improvement in visual function and quality of life

The three-year clinical trial results of the retinal implant popularly known as the "bionic eye," have proven the long-term efficacy, safety and reliability of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine: Abstract Submission has been extended to 24 June

16.06.2015 | Event News

MUSE hosting Europe’s largest science communication conference

11.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens receives order for offshore wind power plant in Great Britain

03.07.2015 | Press release

'Déjà vu all over again:' Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease

03.07.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

03.07.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>