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 Streamlining accelerated computing for industry
24.08.2016 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

nachricht Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche
24.08.2016 | Lehigh University

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: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

3-D-printed structures 'remember' their shapes

29.08.2016 | Materials Sciences

From rigid to flexible

29.08.2016 | Life Sciences

Sensor systems identify senior citizens at risk of falling within 3 weeks

29.08.2016 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>