Tag Archives: absolute zero

UCLA physicists demonstrate method to study atoms critical to medicine

Multicolored laser light is the key to cooling these atoms to nearly absolute zero

UCLA physicists have shown that shining multicolored laser light on rubidium atoms causes them to lose energy and cool to nearly absolute zero. This result suggests that atoms fundamental to chemistry, such as hydrogen and carbon, could also be cooled using similar lasers, an outcome that would allow researchers to study the details of chemical reactions involved in medicine. (more…)

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UCLA physicists discover ‘apparent departure from the laws of thermodynamics’

Ions subjected to buffer gas cooling never truly reach the same temperature as the surrounding gas

According to the basic laws of thermodynamics, if you leave a warm apple pie in a winter window eventually the pie would cool down to the same temperature as the surrounding air. (more…)

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The water in your bottle might be older than the sun

ANN ARBOR — Up to half of the water on Earth is likely older than the solar system itself, University of Michigan astronomers theorize.

The researchers’ work, published in the current issue of Science, helps to settle a debate about just how far back in galactic history our planet and our solar system’s water formed. Were the molecules in comet ices and terrestrial oceans born with the system itself—in the planet-forming disk of dust and gas that circled the young sun 4.6 billion years ago? Or did the water originate even earlier—in the cold, ancient molecular cloud that spawned the sun and that planet-forming disk? (more…)

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Do we live in a 2-D hologram?

New Fermilab experiment will test the nature of the universe

A unique experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe—including whether we live in a hologram. (more…)

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First thin films of spin ice reveal cold secrets

Thin films of spin ice have been shown to demonstrate surprising properties which could help in the development of applications of magnetricity, the magnetic equivalent of electricity.

Published in Nature Communications, a team of researchers based at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), in collaboration with scientists from Oxford and Cambridge, found that, against expectations, the Third Law of Thermodynamics could be restored in thin films of the magnetic material spin ice. (more…)

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Ultracold Big Bang experiment successfully simulates evolution of early universe

Physicists have reproduced a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation in a laboratory simulation of the Big Bang, using ultracold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the University of Chicago.

“This is the first time an experiment like this has simulated the evolution of structure in the early universe,” said Cheng Chin, professor in physics. Chin and his associates reported their feat in the Aug. 1 edition of Science Express, and it will appear soon in the print edition of Science. (more…)

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UCLA physicists’ technique for cooling molecules may be a stepping stone to quantum computing

The next generation of computers promises far greater power and faster processing speeds than today’s silicon-based based machines. These “quantum computers” — so called because they would harness the unique quantum mechanical properties of atomic particles — could draw their computing power from a collection of super-cooled molecules.

But chilling molecules to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, the temperature at which they can be manipulated to store and transmit data, has proven to be a difficult challenge for scientists. (more…)

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