Tag Archives: energy state

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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JILA Physicists Achieve Elusive ‘Evaporative Cooling’ of Molecules

Achieving a goal considered nearly impossible, JILA physicists have chilled a gas of molecules to very low temperatures by adapting the familiar process by which a hot cup of coffee cools.

JILA is a joint institute of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology located on the CU-Boulder campus. (more…)

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A Clock that Will Last Forever

Berkeley Lab Researchers Propose a Way to Build the First Space-Time Crystal

Imagine a clock that will keep perfect time forever, even after the heat-death of the universe. This is the “wow” factor behind a device known as a “space-time crystal,” a four-dimensional crystal that has periodic structure in time as well as space. However, there are also practical and important scientific reasons for constructing a space-time crystal. With such a 4D crystal, scientists would have a new and more effective means by which to study how complex physical properties and behaviors emerge from the collective interactions of large numbers of individual particles, the so-called many-body problem of physics. A space-time crystal could also be used to study phenomena in the quantum world, such as entanglement, in which an action on one particle impacts another particle even if the two particles are separated by vast distances.

A space-time crystal, however, has only existed as a concept in the minds of theoretical scientists with no serious idea as to how to actually build one – until now. An international team of scientists led by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has proposed the experimental design of a space-time crystal based on an electric-field ion trap and the Coulomb repulsion of particles that carry the same electrical charge. (more…)

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JQI Physicists Demonstrate Coveted ‘Spin-Orbit Coupling’ in Atomic Gases

*Technique suggests an avenue for creating new kinds of superconductivity*

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a collaboration of the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), have for the first time caused a gas of atoms to exhibit an important quantum phenomenon known as spin-orbit coupling. Their technique opens new possibilities for studying and better understanding fundamental physics and has potential applications to quantum computing, next-generation “spintronics” devices and even “atomtronic” devices built from ultracold atoms. 

In the researchers’ demonstration of spin-orbit coupling, two lasers allow an atom’s motion to flip it between a pair of energy states. The new work, published in Nature**, demonstrates this effect for the first time in bosons, which make up one of the two major classes of particles. The same technique could be applied to fermions, the other major class of particles, according to the researchers. The special properties of fermions would make them ideal for studying new kinds of interactions between two particles-for example those leading to novel “p-wave” superconductivity, which may enable a long-sought form of quantum computing known as topological quantum computation.  (more…)

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