Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > EU-funded scientists achieve new state in quantum physics

Abstract:
EU-funded researchers in Austria investigating ultracold atomic physics have generated an exotic state wherein atoms are aligned in a one-dimensional structure, creating a stable 'many-body phase' with new quantum mechanical states. Their findings, published in the journal Science, open up a new area of study in quantum physics.

EU-funded scientists achieve new state in quantum physics

EU | Posted on September 9th, 2009

The results were an outcome of the NAME-QUAM ('Nanodesigning of atomic and molecular quantum matter') project, funded with EUR 2 million through the 'Information and communication technologies' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). NAME-QUAM partners study ultracold atom and molecule quantum-matter technology with the goal of identifying new directions and alternative approaches towards scalable and miniaturisable quantum information processing.

In the specialised area of 'many-body quantum physics,' scientists have observed a dramatic amplification of the effects of quantum fluctuations when the interactions between particles are strong and the geometry of the system is simple. Well-known examples include zero-dimensional quantum dots and one-dimensional quantum wires. However, achieving such an excited-state phase that is also long-lived is experimentally difficult because the systems quickly decay, partly as a result of 'coupling' with the environment.

In this latest research, the team, led by Hanns-Christoph Naegerl of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, recognised the potential of using ultracold atoms to generate a long-lived, strongly interacting, excited, many-body phase. Cold atoms can easily decouple from the environment, they reasoned, and their interactions are 'tunable'.

'Ultracold quantum gases offer a big advantage: they can be isolated against the environment quite well,' said Dr Naegerl.

Bosons are particles that can occupy the same quantum state; in other words, bosons with the same energy can occupy the same place in space. Bosons that have been observed experimentally include photons, which are force carriers of the electromagnetic field, and gluons, which are force carriers underlying the strong nuclear force.

The researchers produced a quantum gas made up of bosonic caesium atoms in a vacuum chamber. Then, they generated an optical lattice using two laser beams; the lattice confined the atoms to vertical, one-dimensional structures with up to 15 atoms aligned in each 'tube'. The laser beams prevented the atoms from shifting out of line or changing places. Once this was achieved, the scientists used a magnetic field to tune the interaction among the atoms.

'By increasing the interaction energy between the atoms (attraction interaction), the atoms start coming together and the structure quickly decays,' explained Dr Naegerl. This is called the 'Bosenova effect'. When the interaction energy is minimised, the atoms are able to repel instead of attract each other; this allows them to align vertically and regularly along a one-dimensional structure. The resulting system is stable.

The researchers observed a surprising effect when the interactions were switched from strongly repulsive to strongly attractive. They achieved 'an exotic, gas-like phase, where the atoms are excited and correlated but do not come together and the 'Bosenova effect' is absent', said Dr Naegerl.

According to co-investigator Elmar Haller of the University of Innsbruck, the phase was predicted four years ago. 'We have now been able to realise it experimentally for the first time,' he stated.

The experimental setup will be used in future studies to investigate the properties of quantum wires, which have until now been extremely difficult to observe. Further research on low-dimensional structures may also shed light on the functioning of high-temperature superconductors.

The study received support from the European Science Foundation's EuroQUASAR ('Funding initiative for multidisciplinary research in the field of quantum standards and metrology') programme through the collective research project 'Quantum-degenerate gases for precision measurements'. One of the researchers was also supported by an FP7 Marie Curie international incoming fellowship.

For more information, please visit:

University of Innsbruck: www.uibk.ac.at/

Science: www.sciencemag.org/

####

About CORDIS
CORDIS, the Community Research and Development Information Service for Science, Research and Development, is the official source of information on the seventh framework programme (FP7) calls for proposals; it offers interactive web facilities that links together researchers, policymakers, managers and key players in the field of research.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Research
Directorate G - Industrial Technologies
Office CDMA 6/112
Attn: Jesús Alquézar
B-1049 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 295 1167
Fax +32 2 296 7023

Copyright © CORDIS

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Physics

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Theory gives free rein to superconductivity at room temperature May 28th, 2018

Scientists Pinpoint Energy Flowing Through Vibrations in Superconducting Crystals: Interactions between electrons and the atomic structure of high-temperature superconductors impacted by elusive and powerful vibrations May 4th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Possible Futures

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Quantum Computing

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory: A process similar to guitar tuning improves storage time of quantum memory May 24th, 2018

Deeper understanding of quantum chaos may be the key to quantum computers May 16th, 2018

Announcements

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Quantum nanoscience

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Detecting the birth and death of a phonon June 7th, 2018

Quantum Interference May Be Key to Smaller Insulators: Breakthrough could jumpstart further miniaturization of transistors June 6th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project