Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Everlasting Quantum Wave: NIST Physicists Predict New Form of Soliton in Ultracold Gases

A newly predicted “immortal” soliton (left) as compared to a conventional “dark” soliton (right). The horizontal axis depicts the width of the soliton wavefronts (bounded by yellow in the left panel and purple on the right panel, with different colors representing different wave heights). The vertical axis corresponds to the speed of the soliton as a fraction of the velocity of sound. The immortal soliton on the left maintains its shape right up to the sound barrier. Credit: I. Satija et al., JQI
A newly predicted “immortal” soliton (left) as compared to a conventional “dark” soliton (right). The horizontal axis depicts the width of the soliton wavefronts (bounded by yellow in the left panel and purple on the right panel, with different colors representing different wave heights). The vertical axis corresponds to the speed of the soliton as a fraction of the velocity of sound. The immortal soliton on the left maintains its shape right up to the sound barrier. Credit: I. Satija et al., JQI

Abstract:
Solitary waves that run a long distance without losing their shape or dying out are a special class of waves called solitons. These everlasting waves are exotic enough, but theoreticians at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland, and their colleagues in India and the George Mason University, now believe that there may be a new kind of soliton that's even more special. Expected to be found in certain types of ultracold gases, the new soliton would not be just a low-temperature atomic curiosity, it also may provide profound insights into other physical systems, including the early universe.

Everlasting Quantum Wave: NIST Physicists Predict New Form of Soliton in Ultracold Gases

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on January 11th, 2010

Solitons can occur everywhere. In the 1830s, Scottish scientist John Scott Russell first identified them while riding along a narrow canal, where he saw a water wave maintaining its shape over long distances, instead of dying away. This "singular and beautiful" phenomenon, as Russell termed it, has since been observed, created and exploited in many systems, including light waves in optical-fiber telecommunications, the vibrational waves that sweep through atomic crystals, and even "atom waves" in Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs), an ultracold state of matter. Atoms in BECs can join together to form single large waves that travel through the gas. The atom waves in BECs can even split up, interfere with one another, and cancel each other out. In BECs with weakly interacting atoms, this has resulted in observations of "dark solitons," long-lasting waves that represent absences of atoms propagating through the gas, and "bright" solitons (those carrying actual matter).

By taking a new theoretical approach, the JQI work* predicts a third, even more exotic "immortal" soliton—never before seen in any other physical system. This new soliton can occur in BECs made of "hard-core bosons"—atoms that repel each other strongly and thus interact intensely —organized in an egg-crate-like arrangement known as an "optical lattice." In 1990, one of the coauthors of the present work, Radha Balakrishnan of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in India, wrote down the mathematical description of these new solitons, but considered her work merely to approximate the behavior of a BEC made of strongly interacting gas atoms. With the subsequent observations of BECs, the JQI researchers recently realized both that Balakrishnan's equations provide an almost exact description of a BEC with strongly interacting atoms, and that this previously unknown type of soliton actually can exist. While all previously known solitons die down as their wave velocity approaches the speed of sound, this new soliton would survive, maintaining its wave height (amplitude) even at sonic speeds.

If the "immortal" soliton could be created to order, it could provide a new avenue for investigating the behavior of strongly interacting quantum systems, whose members include high-temperature superconductors and magnets. As atoms cooling into a BEC represent a phase transition (like water turning to ice), the new soliton could also serve as an important tool for better understanding phase transitions, even those that took place in the early universe as it expanded and cooled.

* R. Balakrishnan, I.I. Satija and C.W. Clark, "Particle-hole asymmetry and brightening of solitons in a strongly repulsive Bose-Einstein condensate," Physical Review Letters, vol. 103, p. 230403; published online Dec. 4, 2009.

####

About NIST
From automated teller machines and atomic clocks to mammograms and semiconductors, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ben Stein

(301) 975-3097

Copyright © NIST

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

JPK announces expansion of its global sales and service activities in China and USA April 15th, 2014

Nanobiotix Appoints Thierry Otin as Head of Manufacturing and Supply April 15th, 2014

PAM-XIAMEN Offers UV LED wafer April 15th, 2014

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014

Physics

Quantum manipulation: Filling the gap between quantum and classical world April 14th, 2014

First principles approach to creating new materials: Solid-state chemistry and theoretical physics combined to help discover new materials with useful properties April 8th, 2014

Quantum Photon Properties Revealed in Another Particle—the Plasmon April 5th, 2014

Drexel Researchers Open Path to Finding Rare, Polarized Metals April 2nd, 2014

Possible Futures

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

The "Tipping Point" February 12th, 2014

Discoveries

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014

Nanocrystalline cellulose modified into an efficient viral inhibitor April 15th, 2014

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Announcements

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Peer Reviewed and Approved for Science by the the Washington Academy of Sciences April 3rd, 2014

New JEOL-Nikon MiXcroscopy Correlative Imaging Solution March 27th, 2014

Quantum Dots Take Center Stage at Inaugural Event: QD Vision Co-Founder and CTO Dr. Seth Coe-Sullivan to Chair First Quantum Dots Forum, March 26, 2014, San Diego, CA March 25th, 2014

Quantum nanoscience

Quantum manipulation: Filling the gap between quantum and classical world April 14th, 2014

Scientists in Singapore develop novel ultra-fast electrical circuits using light-generated tunneling currents April 10th, 2014

Quantum Photon Properties Revealed in Another Particle—the Plasmon April 5th, 2014

Notre Dame researchers provide new insights into quantum dynamics and quantum chaos April 2nd, 2014

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







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE