Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Physics

In atomic propellers, quantum phenomena can mimic everyday physics June 1st, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Possible Futures

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Discoveries

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

Announcements

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Cambridge Nanotherm partners with Inabata for global sales and distribution June 20th, 2017

Thought Leaders and Experts Join National Graphene Association Advisory Board June 16th, 2017

Microsoft, Purdue collaborate to advance quantum computing May 30th, 2017

Quantum nanoscience

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Oxford Instruments congratulates Lancaster University for inaugurating the IsoLab, built for studying quantum systems June 20th, 2017

In atomic propellers, quantum phenomena can mimic everyday physics June 1st, 2017

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