Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Quantum wave in helium dimer filmed for the first time: Collaboration between Goethe University and the University of Oklahoma

Professor Reinhard Dörner (left) and Dr Maksim Kunitzki in front of the COLTRIMS reaction microscope at Goethe University, which was used to observe the quantum wave. (Photo: Goethe University Frankfurt)
Professor Reinhard Dörner (left) and Dr Maksim Kunitzki in front of the COLTRIMS reaction microscope at Goethe University, which was used to observe the quantum wave. (Photo: Goethe University Frankfurt)

Abstract:
Anyone entering the world of quantum physics must prepare themself for quite a few things unknown in the everyday world: Noble gases form compounds, atoms behave like particles and waves at the same time and events that in the macroscopic world exclude each other occur simultaneously.

Quantum wave in helium dimer filmed for the first time: Collaboration between Goethe University and the University of Oklahoma

Frankfurt, Germany | Posted on December 30th, 2020

In the world of quantum physics, Reinhard Dörner and his team are working with molecules which - in the sense of most textbooks - ought not to exist: Helium compounds with two atoms, known as helium dimers. Helium is called a noble gase precisely because it does not form any compounds. However, if the gas is cooled down to just 10 degrees above absolute zero (minus 273 °C) and then pumped through a small nozzle into a vacuum chamber, which makes it even colder, then - very rarely - such helium dimers form. These are unrivaledly the weakest bound stable molecules in the Universe, and the two atoms in the molecule are correspondingly extremely far apart from each other. While a chemical compound of two atoms commonly measures about 1 angstrom (0.1 nanometres), helium dimers on average measure 50 times as much, i.e. 52 angstrom.

The scientists in Frankfurt irradiated such helium dimers with an extremely powerful laser flash, which slightly twisted the bond between the two helium atoms. This was enough to make the two atoms fly apart. They then saw - for the very first time - the helium atom flying away as a wave and record it on film.

According to quantum physics, objects behave like a particle and a wave at the same time, something that is best known from light particles (photons), which on the one hand superimpose like waves where they can pile upor extinguish each other (interference), but on the other hand as "solar wind" can propel spacecraft via their solar sails, for example.

That the researchers were able to observe and film the helium atom flying away as a wave at all in their laser experiment was due to the fact that the helium atom only flew away with a certain probability: With 98 per cent probability it was still bound to its second helium partner, with 2 per cent probability it flew away. These two helium atom waves - Here it comes! Quantum physics! - superimpose and their interference could be measured.

The measurement of such "quantum waves" can be extended to quantum systems with several partners, such as the helium trimer composed of three helium atoms. The helium trimer is interesting because it can form what is referred to as an "exotic Efimov state", says Maksim Kunitski, first author of the study: "Such three-particle systems were predicted by Russian theorist Vitaly Efimov in 1970 and first corroborated on caesium atoms. Five years ago, we discovered the Efimov state in the helium trimer. The laser pulse irradiation method we've now developed might allow us in future to observe the formation and decay of Efimov systems and thus better understand quantum physical systems that are difficult to access experimentally."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Markus Bernards

49-697-981-2498

@goetheuni

Copyright © Goethe University Frankfurt

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 Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Video:

Related News Press

Quantum Physics

Quantum network nodes with warm atoms June 24th, 2022

News and information

New technology helps reveal inner workings of human genome June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real: Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process June 24th, 2022

Videos/Movies

Scientists prepare for the world’s smallest race: Nanocar Race II March 18th, 2022

Visualizing the invisible: New fluorescent DNA label reveals nanoscopic cancer features March 4th, 2022

OCSiAl receives the green light for Luxembourg graphene nanotube facility project to power the next generation of electric vehicles in Europe March 4th, 2022

Nanotube fibers stand strong -- but for how long? Rice scientists calculate how carbon nanotubes and their fibers experience fatigue December 24th, 2021

Possible Futures

New technology helps reveal inner workings of human genome June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real: Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process June 24th, 2022

Discoveries

New technology helps reveal inner workings of human genome June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real: Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process June 24th, 2022

Announcements

New technology helps reveal inner workings of human genome June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real: Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process June 24th, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Quantum network nodes with warm atoms June 24th, 2022

New technology helps reveal inner workings of human genome June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Advances in lithium niobate photonics: High performance integrated LN-based photonic devices have developed rapidly in recent years, and many different structures have been demonstrated for various application scenarios—are we about to enter a new era of LN photonics? June 24th, 2022

Photonic integrated erbium doped amplifiers reach commercial performance: Boosting light power revolutionizes communications and autopilots June 17th, 2022

Marching to the Cadence of Electronics: Innovation A new paper in Nature validates technology developed by John Bowers and collaborators June 10th, 2022

Research partnerships

New technology helps reveal inner workings of human genome June 24th, 2022

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real: Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process June 24th, 2022

Undergrads begin summer quantum research with support from Moore Foundation, Chicago region universities, national labs: Inaugural cohort of students join quantum research labs around the Midwest, planting the seeds for a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce June 17th, 2022

CEA & Partners Present ‘Powerful Step Towards Industrialization’ Of Linear Si Quantum Dot Arrays Using FDSOI Material at VLSI Symposium: Invited paper reports 3-step characterization chain and resulting methodologies and metrics that accelerate learning, provide data on device pe June 17th, 2022

Quantum nanoscience

Undergrads begin summer quantum research with support from Moore Foundation, Chicago region universities, national labs: Inaugural cohort of students join quantum research labs around the Midwest, planting the seeds for a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce June 17th, 2022

Bumps could smooth quantum investigations: Rice University models show unique properties of 2D materials stressed by contoured substrates June 10th, 2022

An atomic-scale window into superconductivity paves the way for new quantum materials: New technique helps researchers understand unconventional superconductors June 3rd, 2022

UCI scientists turn a hydrogen molecule into a quantum sensor: New technique enables precise measurement of electrostatic properties of materials April 22nd, 2022

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