Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Form Of Matter Discovered In 1995 Shows Ability To Collapse, Explode

Date:
July 19, 2001
Source:
University Of Colorado At Boulder
Summary:
A group of Colorado physicists who made worldwide news in 1995 by creating a new form of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate have developed a new "flavor" of the matter that has been delivering surprise after surprise in the laboratory.

A group of Colorado physicists who made worldwide news in 1995 by creating a new form of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate have developed a new "flavor" of the matter that has been delivering surprise after surprise in the laboratory.

Composed of scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, the group created the Bose Einstein Condensate, or BEC, in 1995 by cooling atoms of the rubiduim-87 isotope to near absolute zero.

Led by CU-Boulder Distinguished Physics Professor Carl Wieman and NIST Senior Scientist Eric Cornell, the team created a material that shared a quantum state and behaved like a single "superatom."

More recently, using the rubidium-85 isotope, the group has been "tuning" the interactions between the BEC atoms to make them attractive or repulsive by exposing the atoms to magnetic fields, Wieman said. To create the new BEC phenomenon, they cooled the matter to 3 billionths of a degree above absolute zero, now the lowest temperature ever achieved.

A paper on the subject is being published in the July 19 issue of Nature. Authers include Wieman of CU and JILA, Cornell of JILA and NIST, associate researchers Elizabeth Donley and Simon Cornish of CU and JILA, and CU graduate students Neil Claussen and Jacob Roberts.

JILA is a joint institute of CU-Boulder and NIST headquartered on campus. By tinkering with the magnetic fields, the researchers have been able to shrink the condensate, which is followed by a tiny explosion -- similar in some ways to a microscopic supernova explosion and which Wieman’s team has dubbed a "Bosenova." About half of the original atoms appear to vanish during the process, he said.

"We have gotten down to the nitty-gritty science and have been able to study the behavior of a new material by manipulating it in new and different ways," Wieman said. The new form of matter created in 1995 is named after Albert Einstein and Indian physicist Satyendra Bose, who predicted its existence in 1924.

"The beauty of the newly created rubidium-85 condensate is that the interactions of the atoms can be experimentally adjusted to be large or small and attractive or repulsive simply by changing the strength of the magnetic field in which the atoms sit," said Wieman.

He said Donley and the team have been able to thoroughly investigate the condensate behavior when the interactions suddenly are changed from being repulsive to strongly attractive. "This is a particularly interesting regime because the physics equations that describe the condensate do not have stable solutions under these conditions," said Wieman.

He likened the situation to the way the equations of gravity cannot be solved under the conditions where the gravitational attraction is so large that a black hole can form. "In this paper, we report the first measurements of what happens to a condensate when the interactions suddenly are made attractive."

The unexpected behavior included parts of the condensate shrinking down into small clumps and a sudden explosion of atoms flying out of the condensate, spewing more energy in one direction than another. Other observations included a fraction of the atoms simply disappearing from sight and a small, quivering condensate left behind as a result of the collapse, he said.

"The extensive set of measurements in this paper provides the first detailed description of the behavior of matter in this very novel physical regime," said Wieman. "This is expected to generate new theoretical ideas that will explain this data and provide a deeper understanding of BEC and quantum physics in general."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Colorado At Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Colorado At Boulder. "Form Of Matter Discovered In 1995 Shows Ability To Collapse, Explode." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010719080507.htm>.
University Of Colorado At Boulder. (2001, July 19). Form Of Matter Discovered In 1995 Shows Ability To Collapse, Explode. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010719080507.htm
University Of Colorado At Boulder. "Form Of Matter Discovered In 1995 Shows Ability To Collapse, Explode." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010719080507.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins