Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ultra-cold Systems Of Atoms: Pushing The Cold Frontier In An Orderly Fashion

Date:
October 6, 2009
Source:
American Physical Society
Summary:
Working toward ever lower temperatures is only part of the battle for physicists studying ultra-cold systems of atoms. A group of researchers has now found a way to deal with disorder as well, as they pump entropy away from an atomic gas.

In a cloud of cold gases (left) entropy can be reduced (right) by focusing a laser that compresses one component (blue) without affecting the other (red). Rather than heating up the blue component, some of the disorder in the squeezed gas moves to the surrounding gas cloud.

Working toward ever lower temperatures is only part of the battle for physicists studying ultra-cold systems of atoms. A group of researchers has now found a way to deal with disorder as well, as they pump entropy away from an atomic gas.

Physicists are continually reaching new lows as they reduce the temperatures of samples in their laboratories. But even nano-kelvins are not low enough to overcome the entropy (a measure of the disorder in a system) that stands between them and the discovery of exotic states of ultra-cold matter. Now physicists at two Italian universities have developed a technique that siphons entropy out of a collection of atoms in much the same way that a kitchen refrigerator removes heat from the food stored inside. The new method is described in Physical Review Letters and highlighted in the September 28 issue of Physics.

The system that Jacopo Catani (University of Florence) and colleagues assembled begins with a cloud of potassium and rubidium atoms held in a magnetic trap. They selected a laser with a wavelength of light that interacted with the potassium atoms, but had little effect on the rubidium atoms. They then compressed the potassium atom cloud by focusing the laser to a point in the trap. Compressing a gas usually increases its temperature, but the surrounding rubidium kept things in check, allowing the researchers to hold the temperature roughly constant as entropy was shifted from the potassium to the rubidium atoms.

The novel technique should work with other combinations of atoms as well, offering researchers a new tool to aid them in their pursuit of physics at ultra-low temperatures and entropies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physical Society. "Ultra-cold Systems Of Atoms: Pushing The Cold Frontier In An Orderly Fashion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095221.htm>.
American Physical Society. (2009, October 6). Ultra-cold Systems Of Atoms: Pushing The Cold Frontier In An Orderly Fashion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095221.htm
American Physical Society. "Ultra-cold Systems Of Atoms: Pushing The Cold Frontier In An Orderly Fashion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095221.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hyped-Up Big Bang Discovery Has A Dust Problem

The Hyped-Up Big Bang Discovery Has A Dust Problem

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) An analysis of new satellite data casts serious doubt on a previous study about the Big Bang that was once hailed as revolutionary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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