Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists Turn To Radio Dial For Finer Atomic Matchmaking

Date:
October 25, 2009
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Investigating mysterious data in ultracold gases of rubidium atoms, scientists have found that properly tuned radio-frequency waves can influence how much the atoms attract or repel one another, opening up new ways to control their interactions.

In the sequence of green arrows, a pair of ultracold gas atoms collides, briefly forms a molecule, and flies apart, in the presence of an external magnetic field (not shown) that influences this process. By adding RF radiation (lightning bolts) of the right frequency, the atoms can experience being in many different molecular states (red arrows), providing even more extensive and detailed control of the collision. The size of the yellow bursts indicate the amount of absorption/emission of RF radiation.
Credit: Eite Tiesinga, NIST/JQI

Investigating mysterious data in ultracold gases of rubidium atoms, scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland and their collaborators have found that properly tuned radio-frequency waves can influence how much the atoms attract or repel one another, opening up new ways to control their interactions.

Related Articles


As the authors report in an upcoming issue of Physical Review A, the radio-frequency (RF) radiation could serve as a second "knob," in addition to the more traditionally used magnetic fields, for controlling how atoms in an ultracold gas interact. Just as it is easier to improve reception on a home radio by both electronically tuning the frequency on the receiver and mechanically moving the antenna, having two independent knobs for influencing the interactions in atomic gases could produce richer and more exotic arrangements of ultracold atoms than ever before.

Previous experiments with ultracold gases, including the creation of Bose-Einstein condensates, have controlled atoms by using a single knob -- traditionally, magnetic fields. These fields can tune atoms to interact strongly or weakly with their neighbors, pair up into molecules, or even switch the interactions from attractive to repulsive. Adding a second control makes it possible to independently tune the interactions between atoms in different states or even between different types of atoms. Such greater control could lead to even more exotic states of matter. A second knob, for example, may make it easier to create a weird three-atom arrangement known as an Efimov state, whereby two neutral atoms that ordinarily do not interact strongly with one another join together with a third atom under the right conditions.

For many years, researchers had hoped to use RF radiation as a second knob for atoms, but were limited by the high power required. The new work shows that, near magnetic field values that have a big effect on the interactions, significantly less RF power is required, and useful control is possible.

In the new work, the JQI/NIST team examined intriguing experimental data of trapped rubidium atoms taken by the group of David Hall at Amherst College in Massachusetts. This data showed that the RF radiation was an important factor in tuning the atomic collisions. To explain the complicated way in which the collisions varied with RF frequency and magnetic field, NIST theorist Thomas Hanna developed a simple model of the experimental arrangement. The model reconstructed the energy landscape of the rubidium atoms and explained how RF radiation was changing the atoms' interactions with one another. In addition to providing a roadmap for rubidium, this simplified theoretical approach could reveal how to use RF to control ultracold gases consisting of other atomic elements, Hanna says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A.M. Kaufman, R.P. Anderson, T.M. Hanna, E. Tiesinga, P.S. Julienne, and D.S. Hall. Radiofrequency dressing of multiple Feshbach resonances. Physical Review A, (in press)

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Physicists Turn To Radio Dial For Finer Atomic Matchmaking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022153639.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2009, October 25). Physicists Turn To Radio Dial For Finer Atomic Matchmaking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022153639.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Physicists Turn To Radio Dial For Finer Atomic Matchmaking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022153639.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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