Particle Physicists Create Artificial Atoms For Research Purposes

Particle Physicists Create Artificial Atoms For Research Purposes

After applying the microwave field for some time, its spatial field distribution is therefore imprinted onto the hyperfine state distribution in the atomic cloud. From this distribution, which we image onto a CCD-camera, we can reconstruct the microwave field. We strive to image and measure molecular properties with ever increasing resolution. We are investigating the fundamental properties of individual atoms and molecules on solid surfaces. We are specifically interested in the build-up of novel molecules and atomic-scale nanostructures using atom manipulation, that is, creating them with the tip of the microscope. Microwaves are an essential part of modern communication technology.

atoms

This workshop follows the submission of a community letter, which outlined the intention to organise a community workshop is to discuss options for a quantum technology development programme coordinated at the Europe-wide level. An even more mysterious form of energy called “dark energy” accounts for about 70% of the mass-energy content of the universe. This idea stems from the observation that all galaxies seems to be receding from each other at an accelerating pace, implying that some invisible extra energy is at work. Phillips, “Laser cooling and trapping of neutral atoms”, Rev. Mod. Ashkin, “Acceleration and trapping of particles by radiation pressure”, Phys. The process described above should therefore be seen as the fission of an incoming photon from the laser into a pair of photon and phonon – akin to nuclear fission of an atom into two smaller pieces.

This nanoscale dance of atoms can thus be observed as orange and red flashes of fluorescence, which are signatures of atoms undergoing rearrangements. The gold nano-antenna also amplifies the very faint light scattered by the newly formed atomic defects, making it visible to the naked eye. In recent decades, NMR spectroscopy has made it possible to capture the spatial structure of chemical and biochemical molecules.

Using minimal electrical voltage, a single atom is then slipped between the two pads, causing a digital signal to be emitted (cf. image). This principle is what gave rise to the name “atomic-scale technology”. Our experiments exploit the extreme versatility and sensitivity of our home built low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope/atomic force microscope (STM/AFM). We explore fundamental quantum physics with atoms, photons and phonons and harness it for applications in quantum technology. In our experiments we study many-particle entanglement in Bose-Einstein condensates, explore hybrid atom-optomechanical systems, and develop quantum memories and sensors with atomic vapour cells.

The Microchip Of The Future

In 1998 two teams of astronomers working independently at Berkeley, California observed that supernovae – exploding stars – were moving away from Earth at an accelerating rate. Physicists had assumed that matter in the universe would slow its rate of expansion; gravity would eventually cause the universe to fall back on its centre. Though the Big Bang theory cannot describe what the conditions were at the very beginning of the universe, it can help physicists describe the earliest moments after the start of the expansion. At CERN, we probe the fundamental structure of particles that make up everything around us. We do so using the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments.

  • Professor Thomas Schimmel is a research partner in the single-atom switch project conducted at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich ; the project receives funding from the Werner Siemens Foundation.
  • In his work as a physicist, Leuthold develops innovative technologies that haven’t just caught the attention of the global tech community—they’ve been further developed and are now standard elements in everyday devices.
  • Schimmel and his team have also succeeded in radically reducing the voltage from some thirty millivolts in their first single-atom switch prototype to a mere three-to-six millivolts in the latest version.
  • Cold cesium atoms magnetically extracted from a 2D magneto-optical trap”. Europhys. Lett. 41, p.141 .

It took 380,000 years for electrons to be trapped in orbits around nuclei, forming the first atoms. These were mainly helium and hydrogen, which are still by far the most abundant elements in the universe. Present observations suggest that the first stars formed from clouds of gas around 150–200 million years after the Big Bang. Heavier atoms such as carbon, oxygen and iron, have since been continuously produced in the hearts of stars and catapulted throughout the universe in spectacular stellar explosions called supernovae. He grew up in rural Toggenburg, in eastern Switzerland, where his father owned a textile factory in the Neckertal region. As a child, Leuthold paid close attention when the repairman serviced the machines, and he took over this task when he was a teenager.

Cern Accelerating Science

One goal of these experiments is to realize hybrid quantum systems in which ultracold atoms and a solid-state system on the chip interact coherently. In existing techniques for measuring microwaves , the field distribution has to be scanned point-by-point, so that data acquisition is slow. Moreover, most techniques only allow for a measurement of the amplitudes, but not of the phases of the microwave field. Furthermore, macroscopic probe heads used for the measurement can distort the microwave field and result in poor spatial resolution. We have recently developed a novel technique that avoids these drawbacks and allows for the direct and complete imaging of microwave magnetic fields with high spatial resolution . In this technique, tiny clouds of laser-cooled ultracold atoms serve as non-invasive probes for the microwave field.

Atoms Cooling With Laser

To solve this problem, they developed a special measurement method to capture the spin of the carbon atom through a series of weak measurements in quick succession. As a result, they were able to keep the influence of their observation so small as to not influence the system measurably, leaving the original circular motion perceptible. The technique is based on nuclear magnetic resonance, which takes advantage of the fact that certain atomic nuclei interact with a magnetic field. A key factor here is the nuclear spin, which can be compared with the spinning of a child’s top.

In Basel, the group continues its research in the field of quantum optics and ultracold atoms. The unexpected findings raise new questions about the exact microscopic mechanisms by which a weak continuous green light can put some gold atoms into motion. “Answering them will be key to bringing optical nano-antennas from the lab into the world of applications – and we are working on it,” says Wen Chen, the study’s first author. In the new study, EPFL researchers managed to entangle the photon and the phonon (i.e., light and vibration) produced in the fission of an incoming laser photon inside the crystal. To do so, the scientists designed an experiment in which the photon-phonon pair could be created at two different instants. Classically, it would result in a situation where the pair is created at time t1 with 50% probability, or at a later time t2 with 50% probability.

In their experiments, they use microstructured “atom chips” to laser-cool, trap, and coherently manipulate clouds of ultracold atoms. Using tailored magnetic potentials generated by current-carrying wires on the chip, they perform experiments on the quantum physics of atomic Bose-Einstein condensates . In particular, they investigate many-particle entangled states of the BECs and their possible application in quantum metrology and quantum information processing. Furthermore, they use the atoms as sensitive probes for electromagnetic fields near the chip surface and to study the dynamics of on-chip solid-state systems such as tiny mechanical oscillators.

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