Particle Physicists Create Artificial Atoms For Research Purposes

Particle Physicists Create Artificial Atoms For Research Purposes

Similar to a top that begins to wobble – experts call this precession – nuclear spins that are exposed to a magnetic field begin to precess. This generates an electromagnetic signal that can be measured using an induction coil. The key step to achieving atomic resolution on molecules is the functionalization of the microscope’s tip apex with a suitable, atomically well-defined termination, such as a CO molecule . In this case, atomic manipulation techniques are essential for the controlled buildup of the tip used for AFM imaging . Cold cesium atoms magnetically extracted from a 2D magneto-optical trap”. Europhys. Lett. 41, p.141 . But here comes the “trick” played by the researchers to generate an entangled state.

  • But the fundamental innovation is less its size than that it functions at the atomic level.
  • 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.
  • Chips that are 100 times smaller and 100 times more energy efficient—while at least retaining the current speed of data processing.
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy – NMR spectroscopy for short – is one of the most important methods of physicochemical analysis.

Particle physics probes the basic building blocks of matter and their interactions, which determine the structure and properties of the extreme diversity of matter in the universe. The web portal makes the fascinating research understandable to an interested public. To produce pionic helium, one of the two electrons of the helium atom is replaced by a pion. This artificially created atom can then be examined with a laser beam.

Cold Atoms Image Microwave Fields

Each pair of neighboring atoms oscillated like two masses linked by a spring, and this oscillation was synchronous across the entire illuminated region. To conserve energy during this process, a light of a new color is emitted, shifted toward the red of the spectrum. Standard chips are energy guzzlers compared to the single-atom optical switch. In an effort to circumvent this limitation, researchers are engineering metallic nano-antennas that concentrate light into a tiny volume to dramatically enhance any signal coming from the same nanoscale region. Nano-antennas are the backbone of nanoplasmonics, a field that is profoundly impacting biosensing, photochemistry, solar energy harvesting, and photonics.

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.


The basic principle is reminiscent of the human brain, with its fireworks of neurotransmitters and ions that shoot back and forth between billions of nerve cells. “The human brain requires very little energy to achieve its enormous processing power. We want to create comparably efficient structures with atomic-scale technologies,” Leuthold explains. We aim to employ single atoms and molecules as switches and logic elements for novel concepts in information technology, based on single electron transfer, with ultimate scaling and low power consumption.

Charge Control

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.

Such superpositions are hard to create, as they are destroyed if any kind of information about the place and time of the event leaks into the surrounding – and even if nobody actually records this information. But when superpositions do occur, they lead to observations that are very different from that of classical physics, questioning down to our very understanding of space and time. Scientists from EPFL, MIT, and CEA Saclay demonstrate a state of vibration that exists simultaneously at two different times. They evidence this quantum superposition by measuring the strongest class of quantum correlations between light beams that interact with the vibration. Jürg Leuthold wasn’t interested in taking over his father’s textile factory—a good thing for modern telecommunications. 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.

One aspect that has proven a major challenge is the manufacture of tiny, atomic-scale wires. Moreover, the production steps in making the atomsized transistors are complex and demanding, meaning that Leuthold, Schimmel and their teams are experimenting with a wide range of materials and geometries. In the computers of tomorrow, millions of single atoms will be performing this dance to transmit signals.

Unlike stars and galaxies, dark matter does not emit any light or electromagnetic radiation of any kind, so that we can detect it only through its gravitational effects. In the first moments after the Big Bang, the universe was extremely hot and dense. As the universe cooled, conditions became just right to give rise to the building blocks of matter – the quarks and electrons of which we are all made. A few millionths of a second later, quarks aggregated to produce protons and neutrons. As the universe continued to expand and cool, things began to happen more slowly.

The resulting flow of electricity can be used to power common electronic devices—for example, a halogen lamp, as Schimmel has demonstrated in his Karlsruhe lab. In our experiment , the microwave field to be imaged drives a transition between two hyperfine states of the atoms. The probability of finding an atom in either state thereby oscillates with a Rabi frequency which depends on the local microwave field strength at the position of the atom.

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