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.


“We’ll need even smaller and more efficient chips in future, meaning a fundamentally new technology is necessary,” says Professor Jürg Leuthold, head of the Institute of Electromagnetic Fields at ETH Zurich. Chips that are 100 times smaller and 100 times more energy efficient—while at least retaining the current speed of data processing. From p2 we can reconstruct

When Light And Atoms Share A Common Vibe

For instance, when sending signals from a cell phone or a computer, the nano-components can be transformed into optical signals, which are reverted to their original form when received. If the nano-components are shunted by the million, they could make a major contribution to dealing with the continually increasing flow and ever-faster transmission of data in the internet. A microchip that is 100 times smaller and 100 times more energy efficient—this is the stated goal of the research team at the Centre of Atomic Scale Technologies, which has received funding from the Werner Siemens Foundation since 2017. Already after a short year’s work, the ambitious goal no longer seems utopian. Indeed, the step from lab prototype to mass production is a major challenge and numerous issues must first be resolved. Of particular importance is how single-atom transistors can be switched simultaneously on a large scale in order to perform the logical operations required of a computer chip.

  • Much like a normal light switch, the single-atom transistor consists of a switching element and two tiny electrodes that are separated by a gap; here, however, the incredibly narrow opening has the diameter of just one atom.
  • Standard chips are energy guzzlers compared to the single-atom optical switch.
  • 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.
  • Researchers at ETH Zurich and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are exploring a fundamentally new type of microchip that works with single-atom switches.
  • This Community Roadmap will outline technological milestones as well as refine interim and long-term scientific goals.

Our low-temperature STM/AFM is based on a qPlus sensor design and is operated in an ultrahigh vacuum at a temperature of 5 K. Philipp Treutlein was recently appointed as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Basel. Together with Pascal Böhi, Max Riedel and several other co-workers he came from LMU Munich, where the group worked previously in the laboratory of Theodor Hänsch.

Quantum Networks With Atomic Memories

More recently, atoms were used for the high-resolution imaging of static magnetic and electric fields near a chip surface . Our technique demonstrates the usefulness of ultracold atomic sensors for measurements of electromagnetic fields with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution. Naturally, further development is necessary before it could be used in commercial applications. In particular, it is highly desirable to further miniaturize and simplify the experimental setup required to produce and manipulate clouds of ultracold atoms. In recent years, significant progress has been made along these lines. Compact and portable systems for the preparation of ultracold atoms have been built , and key components of such systems are now commercially available.

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The research alliance between Zurich and Karlsruhe is now united in the new Centre of Atomic Scale Technologies. Although the collaboration has only recently begun, the research groups involved were predestined for the task at hand. Thomas Schimmel is a pioneer of electronic circuits at the level of the atom, and Jürg Leuthold has demonstrated in his past research that photonic switches are possible at the atomic level. Moreover, Leuthold was the first researcher able to place both optical and electronic switching elements on the same chip. The tiny chip is also a modulator that can transform electrical signals into light signals and vice-versa—an extremely useful feature for transmitting data in fibre optic cables.

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.

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.

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