Revolutionary Atomic

Revolutionary Atomic

“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


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.

Cold Atoms Image Microwave Fields

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy – NMR spectroscopy for short – is one of the most important methods of physicochemical analysis. It can be used to precisely determine molecular structures and dynamics. The importance of this method is also evidenced by the recognition of ETH Zurich’s two latest Nobel laureates, Richard Ernst and Kurt Wüthrich, for their contributions to refining the method.

  • For our experimental parameters, the method provides a microwave magnetic field sensitivity of ~ 2 × 10-8 T and a spatial resolution of 8 µm, which both can be improved even further with trapped Bose-Einstein condensates .
  • In addition to conducting applied research for developing the novel, energy-efficient transistor, the team are also exploring fundamental questions in physics.
  • Similar to a top that begins to wobble – experts call this precession – nuclear spins that are exposed to a magnetic field begin to precess.
  • Pions could help to understand more precisely where atomic nuclei get their mass from.

The researchers achieved the energy reduction by making electrodes out of tin rather than silver. “We first used silver, because it was the easiest way to realise the single-atom transistor,” Schimmel explains. But then, he and his team began testing the physical and electrochemical properties of other metals, paying particular attention to their viability for single-atom technology. “Our single-atom transistor made of tin is a true milestone in our research,” says Schimmel. One of the world’s leading pion sources is located in Switzerland at the Paul Scherrer Institute , one of the large research facilities of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology . PSI in Villigen is a much sought-after place for scientists dedicated to researching the pion.

Particle Physicists Create Artificial Atoms For Research Purposes

Au cation switch that can be used to toggle the local electrostatic field .

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.

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