Physics

Synopsis: Spectral Proof of a Supersolid Product of Chilly Atoms

August 1, 2019

Researchers discover new proof Bose-Einstein condensate manufactured from erbium atoms undergoes a part transition right into a weird type of quantum matter.

Synopsis figure

M. Mark/College of Innsbruck

For 50 years, theorists have predicted the existence of a quantum part of matter referred to as a supersolid. Like a superfluid, a supersolid flows with out friction, however its particles kind a crystalline association. Just lately, researchers have been attempting to induce a supersolid part transition in a kind of quantum atomic fuel known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). Specifically, they work with atoms with giant magnetic dipole moments, whose interactions can provide rise to this part of matter (see three April 2019 Viewpoint). Now, by combining simulations and experiments, Francesca Ferlaino of the College of Innsbruck, Austria, and colleagues have discovered additional proof of a supersolid part in a BEC manufactured from erbium atoms.

The staff first used theoretical simulations to point out that the energy-momentum spectrum of a cloth present process a supersolid part transition ought to exhibit a particular construction. Approaching the transition, for a given momentum, the system will exhibit two totally different vitality states concurrently. The pair of states exhibits up on the excitation spectra as a particular construction that resembles two branches. The 2 branches come up from two simultaneous damaged symmetries: one symmetry that’s related to crystalline order, and one other related to the fabric’s frictionless circulate.

The staff subsequent investigated a part of this spectrum for an erbium BEC. To do that, they corralled the atoms right into a 3D lure that was elongated in a single path. Then, by rapidly altering the dimensions of the lure, they expanded and contracted the fuel. The shifting atoms, which intervene with one another, trigger the supersolid to provide a altering interference sample. Analyzing this sample, the researchers recognized a number of excitation modes that, just like the simulation, reveal two branches. This spectral measurement lays the groundwork for future research of supersolidity and its frictionless character in erbium BECs and different “dipolar gases.”

This analysis is printed in Bodily Overview Letters.

–Sophia Chen

Sophia Chen is a contract author based mostly in Tucson, Arizona.

Topic Areas

Atomic and Molecular PhysicsSuperfluidity

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