Scientists have observed a new class of quantum matter at the very smallest scales in one of the coldest environments ever made. This discovery could pave the way for new technologies including innovations in superconductivity and other cutting-edge fields.
- The researchers examined the behavior of matter on the atomic and subatomic scales – known as “quantum matter” – where a large number of particles interact with each other.
- This latest discovery reveals a new state of quantum matter called a “Rydberg polaron,” a relatively giant particle containing many atoms that behaves in some ways like a single massive particle.
- To achieve this new state, the scientists have created a “giant atom” and filled it with ordinary atoms
- These atoms are held together by a weak bond under the conditions of very cold temperatures.
- This is an intricate experiment that builds upon several advances that were achieved over the past two decades.
- It uses ideas from two different fields, which have already been discovered:
- Bose Einstein Condensation and
- Rydberg atoms.
What will be the use of these Rydberg polarons?
- A particularly interesting implication is for cosmology. We know that our universe is filled with a mysterious ‘dark matter’ which exerts a gravitational force on other forms of matter.
- Some theories of dark matter postulate that it is a cosmic Bose Einstein Condensate, perhaps composed of an as-yet-unknown type of particle. If we are indeed living in an invisible all pervading Bose Einstein Condensate, this experiment can suggest ways to detect it.
Source:Science Daily & TH