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Quantum boomerang: Physicists observe strange effect for first time

A whole lot of 1000’s of lithium atoms cooled to close absolute zero exhibit an odd quantum impact a bit like a boomerang


11 June 2022

100 thousand lithium atoms held in a vacuum exhibited the quantum boomerang impact

Tony Mastres/David Weld Lab at College of California, Santa Barbara

Researchers have managed to exhibit an odd phenomenon often known as the quantum boomerang impact for the primary time.

David Weld at College of California, Santa Barbara and his colleagues cooled tons of of 1000’s of lithium atoms close to absolute zero inside a small vacuum-sealed field. They used lasers to rearrange the lithium atoms in a line and hold them in a specific quantum state that they hoped would reveal the boomerang impact.

The researchers then used the laser to nudge the atoms. This resulted in them going from having zero common momentum to having a constructive common momentum. If the identical change occurred to a ball it might roll away, however because of the quantum boomerang impact, the group discovered that the atoms’ common momentum quickly returned to zero.

Theorists had initially proposed that this boomerang impact might occur with electrons shifting inside a crystal crammed with particles of grime, however that has proved troublesome to exhibit and examine. Weld and the group sidestepped that problem by as a substitute specializing in very chilly atoms which may be exactly manipulated with lasers.

Weld and colleagues introduced the brand new experiment on the DAMOP conference in Orlando, Florida in Might.

He says that the following aim is to find out if boomeranging occurs when tremendous chilly atoms work together with one another very intensely. Behaviour of such very coordinated atoms will not be effectively understood, so seeing them boomerang might uncover one thing new about quantum physics.

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