Draft: Researchers Control Love-Hate Relationship Between Atoms
Research that makes ultra-cold atoms extremely attractive to one another may help test current theories of how all matter behaves - a breakthrough that might lead to advanced transportation systems, more efficient energy sources and new tests of astrophysical theories.
The experiment was conducted by a team led by Dr. John Thomas, a physics professor at Duke University, Durham, N.C., under a grant from NASA's Biological and Physical Research Program through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The team manipulated a type of interacting atoms that behaved like fermions -- sub-atomic particles that are the building blocks of all matter, but are difficult to study directly. Normally, these atoms, called fermionic atoms, avoid each other at all costs. In this case, the researchers confined and cooled a lithium-6 gas cloud of atoms, and then introduced a magnetic field that acted as a matchmaker, inducing the atoms to attract one another strongly. READ ON
Posted by Jay Roberts at 05:10 AM | Permalink