Quantum boomerang: Physicists observe strange effect for first time

Hundreds of hundreds of lithium atoms cooled to close absolute zero exhibit a strange quantum effect a bit like a boomerang


11 June 2022

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

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

Researchers have managed to reveal a strange phenomenon often called the quantum boomerang effect for the first time.

David Weld at University of California, Santa Barbara and his colleagues cooled tons of of hundreds of lithium atoms near absolute zero inside a small vacuum-sealed field. They used lasers to rearrange the lithium atoms in a line and preserve them in a specific quantum state that they hoped would revealthe boomerang effect.

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 effect, the staff discovered that the atoms common momentum quickly returned to zero.

Theorists had initially proposed that this boomerang effect may occur with electrons shifting inside a crystal crammed with particles of dust, however that has proved troublesome to reveal and research. Weld and the staff sidestepped that problem by as an alternative specializing in very chilly atoms which may be exactly manipulated with lasers.

Weld and colleagues offered the brand new experiment on the DAMOP conference in Orlando, Florida in May.

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

More on these subjects:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button