Saturday , April 17 2021

Scientists turn quantum gas into an exotic phase of matter: What is supersolid?

A new study successfully produces a supersolide using the quantum gases of herbarium and dysprozyme. Findings could help pave the way for further theories and experiments about this exotic state of matter. ( Pixabay )

Austrian scientists have managed to observe evidence of the paradoxical state of matter known as supersolidity through the use of atomic gases.

Francesca Ferlaino, a professor at the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, led two separate teams of researchers looking for clues about super-solidity.

The phenomenon is predicted 50 years ago, but no one has already exactly seen an object to enter this exotic country.

Supersolid is a counterintuitive phase of matter that roughly combines the properties of solids with those of superfluids.

Recent research has used atomic gases, especially those with strong dipolar interactions, hoping to follow the supersolide in action.

Erbium and dysospypsum

For their experiment, Ferlaino and her colleagues focused on the quantum gases of the herbium and dysprosium. Lorient Chomaz, one of the authors of the study, explained why they chose these two elements exactly.

"Recent experiments have shown that such gases show fundamental similarities with superfluid helium," Chomaz noted.

"These characteristics have laid the basis for achieving a state where several tens of thousands of gas particles spontaneously organize themselves in a self-defined crystal structure, while simultaneously sharing the same macroscopic function – features of superconfidence."

By adjusting the force of interaction between the particles in the quantum gases of the erbium and dysprosium, researchers have succeeded in creating conditions that manifest some of the characteristics of superconfection.

The supersolid behavior in erbium was just transient, which was in line with the results of previous experiments in Pisa and Stuttgart, according to Ferlaino. However, they noted unprecedented stability when it comes to dysprosium.

In the realization of the dysprosium, the researchers noticed that the supersonic behavior of the element has a longer life. The phenomenon was also achieved directly by evaporation, starting with a thermal sample of dysprosium.

This can be compared to blowing tea tea. If researchers need to first remove particles from the element with the most energies, it would allow the gas to cool down. It will also allow the element to reach a quantum degenerate stationary state with properties of superconductivity in thermal equilibrium.

The discovery opens the door to new theories and experiments that need to be carried out in conjunction with supersolidity.

The supersonic condition observed in the study was not affected by many excitations or dissipative dynamics. This suggests that the spectrum of excitement and superfluid behavior of the elements could be worth exploring.

Similar experiments on super-solidity

In 2017, a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and another at ET Zurich in Switzerland conducted two separate super-solid experiments. Both were able to create supersolids using a particular gas type called Bose-Einstein Condensate or BEK.

BEC is the assumed fifth state of matter that often occurs when elements are exposed to ultra-cold temperatures, causing their atoms to behave very much like waves. It is believed to be the most appropriate form to be used to create supersolids because it already has superfluid properties.

The findings from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences are included in the journal Physical examination X.

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