Navigation Links
Stopping atoms
Date:10/3/2007

With atoms and molecules in a gas moving at thousands of kilometres per hour, physicists have long sought a way to slow them down to a few kilometres per hour to trap them.

A paper, published today in the Institute of Physics New Journal of Physics, demonstrates how a group of physicists from The University of Texas at Austin, US, have found a way to slow down, stop and explore a much wider range of atoms than ever before.

Inspired by the coilgun that was developed by the Universitys Center for Electromechanics, the group has developed an "atomic coilgun" that slows and gradually stops atoms with a sequence of pulsed magnetic fields.

Dr. Mark Raizen and his colleagues in Texas ultimately plan on using the gun to trap atomic hydrogen, which he said has been the Rosetta Stone of physics for many years and is the simplest and most abundant atom in the periodic table.

Work on slowing and stopping atoms has been at the forefront of advancement in physics for some time. In 1997, there were three joint-winners for the Nobel Prize in Physics for their combined contribution to laser cooling - a method using laser light to cool gases and keep atoms floating or captured in "atom traps".

These important advances had limited use because they only applied to atoms with 'closed two-level transition', excluding important elements such as hydrogen, iron, nickel and cobalt. In contrast, nearly all elements and a wide range of molecules are affected by magnetic forces, or are paramagnetic, which means that this latest research has much wider applicability.

Professor Raizen said, "Of particular importance are the doors being opened for our understanding of hydrogen. Precision spectroscopy of hydrogen's isotopes, deuterium and tritium, continues to be of great interest to both atomic and nuclear physics. Further study of tritium, as the simplest radioactive element, also serves as an ideal system for the study of Beta decay. "

Having successfully designed and used an 18-coil device to slow a supersonic beam of metastable neon atoms, the team is now developing a 64-stage device to further slow and stop atoms.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joseph Winters
joseph.winters@iop.org
44-020-747-04815
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Engineers chart semiconductors on the scale of atoms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has ... of 12,835,490 shares of its common stock to NantCell, ... connection with the sale of its common stock, NantCell ... issue to GlobeImmune 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million ... "We are pleased to enter into this strategic agreement ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- According to a report by Transparency Market Research ... to the presence of a large pool of participants; however, only ... and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with each other in this market. With Proliant ... 76% of this market in 2016.  ... As of now, a large number of vendors ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... regeneration from small lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to ... vascular system that delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. , Current ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   iSpecimen ®, the marketplace ... Pathology Service (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology reference ... United States , has joined a program offered ... (DHIN) to make human biospecimens and associated data ... program, announced in 2015 as a collaboration between iSpecimen ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/21/2017)... and PORTLAND, Ore. , Feb. 22, ... Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, ... six-month research study that will apply the power of ... senior living and health centers. By analyzing data streaming ... gain insights into physical and environmental conditions, and obtain ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, a community for ... it has received Laboratory Accreditation from the College ... presented to laboratories that meet stringent requirements around ... rigorous processes. "Genos is committed to ... practices. We,re honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, ... that is designed to enhance fraud detection and ... in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. ... to leverage additional insights from internal and external ... better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):