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Latest State of matter Stories

2011-08-10 20:43:00

Kiel researchers discover novel state of crystal matter Nature knows two opposite types of solids: one that emerges upon compression from a liquid and a second that appears if the pressure on a liquid is reduced. While the former is typical for substances in our everyday life the latter occurs for example in a dense quantum liquid of electrons (such as in metals) or ions (in exotic white dwarf or neutron stars). Now it has been shown that there exists yet a third form of matter that inherits...

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2011-05-18 08:46:50

Alternative explanation for exotic state of matter posited in new Science paper The long-held, but unproven idea that helium-4 enters into an exotic phase of matter dubbed a "supersolid" when cooled to extremely low temperatures has been challenged in a new paper published recently in Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers Alexander Balatsky and Matthias Graf joined Cornell University physicist J.C. S©amus Davis and others in describing an alternative explanation for...

2011-04-13 21:48:46

When one cloud of gas meets another, they normally pass right through each other. But now, MIT physicists have created clouds of ultracold gases that bounce off each other like bowling balls, even though they are a million times thinner than air "” the first time that such impenetrable gases have been observed. While this experiment involved clouds of lithium atoms, cooled to near absolute zero, the findings could also help explain the behavior of similar systems such as neutron stars,...

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2010-12-10 06:30:00

Using lasers to contain some ultra-chilled atoms, a team of scientists has measured the viscosity or stickiness of a gas often considered to be the sixth state of matter. The measurements verify that this gas can be used as a "scale model" of exotic matter, such as super-high temperature superconductors, the nuclear matter of neutron stars, and even the state of matter created microseconds after the Big Bang. The results may also allow experimental tests of string theory in the future. Duke...

2010-11-03 16:56:34

A new material with a split personality -- part superconductor, part metal -- has been observed by a Princeton University-led research team. The discovery may have implications for the development of next-generation electronics that could transform the way information is stored and processed. The new material -- a crystal called a topological superconductor -- has two electronic identities at once. At very low temperatures, the interior of the crystal behaves like a normal superconductor,...

2010-09-30 14:50:34

Atoms are proxies for electrons in ultracold optical emulator A Rice University-led team of physicists is reporting the first success in a three-year effort to build a precision simulator for superconductors using a grid of intersecting laser beams and ultracold atomic gas. The research appears this week in the journal Nature. Using lithium atoms cooled to within a few billionths of a degree of absolute zero and loaded into optical tubes, the researchers created a precise analog of a...

2010-07-15 02:52:25

May lead to ways to overcome barrier to room-temperature superconductivity in copper-oxides Scientists have been trying for some 20 years to understand why the low temperature at which copper-oxide superconductors carry current with no resistance can't be increased to be closer to room temperature. Recently, scientists have focused on trying to understand and control an electronic phase called the "pseudogap" phase, which is non-superconducting and is observed at a temperature above the...

2010-06-18 12:49:58

Physicists at Harvard University have, for the first time, tracked individual atoms in a gas cooled to extreme temperatures as the particles reorganized into a crystal, a process driven by quantum mechanics. The research, described this week in the journal Science, opens new possibilities for particle-by-particle study and engineering of artificial quantum materials. "Much of modern technology is driven by engineering materials with novel properties, and the bizarre world of quantum mechanics...

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2010-02-13 09:13:52

Theoretical spectroscopy and computational model reveal hidden ordered state Electrons in complex matter sometimes arrange themselves into strange patterns, which remain shrouded in mystery. Finding the organizing principles and classifying their phases is an important challenge in understanding condensed matter. One such material is URu2Si2. "URu2Si2 is a man-made compound based on uranium, which undergoes an unknown phase transition," said Kristjan Haule of the Center for Materials Theory...

2009-11-17 16:40:33

Killian lab creates Bose-Einstein condensate from strontium Everybody loves a race to the wire, even when the result is a tie. The great irony is the ultraprecise clocks that could result from this competition could probably break any tie. The Rice lab of physicist Tom Killian published a paper online this month demonstrating the long-sought creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) of strontium atoms. BEC is a state of matter predicted by early 20th-century physicists Satyendra Nath Bose...