Latest State of matter Stories

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...

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...

2009-10-22 14:49:26

Investigating mysterious data in ultracold gases of rubidium atoms, scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland and their collaborators have found that properly tuned radio-frequency waves can influence how much the atoms attract or repel one another, opening up new ways to control their interactions. As the authors report* in an upcoming issue of Physical Review A, the radio-frequency (RF) radiation...

2009-09-02 14:48:43

First evidence that a method proposed 3 decades ago really works In their experiment the scientists tested a completely new principle of cooling. For this, they used the property that atoms can be stimulated by light. In this process an electron changes from its orbit around the atom's nucleus to an orbit that is further away. However, this is only successful if the incoming light has the appropriate color. Red light has less energy than blue light. Therefore the 'push' which a red laser...

2009-08-11 08:25:00

"Imagine you're a water molecule in a glass of ice water, and you're floating right on the boundary of the ice and the water," proposes Emory University physicist Eric Weeks. "So how do you know if you're a solid or a liquid?"Weeks' lab recently captured the first images of what's actually happening in this fuzzy area of the crystal/liquid interface. The lab's data, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), make the waves between the two states of...

2009-04-23 16:33:44

German-led scientists say they have observed for the first time a rare molecule, the existence of which has until now only been predicted by theory. The researchers from the University of Stuttgart and the University of Oklahoma told the BBC the so-called Rydberg molecule was theorized to form when one of its two atoms has an electron orbiting at an extreme distance from the atom's nucleus. First predicted by physicist Chris Greene of the University of Colorado, the existence of the Rydberg...

2009-02-26 11:23:24

Neutral atoms"”having no net electric charge"”usually don't act very dramatically around a magnetic field. But by "dressing them up" with light, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a collaborative venture of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland at College Park, have caused ultracold rubidium atoms to undergo a startling transformation. They force neutral atoms to act like pointlike charged particles that can undergo...

2009-01-23 09:45:24

Common sense tells us that when you heat something up it gets softer, but a team of researchers, led by University of Toronto chemistry and physics professor R.J. Dwayne Miller, has demonstrated the exact opposite.  Their findings will be published online in the prestigious international journal Science on January 22."It is counter-intuitive but the gold got harder instead of softer," says Miller.  Can you imagine a blacksmith heating up gold to pound it thinner, only to find it got...

Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'