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Latest Superfluid Stories

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2009-08-20 09:15:00

Transitions are exciting. And at temperatures close to absolute zero, studying the transition from one quantum phase to another tantalizes physicists looking for a deeper understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe.Now a team of scientists at the University of Chicago has created the first direct images of the transition between phases of ultracold cesium gas, as it changes from normal to superfluid to Mott insulator, making it possible to "see" this phenomenon as it happens."These...

2009-03-26 09:54:13

If physicists lived in Flatland"”the fictional two-dimensional world invented by Edwin Abbott in his 1884 novel"”some of their quantum physics experiments would turn out differently (not just thinner) than those in our world. The distinction has taken another step from speculative fiction to real-world puzzle with a paper* from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) reporting on a Flatland arrangement of ultracold gas atoms. The new results, which don't quite jibe with earlier Flatland...

2009-01-14 09:22:10

Physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland have proposed a recipe for turning ultracold "boson" atoms"”the ingredients of Bose-Einstein condensates"”into a "supersolid," an exotic state of matter that behaves simultaneously as a solid and a friction-free superfluid. While scientists have found evidence for supersolids in complex liquid helium mixtures, a supersolid formed from such...

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2008-10-16 09:50:00

University of Arizona scientists experimenting with some of the coldest gases in the universe have discovered that when atoms in the gas get cold enough, they can spontaneously spin up into what might be described as quantum mechanical twisters or hurricanes. The surprising experimental results agree with independent numerical simulations produced by collaborating scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia. The Arizona and Queensland researchers are reporting the results of the...

2008-02-13 15:56:22

At last month's Cosmology Meets Condensed Matter conference in London, it emerged that space-time could be simulated in the lab using strange, unique substances known as "superfluids", which flow without resistance and can even climb up the walls of jars. The equations governing the particles inside the superfluids are similar to those that represent the early universe, said Ray Rivers at Imperial College London. "We hope that we can use these to check things in the lab that frankly we don't...

2005-06-22 13:25:00

June 22, 2005 Physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created the first example of a high-temperature superfluid: a new state of matter in which the atoms in a gas can move with no friction or slowing down whatsoever. Reported in the June 23 issue of journal Nature, the work is closely related to the superconductivity of electrons in metals. According to Wolfgang Ketterle, the Nobel laureate who heads the MIT group, observations of superfluids may help solve...

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2005-06-24 14:35:00

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT scientists have brought a supercool end to a heated race among physicists: They have become the first to create a new type of matter, a gas of atoms that shows high-temperature superfluidity. Their work, to be reported in the June 23 issue of Nature, is closely related to the superconductivity of electrons in metals. Observations of superfluids may help solve lingering questions about high-temperature superconductivity, which has widespread applications for magnets,...

2005-06-22 12:55:00

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT scientists have brought a supercool end to a heated race among physicists: They have become the first to create a new type of matter, a gas of atoms that shows high-temperature superfluidity. Their work, to be reported in the June 23 issue of Nature, is closely related to the superconductivity of electrons in metals. Observations of superfluids may help solve lingering questions about high-temperature superconductivity, which has widespread applications for magnets,...

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2005-02-12 09:10:00

JPL -- It was music to the ears of physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, when they forced liquid helium-4 through thousands of tiny holes and heard a whistling sound. Why the big fuss about an odd sound? It seems this breakthrough might eventually lead to enhanced earthquake studies and more accurate navigation systems, including the Global Positioning System (GPS). It all starts with one slippery liquid helium-4. Ultra-cold helium-4 becomes a superfluid, meaning it flows...

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2005-01-30 09:45:00

Berkeley -- University of California, Berkeley, physicists can now tune in to and hear normally inaudible quantum vibrations, called quantum whistles, enabling them to build very sensitive detectors of rotation or very precise gyroscopes. Hear the synchronized vibrations from a chorus of more than 4,000 nano-whistles, created when physicists pushed superfluid helium-4 though an array of nanometer-sized holes. Note that the pitch drops as the pressure drops. A quantum whistle is a peculiar...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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