Scientists have demonstrated for the first time the unusual quantum effect that can make matter invisible


November 21, 2021, 17:20 GMT

This technique could be used to stop information loss from quantum computers.

A strange quantum effect that has been predicted for decades has finally been demonstrated: if a gas cloud becomes cold and dense enough, it can become invisible. This strange effect is the first specific example of a quantum mechanical process known as paoli lock.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used lasers to compress and cool lithium gas to densities and temperatures low enough to scatter less light. By cooling the cloud even closer to absolute zero (-273.15 °C), this If it becomes completely invisible. The Results It was published Thursday in Science.

“What we have observed is a very special and simple form of Pauli blockade, which consists in preventing an atom from doing what all atoms do naturally: scattering light,” Indian In a statement the lead author of the study, Wolfgang Ketterle, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This is the first clear observation of the existence of this effect, and it shows a new phenomenon in physics,” he added.

Pauli block comes from Pauli exclusion principle, which was first formulated by the famous Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli in 1925. He argues that all particles called fermions (such as protons, neutrons and electrons) that have the same quantum state cannot exist in the same place. Without the principle of exclusion, all atoms would collapse together as they exploded in a massive release of energy.

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Invisibility of the matter

When atoms are cooled they lose energy, causing all available lower states to be filled and forming a type of matter called Fermi sea. The particles are trapped in each other, unable to move to other energy levels. At this point, they pile into the melee and have nowhere to go if they get hurt. They are so stacked that the particles can no longer interact with light. Therefore, the light that is sent inward corresponds to the Pauli mass and will simply pass through, they explain researchers.

According to the study, it is difficult to get an atomic cloud to reach this state. Not only does it need incredibly low temperatures, it also requires pressure of atoms to record densities. After trapping its gas inside an atomic trap, researchers detonated it with a laser. As theory predicted, cooled and compressed atoms scatter 38% less light than those at room temperature, making them much weaker.

Now that researchers have finally demonstrated the effect of Pauli blocking, they can use it Development of materials that block light To avoid information loss in quantum computers.

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