The New State of Matter: Two-Dimensional Solid Quantum Gas – Science – Life

despite its name, Materials known as solid They are not very solid. They actually combine the ordered or crystalline structure of a solid with the properties of a super liquidMaterial that flows without friction. To imagine a super solid, you can think of an ice cube immersed in liquid water that flows freely through it.

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In 2019, researchers from the Institute of Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Innsbruck were able to generate Supersolid states in ultracold quantum gases of magnetic atomsYes, but its orderly structure – caused by its own magnetism – existed in only one dimension: a line or a series of “drops”.

in a super solid state The atoms are not in concrete drops, but their molecules all at once. There are regions of higher density (droplets) that share the same unidentified atoms. This peculiar configuration is what allows for friction-free flow despite the presence of a spatial arrangement.

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interest of those quantum gases It is that they allow us to investigate interactions in matter on a microscopic scale, revealing phenomena that cannot be observed in the everyday world.

Now, the same Austrian team reports in Nature Magazine which has He succeeded in producing the first two-dimensional super-solid material with ultra-cold atoms It is highly magnetized by dysprosium, a chemical element from the rare earth group. The result is a super-solid two-dimensional quantum gas produced for the first time in the laboratory.

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“In collaboration with theoretical physicists Luis Santos from the University of Hannover (Germany) and Russell Besset from Innsbruck, what we’ve done is extend this phenomenon into two dimensions, giving rise to systems with two or more rows of droplets,” explains lead author, Matthew Norcia.

The progress represents not only a quantitative improvement, but also decisively expands the research perspectives: “For example, in a super-rigid two-dimensional system it is possible to study how vortices form in the gap between several adjacent droplets,” says the scientist.

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“These vortices, which are an important consequence of the overflowing fluid, have been described theoretically, but not yet proven,” adds co-author Francesca Ferlaino, as she contemplates the possibilities that open up to the future.

Investigations with Super Solids

Predicted 50 years ago, the super hardness, with its amazing properties, was tested mainly using superfluid helium. However, after decades of theoretical and experimental research, it was only two years ago that scientists in Innsbruck and, independently, other European teams in Pisa and Stuttgart, had succeeded in creating supersolids in ultra-cold quantum gases.

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The basis of the new and growing field of research on supersolids is the strong polarity of the magnetic atoms used, whose interaction properties allow this paradoxical quantum mechanical state of matter to be generated in the laboratory.

SINC . Agency

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Aileen Morales

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