Molecules Chilled Close to Absolute Zero Just Smashed a New Physics Record


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According to ScienceAlert

A two-step cooling process using lasers has allowed physicists to push molecules of calcium monofluoride down to a record low temperature, busting a barrier that until now has been impassable.

Decades ago, chilling individual atoms to near absolute zero opened a new world of research for particle physicists. This latest breakthrough could also provide fertile ground for learning more on how atoms behave when bound together as molecules.

The process behind the record cooling performed by researchers from The Centre for Cold Matter at Imperial College London isn’t all that different to those used to cool atoms.

A moving particle is a hot particle, meaning to cool down either an atom or a molecule you simply need to slow down its buzzing.

One way to do this is to take advantage of how atoms absorb and emit quanta of light, potentially losing some momentum in the process.

A laser tuned to a particular frequency is aimed at atoms trapped in a confined space by a magnetic field.

Read more…

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This article and images were originally posted on [ScienceAlert] August 29, 2017 at 11:15PM

Credit to Author and ScienceAlert

 

 

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