Tags: MIT Creates Superchilled Molecules to Slow Things Down

MIT Creates Superchilled Molecules to Slow Things Down

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 09:36 AM

MIT physicists have been able to super-chill molecules which slows them down and could be helpful in showing how molecules react when they aren't crashing into each other at super-high speeds.

A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicists managed to cool sodium potassium gas with the help of lasers to dissolve the energy of individual gas molecules, Live Science.com reported. They were able to chill the molecules to 500 nanokelvins, or just 500-billionths of a degree within of absolute zero, which is minus 459.69 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273.15 degrees Celsius.

 


Scientists discovered that the ultracold molecules existed a long time and were stable, perhaps because they resisting the reactive collisions with other molecules, according to Space Daily.

Martin Zwierlein, professor of physics at MIT and the research's principal investigator, said that while molecules are active, vibrating and rotating and moving through space constantly, his group's ultracold molecules were essentially still, noted Space Daily. He said they were cooled to their absolute lowest vibrational and rotational states.

"We are very close to the temperature at which quantum mechanics plays a big role in the motion of molecules," said Zwierlein. "So these molecules would no longer run around like billiard balls, but move as quantum mechanical matter waves. And with ultracold molecules, you can get a huge variety of different states of matter, like superfluid crystals, which are crystalline, yet feel no friction, which is totally bizarre. This has not been observed so far, but predicted. We might not be far from seeing these effects, so we're all excited."

The results were published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

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MIT physicists have been able to super-chill molecules which slows them down and could be helpful in showing how molecules react when they aren't crashing into each other at super-high speeds.
MIT Creates Superchilled Molecules to Slow Things Down
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2015-36-16
Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 09:36 AM
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