How to bring molecules at once into a single quantum state

How to bring molecules at once into a single quantum state mage of the molecules successfully pooled into a Bose-Einstein condensate. Credit: Chin Lab

Researchers at University of Chicago showed how to bring multiple molecules at once into a single quantum state — one of the most important goals in quantum physics.

One of the essential states of matter is called a Bose-Einstein condensate: When a group of particles cooled to nearly absolute zero share a quantum state, the entire group starts behaving as though it were a single atom. Scientists have been able to do this with atoms for a few decades, but what they’d really like to do is to be able to do it with molecules.

The first was cooling the entire system down even further — down to 10 nanokelvins, a split hair above absolute zero. Then they packed the molecules into a crawl space so that they were pinned flat.

The result was a set of virtually identical molecules — lined up with exactly the same orientation, the same vibrational frequency, in the same quantum state. (SciTechDaily)

The paper has been published in Nature.

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