Jumping into the quantum whirlpool

Sep 18, 2007

A University of Queensland quantum physicist is applying a new theory to an old problem.

Dr Matthew Davis, from UQ's School of Physical Sciences, is working on a new state of matter – a Bose-Einstein condensate - to further understand the very nature of the universe.

“The beauty of a Bose-Einstein condensate is that it is similar to a laser but made of matter,” Dr Davis said.

“It is a collection of atoms that are perfectly coherent and have the potential to be used in ultra-sensitive measurement devices.”

Dr Davis said BECs were first predicted in the 1920s by Einstein, but not realised in the laboratory until 1995.

His own particular interest is looking at how the BECs form and especially how quantum whirlpools, called vortices, are formed.

“The theory I have developed explains the experiments quite well, so now we can use it to investigate possible other experiments computationally, such as looking at creating persistent currents in Bose-Einstein condensates that are analogous to supercurrents in superconductors that never decay,” he said.

“This will hopefully answer broader questions about the nature of certain types of phase transitions, and will feed into experiments being performed by my collaborators at the University of Arizona,” he said.

Source: UQ

Explore further: Breakthrough in OLED technology

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows one reason why pigeons so rarely crash

18 minutes ago

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with Harvard University has uncovered one of the secrets behind pigeons' impressive flight abilities. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of ...

Can we track the world's nuclear weapons?

28 minutes ago

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has unveiled an interactive infographic that tracks the number and history of nuclear weapons in the nine nuclear weapon states: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, C ...

Unified theory for skyrmion-materials

31 minutes ago

Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists ...

Egypt unearths 3000-year-old tomb in southern city

32 minutes ago

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities says American archeologists have discovered a 3000-year-old tomb with beautifully painted walls belonging to a nobleman who guarded the temple of the ancient deity Amun.

Recommended for you

Scientists provide new data on the nature of dark matter

1 hour ago

Recent research conducted by scientists from the University of Granada sheds light on the nature of dark matter, one of the most important mysteries in physics. As indirect evidence provided by its gravitational ...

Giant virus revealed in 3-D using X-ray laser

4 hours ago

For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator ...

Magnetic vortices in nanodisks reveal information

5 hours ago

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) together with a colleague at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Strasbourg ...

Breakthrough in OLED technology

23 hours ago

Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are made from carbon-containing materials, have the potential to revolutionize future display technologies, making low-power displays so thin they'll wrap or fold ...

Throwing light on a mysterious human 'superpower'

Mar 02, 2015

Most people, at some point in their lives, have dreamt of being able to fly like Superman or develop superhuman strength like the Hulk. But very few know that we human beings have a "superpower" of our own, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.