The W
January 12, 2018 - wolves.jpg
Views: 157446034
Main | FAQ | Search: Y! / G | Calendar | Color chart | Log in for more!
15.4.21 0638
The W - Random - Reasons we still invest in science...
This thread has 11 referrals leading to it
Register and log in to post!
Thread rated: 5.79
Pages: 1
(1948 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
Post (6 total)

Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 3635 days
Last activity: 2089 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Colo. scientists form new type of matter
Discovery could lead to faster computers, cheaper electricity

By Dennis O'Brien
Sun Staff
Originally published January 29, 2004

Scientists announced yesterday that a chilly cloud of gas the width of a strand of hair created for a tenth of a second in a Colorado lab is a new type of matter - one that could lead to levitated trains, faster computers and cheaper electric bills.
The researchers say they produced the world's first fermionic condensate by chilling potassium atoms and applying a magnetic field, a process that forced the atoms to form pairs in the same way that electrons pair off when they produce superconductivity.

The work could help unlock the mystery of superconductivity, a phenomenon that physicists have studied for decades. Superconductors allow electricity to flow with no resistance.

"Ultimately, it could mean faster computers, smaller cell phones or the development of some technology we haven't even thought of," said James Gates, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The findings - the results of a race among six teams of physicists worldwide - were announced at a news conference yesterday by Deborah Jin, a researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and a physics professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study was published yesterday in the online edition of Physical Review Letters.

Jin, who won a $500,000 MacArthur "genius" grant last year, said she chilled 500,000 potassium atoms to temperatures near absolute zero (minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit). That slowed the atoms down and prompted them to pair off and produce a gas cloud in ways that were never before observed.

She said the study yielded reliable results despite the gas cloud's small size and brief shelf life. The results were repeated in the lab hundreds of times, she said, and recorded on very precise lasers and other instruments.

Experts say the findings confirmed a decade-old theory that fermions - the basic building blocks of all matter - pair off before they form molecules.

"It's as if they get engaged before they get married," said Kurt Gibble, a physics professor at Penn State University who reviewed the paper. "It's goofy."

Another NIST researcher, Eric A. Cornell, shared the Nobel prize for physics in 2001 for discovering the Bose-Einstein condensate. That is a phenomenon where bosons - another type of particle - are chilled to a point at which they act as if they were a single element.

Cornell's work proved 80-year-old theories about how quantum particles would react when chilled to such low temperatures that atoms almost cease to move.

Cornell credited Jin yesterday with accomplishing a difficult task. "I doubt very much I could have made this experiment work," Cornell told reporters.

Researchers since the mid-1990s have created a number of Bose-Einstein condensates. But the Colorado team was the first to create and observe chilled fermions - which with bosons make up the particle family tree.

The findings are seen as a major breakthrough among physicists.

"It's a beautiful experiment," said John Thomas, a Duke University physicist who led one of the research groups vying with Jin in the race to observe the condensate.

Thomas said yesterday that he is not disappointed that Jin's team made the discovery first. There are a number of discoveries still out there, he said.

"The hope is by playing with the theories, you can apply the theories to what you learn about condensed matter systems and come up with practical applications," he said.

Thomas and Jin said there is no way of knowing what technologies might result from the work, or when they might be developed.

"We've opened the door. We don't know where it's going to lead or how long it's going to take to get there," Jin said. "If you had a superconductor you could transmit electricity with no losses. Right now something like 10 percent of all electricity we produce in the United States is lost. It heats up wires."

Ceramic superconductors, which conduct electricity with zero resistance, were discovered in 1987. But because of the costs and complicated technology, they are limited in use to magnetic resonance imaging technology, supercolliders built by scientific labs and a small number of other devices.

Superconductors in use require cooling the nitrogen or helium to temperatures of at least minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit as a part of the superconductivity process.

It's hard to see why anyone would vote for Wesley Clark after his dismal showing. If you want a war hero, there's Kerry. If you want a Southerner, there's Edwards. If you want a crackpot, there's Dean (though we'll grant that Clark is more of a crackpot).
- James Taranto, WSJ
Promote this thread!
Nate The Snake

Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

Since last post: 6114 days
Last activity: 5584 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
Man, first dark matter, then strange matter, now we have goofy matter...

Seriously, interesting stuff there. Nice to know they're actually working with a purpose in mind instead of just randomly slamming atoms against each other in a cyclotron to see what happens. :)

Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
The Thrill

Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

Since last post: 2555 days
Last activity: 48 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
And don't forget whatsamatter? Hell, it even had a university named after it...Wotsamatta U.

Seriously, color me impressed. If they can ever get around the need for mega-cooling, then superconductors could really get this world wired.

Science marches on!

Star wipe, and...we're out.
Thrillin' ain't easy.

ACW-NWA Wisconsin
Home Video Technical Director...&
A2NWO 4 Life!
(Click the big G to hear the Packers Fight Song in RealAudio!)

Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 1268 days
Last activity: 1169 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.64
    Originally posted by Nate The Snake
    Man, first dark matter, then strange matter, now we have goofy matter...

    Seriously, interesting stuff there. Nice to know they're actually working with a purpose in mind instead of just randomly slamming atoms against each other in a cyclotron to see what happens. :)

Just seeing what happens is where most of the discoveries that impact your life came from. Maxwell's theory of the electromagnetic spectrum is what has made our modern way of life essentially possible. Serendipity is something we have trouble understanding but what happens when you allow bright inquisitive people free rein to be curious is where most all of the important discoveries in history have come from. Not from setting out top accomplish a particular diswcovery, but from just seeing what is going on.

Perception is reality
Lap cheong

Since: 7.2.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 5773 days
Last activity: 5554 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I am glad that this matter matters.

mmmmmm, Breakfast (
Lap cheong

Since: 24.2.02

Since last post: 801 days
Last activity: 371 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.34
Did you hear that some scientists managed to go faster than the speed of light? They did it tomorrow!

 This will get added at the end of each post you make, below an horizontal line. This should preferably be kept to a small enough size.
Thread rated: 5.79
Pages: 1
Thread ahead: Superman: Our Worlds At War
Next thread: 99 pound woman wins Wing Bowl 12 eating 167 wings
Previous thread: Blogging
(1948 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
Well, I use mate for both males and females. Some chicks don't like it. You wouldn't be very likely to say "how ya goin sheila" where "How ya goin mate" is perfectly fine.
The W - Random - Reasons we still invest in science...Register and log in to post!

The W™ message board

©2001-2021 Brothers Zim

This old hunk of junk rendered your page in 0.091 seconds.