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Atoms Dressed with Light Show New Interactions, Could Reveal Way to Observe Enigmatic Particle video description for the visually impaired

 

Text: NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce

 

Atoms Dressed with Light Show New Interactions, Could Reveal Way to Observe Enigmatic Particle

 

(Music starts)

 

At around ten billionths of a degree above absolute zero, the two clouds of ultracold atoms collide and act like billiard balls, scattering in every direction.

 

Visual: A three-dimensional x-y-z grid appears with two hazy balls representing small clouds of rubidium-87 atoms. The two clouds slowly move toward one another, collide and scatter to form a rough sphere.

 

Text: Using lasers, NIST researchers “dress” the atoms, which affects their spin and momentum and makes them more likely to scatter in certain directions and by different amounts.

 


Visual: A three-dimensional x-y-z grid appears with two hazy balls representing small clouds of rubidium-87 atoms that have been “dressed” with lasers. The two clouds slowly move toward one another, collide and scatter to form a roughly eye-shaped or oval cloud indicative of more complex atomic interactions.

 

Text: This experiment was conducted with identical bosonic particles, which easily interact. The same is not true of identical fermions, which do not interact easily, especially at ultracold temperatures.

 

Visual: A three-dimensional x-y-z grid appears with two hazy balls representing small clouds of fermions. The two clouds slowly move toward one another and collide, but the identical fermions do not interact or affect one another and each cloud emerges from the collision unchanged.

 

Text: the ultimate goal is to dress ultracold fermions, which should cause them to interact and scatter when collided.

 

Visual:  A three-dimensional x-y-z grid appears with two hazy balls representing small clouds of fermions that have been dressed with lasers. The two clouds slowly move toward one another, collide and scatter to form a cloud resembling a set of open and closed parentheses or a bisected circle.

 

Text: These same kind of interactions in a system of many atoms may produce so-called Majorana fermions, yet-to-be-detected particles important to superconductivity.

 

(Music ends)

 

Text: Credits: Animations: Ian Spielman/NIST/JQI
National Institute of Standards and Technology 2011