Physicists created the first ever atomic vortex beam — a swirling tornado atom And a molecule with a mysterious property that is not yet understood.
Scientists were able to use a strange rule of quantum mechanics to transform a beam into a swirling vortex by sending a linear beam of helium atoms through a lattice with small slits.
The extra gust provided by the rotation of the beam, called the orbital angular momentum, gives the beam a new direction in which it travels, allowing it to operate in ways that researchers have not yet predicted.For example, they believe that the rotation of an atom can add the next dimension. Magnetic In the beam, along with other unpredictable effects of electrons and nuclei within spiral vortex atoms rotating at different velocities.
“One possibility is that this can also change the magnetic moment of an atom, or the inherent magnetism of a particle that acts like a small bar magnet,” said a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley. Author Yair Segev said. , Told live science.
In a simplified classic diagram of an atom, negatively charged electrons orbit a positively charged nucleus. In this view, Segev said that when an atom rotates as a whole, the electrons in the vortex rotate faster than the nucleus, “creating different opposites.” [electrical] According to celebrities, this is possible Law of magnetic induction It creates all sorts of new magnetic effects, such as magnetic moments, outlined by Michael Faraday, through the center of the beam and out of the atom itself, with more effects they can’t predict.
Researchers created the beam by sending helium Atoms, each passing through a grid of small slits of only 600 nanometers.In the area of Quantum mechanics — A set of rules governing a very small world — Atoms can behave like both particles and small waves. Thus, the wavy beam of helium atoms diffracted through the grid, appearing as a highly curved vortex, and corkscrewed through space.
Then the swirling atom reached the detector. The detector showed multiple beams diffracted to different degrees to have momentum at different angles, with a small donut-like ring engraved on it. Scientists have also found a smaller, brighter donut ring wedged inside the three central swirls. These are the obvious signs of a helium excimer. A molecule formed when an energetically excited helium atom attaches to another helium atom. (Usually, helium is a noble gas and does not bind to anything.)
The orbital angular momentum given to an atom in a spiral beam also changes the quantum mechanical “selection rule” that determines how swirling atoms interact with other particles, Segeff said. Researchers then break the helium beam into atoms of elements other than photons, electrons, and helium to see how they work.
If those rotating beams actually work differently, it could be an ideal candidate for a new type of microscope that allows us to peep into undiscovered details at the elementary particle level. According to Segev, the beam can provide more information about some surfaces by modifying the image imprinted on the bounced beam atoms.
“As is often the case in science, I think it’s not a leap in ability, but a change in perspective that leads to something new,” Segev said.
Researchers published their findings in the journal on September 3rd Chemistry..
Originally published in Live Science.
The first “atomic tornado” made from the swirling vortex of a helium atom
Source link The first “atomic tornado” made from the swirling vortex of a helium atom