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Chemists Discover Rare Rydberg Molecule With 'New' Type Of Bonding

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posted on May, 13 2009 @ 03:27 AM
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Chemists Discover Rare Rydberg Molecule With 'New' Type Of Bonding


www.sciencedaily.com

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — A rare “Rydberg” molecule discovered by scientists from the University of Stuttgart and University of Oklahoma upheld scientific theory predicting the molecule existed. The team used a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to a temperature of 3 millionths of a degree above absolute zero to produce the molecule. The longest-lived molecule produced by the team survived only for 18 microseconds.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 13 2009 @ 03:27 AM
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Above: Image of the binding potential. Scientists used a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to a temperature of 3 millionths of a degree above absolute zero to produce the molecule. (Credit: Image courtesy of James Shaffer, University of Oklahoma)

A rare “Rydberg” molecule discovered by scientists from the University of Stuttgart and University of Oklahoma upheld scientific theory predicting the molecule existed. The team used a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to a temperature of 3 millionths of a degree above absolute zero to produce the molecule. The longest-lived molecule produced by the team survived only for 18 microseconds.

James Shaffer, professor in the OU Department of Physics, was part of the German-led team that made the recent discovery that some say demonstrates a ‘new’ type of bonding, which makes this molecule different from other Rydberg molecules. The electron scattering in this approach can be used as a benchmark test for future quantum calculations of atomic and molecular structure.

Shaffer says a weak bond forms when an electron far from the nucleus and another ground state (normal) atom interact. The electron is slightly attracted to the ground state atom and vice versa. The electron pulls the ground state atom back toward the Rydberg atom just enough so it does not escape. The result is the rare Rydberg molecule like the one produced by the team in Germany.

None of this could occur without the low temperatures obtained using laser cooling and trapping combined with the high-end density of the most advanced types of atom traps. These molecules are an important test for atomic theory which first emerged in 1934 when Enrico Fermi predicted how another atom might behave when interacting with an electron far from its nucleus.

OU researchers are looking for the same types of molecules formed by Cesium atoms, but a Cesium atom is slightly different because there is more than one type of molecule depending on how the spins of the system align. This feature can be used to understand how the magnetic moments of the electron and atom interact.

www.sciencedaily.com


[edit on 13/5/2009 by GEORGETHEGREEK]



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 03:43 AM
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Indeed, low temp physics is taking us places we could only imagine. I guarantee it will be low temp physics that leads us to a warp engine. We are making strides in atomic composition in rest states, and eventually this will also lead to high-end efficient energy production and better nuclear reactors as we learn to harness the cold end of the spectrum.



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 05:44 AM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


Well im glad you understand how this could relate to real life. I wouldn't have a clue as to how important this find is. To me this find is just an abnormality in the physics scale until someone could figure out how to somehow use this molecule in a normal room temperature state. But then again, materials that produce semiconductor like use at below zero temperatures hav ealso been used at room temperatures witht aht same semiconductor likeless..... it's only been a matter of time before we figure out how to get the samiconductor property's at room temperature. Btw i'm going off on a tangent back there. talking about semiconductors when they didn't even mention semi conductors. I'm just assuming one day this molecule will be important somehow at room temperature and not at 3 millionth of a degree above absolute zero (takes a lot of nitrogena nd other gases that are becoming rarer everyday).



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 05:56 AM
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reply to post by DaRAGE
 


A molecule like this would probably allow us to understand how the mass of atoms are bound together. Such insight could lead to practical fusion applications. The reason they do this at such extreme cold is because matter goes through very profound changes at these temperatures. Ice becomes a superfluid, becomes a Bose-Einstein condensate(a state of matter completely at rest) that have a proven usefulness in several applications, like plasma technology.

i.e. TR 3B(potentially a secret experimental US craft)


[edit on 13-5-2009 by projectvxn]



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 11:01 AM
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that was an awesome video.

I can now understand the usefulness of this information. Thanks for that ;-P



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