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For the First Time Ever, Scientists Watch an Atom's Electrons Moving in Real Time

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posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 12:40 AM
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An international team of scientists led by groups from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching, Germany, and from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley has used ultrashort flashes of laser light to directly observe the movement of an atom's outer electrons for the first time.

Through a process called attosecond absorption spectroscopy, researchers were able to time the oscillations between simultaneously produced quantum states of valence electrons with great precision. These oscillations drive electron motion.



www.physorg.com...




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In krypton's single ionization state, quantum oscillations in the valence shell cycled in a little over six femtoseconds. Attosecond pulses probed the details (black dots), filling the gap in the outer orbital with an electron from an inner orbital, and sensing the changing degrees of coherence between the two quantum states thus formed (below). Credit: Courtesy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


This is an amazing feat to be able to see a Atom's electron moving in real time for the first time.

 

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[edit on Thu Aug 5 2010 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 12:41 AM
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the sub-atomic realm doesn't even seem real. it seems like digital code or something to me, which makes me question if the world we live in, really is just a simulation.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by 19872012
 



the sub-atomic realm doesn't even seem real. it seems like digital code or something to me, which makes me question if the world we live in, really is just a simulation.


I was watching some quantum physics/mechanics program on the Science Channel a bit back and found out that there's already an argument for that:


The Simulation Hypothesis or Simulation Argument proposes that reality is a simulation of which those affected by the simulants are generally unaware. The hypothesis does not have global (there exist reality that is not simulated) scope since, if true, the laws of physics in our known universe require that there is a reality that is not a simulation as there must be a place housing the machinery on which the simulation is being run.


Simulation Hypothesis

[edit: formatting]

[edit on 5-8-2010 by misinformational]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 01:21 AM
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I think time is artificial. Additional constraints are needed then too, so that moments in time appear properly separated. These additional constraints are what I think cause most of the pain and unhappiness that is so prevalent in our reality. We're used to it, but I think there are better games to play.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 01:25 AM
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Incredible! previous to this breakthrough scientists could measure the speed of electrons OR the location, as I understand it. Not both, because the methods used to observe/measure this movement had such an effect on the electrons that measuring one would make measuring the other in any meaningful way impossible due to the force exerted on the electron.

Truly this begins a new chapter in our study of sub-atomic particles.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 02:21 AM
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lets get this clear. they are not "seeing" anything more than they were able to before. they simply have a super awesome new method of collecting data. this new technology allows them to track the real-time changes in quantum states. previous methods of tracking such changes included wishing, hoping, crunching hard math, and theorizing. but, in the end, this fancy new data still brings them to the same result.

an identical effect to what they are "seeing" can be shown as a moire pattern interaction.

in the animation below, the two sets of lines will represent the quantum fluctuations of two distinct electrons. the sets of lines are moving in real-time. we are tracking their quantum states in real-time, and we can quite easily see how they move in and out of coherence.




but tracking the coherence patterns in real time is still not quite the same as actually SEEING the THING. and it most certainly does not overturn heisenbergs uncertainty principle.





posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 02:27 AM
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purely amazing!

second line



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 02:32 AM
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Yes, those are just snapshots, electrons are just expanding energy able to contract/focus on light. Once an event/impact or exposure with light takes place it just contracts, it's really a wave. It has no body, no structure, it's pure energy. Here how it looks, it looks like a wave to me.




posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 02:45 AM
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Originally posted by 19872012
the sub-atomic realm doesn't even seem real. it seems like digital code or something to me, which makes me question if the world we live in, really is just a simulation.


True... I understand this is infact the case.....

The System which produces our experience, i.e. the individual "Species" and the "Environment" it interacts with, is nothing at all like the end result, which we see and experience.

It is incorrect to assume that the manifestation of this Little Universe is totally dependant on such a manifestation.

It is impossible to understand what produces the resulting manifestation, by observing the Universe.

The source of the mechanism which produces this experience, is “Non Dimensional” and functions in a totally different way, than what we experience as the human species and its environment.

People have to remember.... what we observe, is processed within an unknown processing environment, which is then decoded via the brain, (interpreted) as being of a 3D nature involving our 5 senses.

But this in no way represents, what is producing the experience, or the method of producing such.

It can only be said this little Universe, is a communal experience from a Common Non Dimensional source, which involve "Awareness" and the ability to "Organise" a process or produce such a "Processing System".

All that we are "Aware" of, is Manufactured through a “Processing System” involving "Organization" and the ability to both "Read" and "Write" to, i.e. update a common Program shared by All.

If we only observe the environment, we will only entertain a never ending story.

What we need to do is Not search for the root of what we interpret the Universe to be, but rather find out what is Producing the All.

What produces this experience (Universe) is Not Necessarily in the Universe.

But in say this, the cause and "Processing System" will represent nothing at all, like the Universe we experience.

[edit on 5-8-2010 by The Matrix Traveller]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 03:20 AM
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Originally posted by Loki
Incredible! previous to this breakthrough scientists could measure the speed of electrons OR the location, as I understand it. Not both, because the methods used to observe/measure this movement had such an effect on the electrons that measuring one would make measuring the other in any meaningful way impossible due to the force exerted on the electron.

Truly this begins a new chapter in our study of sub-atomic particles.
I think it's an interesting study, but where did you get the idea it violates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Nowhere does the article say or even suggest that it does.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle


if the uncertainty in the position of the particle is small, the uncertainty in the momentum is large. And similarly, a particle whose wave packet is made up of only a few wavelengths (and hence only a few momenta) will be spread out over a large region. That is, if the uncertainty in momentum is small, the uncertainty in position is large.


That's not really the topic of this study. They know the electron is moving from an inner orbital to an outer (valence) orbital, but they don't really know the position, since the orbitals are wave function probability clouds rather than exact positions. See these probability plots for different electron orbitals:



All those orbit shapes are probability plots of the electrons location. In the study in the OP, they are measuring the movement of the electron from one orbit to another orbit but they still don't know the exact location of the electron, just which orbital it's in.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by 19872012
the sub-atomic realm doesn't even seem real. it seems like digital code or something to me, which makes me question if the world we live in, really is just a simulation.


I know what you mean, I encounter this every day working with computer systems (physical hardware and not so real software).

I hope the technology developers enough to give scientists the means to peer into this hidden world - we might only be seeing a tiny portion of what really lies at the sub atomic level.

Remember what happened with the introduction of the first microscope, a whole new world was revealed, I believe the same process will happen here once we get the right technology that can show this hidden world (who knows, where we have have been seeing a single atom there may well be a whole world teaming down there).

Heres hoping!



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by The Matrix Traveller
 


I agree 200%!!!!!!!! I think people who theorize that we are in a simulation are trying to put a human face to our mysteries when in truth we do not currently have ANY means to understand the workings of the the universe and unfortunately we will NEVER come close to understanding it as long as we are TRAPPED inside the idea that the laws of physics are LAWS! Which they are NOT. We will never think outside the BOX as long as we treat the laws of physics as gospel we are stuck in a linear thought mode which DESTROYS curiosity and wonder!!!!!!!!!



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 07:34 AM
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Originally posted by Interfacer
we are TRAPPED inside the idea that the laws of physics are LAWS! Which they are NOT. We will never think outside the BOX as long as we treat the laws of physics as gospel
What makes you think there aren't laws of physics? Just because you don't want something to be true doesn't make it so. That goes for you as well as Einstein, who said "God doesn't play dice" referring to God in a sense that some might call "Nature". In the quantum world it sure looks like God plays dice, however there's a certain predictability to the unpredictability since we can calculate probabilities in the quantum world and be correct about those probabilities, even if we can't predict a specific outcome on a single event.

I think there are true laws of nature.

We may not know what they are, or we may only know some of them and have misunderstandings about others. To me, the advancement of science is bringing our understanding of what we think the laws of nature are (which may be in error) closer to what the real laws of nature are (which cannot be in error as they are not based on our understanding, but are the real laws of nature).


The physical demonstration of attosecond transient absorption by the combined efforts of the Leone and Krausz groups and their colleagues will, in Leone's words, "allow us to unravel processes within and among atoms, molecules, and crystals on the electronic timescale" - processes that previously could only be hinted at with studies on the comparatively languorous femtosecond timescale.


I don't think this study has revealed any new laws of nature, but it's a step in the direction toward understanding the true natural laws which is exciting!

[edit on 5-8-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by misinformational


The Simulation Hypothesis or Simulation Argument proposes that reality is a simulation of which those affected by the simulants are generally unaware. The hypothesis does not have global (there exist reality that is not simulated) scope since, if true, the laws of physics in our known universe require that there is a reality that is not a simulation as there must be a place housing the machinery on which the simulation is being run.


Simulation Hypothesis



why would they assume that there needs to be a reality thats not an illusion, what if illusion (simulaton) is reality, and why would it be some form of machinery that makes our simulated reality and not something else??



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 07:47 AM
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I didnt say they werent true!! THEY DO WORK IN OUR DIMENSION!!!!!!! I dont disagree with them!!!! They are fact !!!! HOWEVER it creates the idea that we already know everything that has to do with it. It wasnt until recently we started to look into Quantum physics and starting to go in other directions please try not assume things. I was only saying I think after you teach laws of physics which is a MUST we should also teach Open Mindedness and I just feel the culture of Civlization and the notion that we already know everything is not good for technological evolution and we can become stagnant thats all I was saying. Our ego is not our amigo and to pretend that we are masters of physics is a bad thing. So many people have been written off as heretics only because they wanted to know MORE then what we do. I dont think its ok to label people for thinking outside the box!!! How many millions of people chose a lame career for a living instead of becoming SCIENTISTS all because public school taught them we pretty much know all we know about physics and science and nothing we (the average person) can do to augment the work that these "geniuses" of our past. I just refuse to belive we have reached our pinnacle and now theres nothing left to learn.

[edit on 5-8-2010 by Interfacer]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 07:50 AM
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One last thing. I know its a cheesy analogy but the worlds governments where in agreement that the world was flat at one point and many called Chrstopher Columbus suicidal and Crazy all for what?? Why call people names and demonize them when they are only trying to Expand our understanding of our existence.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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If I understand this correctly ... they are not actually 'seeing' the electron in one fluid COMPLETE motion, they are just taking extremely close together measurements/snapshots.

In between those measurements the uncertainty principle still applies...

... or am I understanding it wrong?

While one might argue what's the difference, there is a very subtle one between measuring close together instances and measuring continuously. While to human senses (and possibly machine ones too) there would not be a difference in perception, in reality the difference is there and valid.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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What's really going to bake your noodle is...

If the scientist didn't observe the electrons movement, would they have moved at all??

Korg.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by Interfacer
 

The "everyone thought the world was flat" thing is largely a myth(although a persistent one at that)



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by Interfacer
 


But being "open minded" is more than obtaining a pop understanding of science before denouncing it. Scientific assertions are backed up by observation. Anything else is wishful thinking at best.



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