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252 Views· 27 May 2024

This Supersolid Flows FOREVER Without Friction

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A supersolid isn’t what it may sound like. Essentially, its atoms are arranged in a rigid crystalline structure, like a regular solid – but they can also flow with zero viscosity, like a superfluid.

That sounds like a paradox, but scientists have thought it to be theoretically possible since the 1960s – and in 2017 it was finally experimentally confirmed.

Several teams of researchers have made supersolids using another state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).

These are made up of a low-density gas cloud of atoms cooled down to almost absolute zero, and at that point, they exhibit strange quantum quirks that aren’t normally seen on such a large scale. All the atoms in the BEC exist at every point within the cloud at the same time, in a phenomenon called delocalization.

In previous experiments, supersolids were only made one-dimensional, so that the atoms could only flow in one direction. Now, researchers have given them a whole new dimension to play in, like upgrading them from moving along a string to moving around a piece of paper.

This BEC was made of dysprosium atoms, and magnetic interactions between the atoms caused them to arrange themselves into droplets, which themselves lined up in a grid.

The team says that this breakthrough could allow physicists to study a whole new range of quantum weirdness that a one-dimensional supersolid cannot.

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Video Editor: Team 121 Creators (https://bit.ly/team121x)
Narration: Sidhart Viyapu (https://bit.ly/sidvoice)
Project Head: Rajkumar Shukla (http://bit.ly/rkoninsta)
Production: World Of Science Media

This Supersolid Flows FOREVER Without Friction

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