• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

“World’s smallest ball game” tosses single atoms amongst light traps


Mar 15, 2023

Scientists in South Korea have designed what they get in touch with “the world’s smallest ball game,” throwing person atoms amongst two optical traps. The investigation could sooner or later make for far more adaptable and dynamic quantum computer systems.

The capacity to use lasers to trap and manipulate person atoms, particles and even reside bacteria was a Nobel Prize-winning breakthrough. The radiation stress of light can be powerful adequate to move or hold microscale objects, producing for optical tweezers, traps and possibly even tractor beams.

For the new study, researchers at the Korea Sophisticated Institute of Science and Technologies (KAIST) created a way to throw an atom from a single trap to a different. As usual with this sort of setup, the group began by cooling a cloud of rubidium atoms down to practically absolute zero, then trapped them in a grid of lasers tuned to a wavelength of 800 nanometers.

To throw them about, the group accelerates a single optical trap, then switches it off so the atom goes flying. To catch it, a different trap is then turned on to slow it down till it stops. In tests, the scientists threw atoms across distances of four.two micrometers at speeds of up to 65 cm (26 in) per second.

“The freely flying atoms move from a single location to the other without having getting held by or interacting with the optical trap,” mentioned Jaewook Ahn, lead author of the study. “In other words, the atom is thrown and caught amongst the two optical traps significantly like the ball travels amongst the pitcher and a catcher in a baseball game.”

Intriguingly, the group showed that atoms could be thrown by way of other stationary optical traps without having interfering with them or interacting with other atoms along the way. This indicates it could be an efficient strategy for moving atoms about an array without having getting to reset the complete point.

“We usually encountered arrangement errors that rendered an array defective,” mentioned Ahn. “We wanted to uncover an effective way to repair a defective array without having getting to move a substantial quantity of atoms, simply because that could outcome in even far more defects.”

The strategy could also be made use of to make far more dynamic quantum computer systems, permitting qubits of facts to be moved in relation to every other. Just before then even though, the group plans to continue operating to increase the achievement price for the creation of no cost-flying atoms up from about 94%.

The investigation was published in the journal Optica.

Supply: Optica by way of Phys.org

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