Molecule movement behavior at very cold temperatures was recently studied. Several theories about how molecules behave at such temperatures had not been put to the test until now.
A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was able to chill Sodium Potassium (Na-K) molecules, by using lasers to dissipate their interior energy and thus cool them to an extreme temperature.
The temperature to which the molecules were cooled is as astonishing as the experimental data collected. The gas molecules were cooled at about 500 nanokelvins which means a temperature about a million times colder than outer space.
Normally cooling such molecules to temperatures close to absolute zero is almost impossible, since their energy makes them vibrate while constantly moving around.
Experimental physicists were able to study the movement pattern of the molecules, which normal act independently, colliding with each other at ultrafast speeds.
Scientists observed that at extremely low temperatures the molecules cease to collide with each other and moved in a more stable way, not reacting to their neighbors anymore.
The creation of Sodium Potassium molecules required the scientists to create clouds of atoms using lasers an adding a intense magnetic field.
Quantum Mechanics laws say that at these type of temperatures ,both pure substance and mixtures of matter can reach reaches states like superfluidity and superconductivity .
Quantum mechanical theory also states that the distinction between particles and waves is false meaning that in the right circumstances all matter can be observed to exhibit wave-like behavior.
The experiment’s results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters. Scientists reported that the speed of the molecules during the testing was drastically reduced to almost zero compared to movement at normal temperatures. Researchers stated the molecules moved at speed calculable in centimeters per second.
The Sodium Potassium Molecule maintained it’s bonds for just 2.5. seconds , after which it broke up.
It has been proposed that ultracold atoms could be used for quantum computation and simulation, offering insights into the behavioral properties of quantum systems.
The lowest temperature ever recorded over a large period was obtained by scientists at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy using the CUORE particle physics facility. The sustained temperature was – 459.659 degrees Fahrenheit, with only fractions higher than the -459.7 obtained at MIT.
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