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Scientists Create New Form of Matter 448

Posted by simoniker
from the doesn't-really-matter dept.
soren100 writes "Yahoo News has a story about scientists creating a sixth form of matter. They are calling their new state of matter a 'fermionic condensate.' Somehow they got potassium atoms to form pairs similar to the 'Cooper pairs' that make superconducting possible. Maybe any quantum physicists around can tell us more about this, but it certainly sounds pretty revolutionary. The scientists are predicting that this will lead to 'room temperature solid' superconductors, which in turn will enable us to have better electricity generators, more efficient electric motors, and (our favorite) cheaper maglev trains."
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Scientists Create New Form of Matter

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  • Quandry (Score:5, Funny)

    by kinnell (607819) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:44AM (#8122140)
    Maybe any quantum physicists around can tell us more about this

    Maybe, but how will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about.

    • Re:Quandry (Score:5, Funny)

      by Urkki (668283) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:48AM (#8122156)
      • Maybe, but how will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about.

      Why, by making an observation of course! After that their quantum state collapses to just one state, either a real or an armchair quantum physicist.

      There are some experiments underway to use this to encrypt articles about quantum physics, so that only intended recipients can decrypt the text, even.
    • Re:Quandry (Score:5, Funny)

      by R.Caley (126968) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:50AM (#8122175)
      How will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about.

      The real quantum physicist will post a superposition of all possible comments with attached probabilities, so your browser will be able to randomly select which one to show you.

      If you are one of twins, your sibling will always see a comment presenting the precise opposite point of view. Unfortunatly, there is no way to use this phenomenon to get zero-ping time internet access.

    • by Hittite Creosote (535397) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:10AM (#8122258)
      From Colorado University, the original press release is here [colorado.edu].

      If you want the actual paper, and have access to the journal, it's published on the online version of Physics Review Letters [aps.org] Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 040403 (2004)

      abstract here [aip.org] for those with access.

    • how will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists

      You'll just have to settle for a probability cloud in the general vicinity of where a real quantum physicist might be located at any instant.

  • by Photar (5491)
    Being able to do that cool thing where you take a metal toy and then put a magnet under the desk and make it move around, you know that thing, now you can do it through walls.
  • by rtz (221437) * on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:49AM (#8122167)
    more efficient electric motors, and (our favorite) cheaper maglev trains.

    Maglevs are cool, but the real slashdotter wants to know how it will help build space elevators.
  • by wan-fu (746576) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:52AM (#8122183)
    The article seems to highly stress the practical application of this new form of matter. Doesn't this seem too optimistic or unrealistic? If it's a new form of matter, surely there must be properties which even researchers are unsure about. What are the safety and health issues involved in using this in 'practical applications'?
    • not necessary. the electron is just a single particle and that changed the entire world.
    • by danila (69889) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:08AM (#8122454) Homepage
      First of all, let me just say that in some way they are correct, since we can expect their work to eventually have some practical applications. But this is not terribly relevant today. What is relevant is that scientists are forced by our society to lie about these uses to get public support and public funding. Read any press releas? and it will claim the invention/discovery will help fight terrorism, fight SARS, bring fusion to reality, save people from falling skyscrapers, save soldiers' lives in the battlefield, or at least create faster computers and more effective batteries.

      Here is a relevant quote from the adorable Feynman:
      I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, hut something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you're talking as a scientist. I am not trying to tell you what to do about cheating on your wife, or fooling your girlfriend, or something like that, when you're not trying to be a scientist, but just trying to be an ordinary human being. We'll leave those problems up to you and your rabbi. I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

      For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of this work were. "Well," I said, "there aren't any." He said, "Yes, hut then we won't get support for more research of this kind." I think that's kind of dishonest. If you're representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you're doing--and if they don't want to support you under those circumstances, then that's their decision.
      • by osgeek (239988) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:53AM (#8122665) Homepage Journal
        scientists are forced by our society to lie about these uses to get public support and public funding

        Don't let them off that easily. They're part of a broken system whose causes can be found all over our society.

        - We have a public that's incredibly ignorant of science... which is a compliment, considering that they're mostly just stupid.
        - We have ignorant politicians elected by that ignorant/stupid public who don't understand science well enough to know how we should be spending public funds.
        - And back to the Scientists: We have a Scientific community with members who lie their asses off like a bunch of whores for money. No one "forces" them to lie, they do it of their own volition.
        - Finally, we have supporters of Science in the public who make excuses for poor ethical behavior by saying "scientists are forced by our society to lie".

        The answer to most of these problems is "education". Education, education, education. Besides the defense of our borders, it's the one thing that our government absolutely must provide: a solid education for every member of our society.
        • by gotan (60103) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:58AM (#8123016) Homepage
          Don't let them off that easily.

          Whoa, wait a moment here, it's now accepted and good behavior of corporations to lie to get at your money. They lie about their products to get money from their customers, they lie about their business perspectives (as much as they are allowed to) to get money from shareholders, and they lie, bitch and whine to politicians (e.g. lobbying) to get laws bend their way and be subsidized. Aparently everyone has accepted that, at least i didn't hear outcries of public rage about it, the people even expect to be lied to and think it's good business style.

          I don't like it either but that's how things are now, and unless you think that a few honest scientists can fundamentally change the way the population is thinking you might go a little easier on them. The result of being honest with the future perspective of their research would probably be that funding goes to other projects headed by someone whithout any qualms to tell bold lies. Of course the system is bad and tends to bring the biggest assholes to the top (see politics where the process has worked for a longer time to see the results). I can live with a scientist that doesn't tell the whole truth (maybe by omitting the point that all those fancy products are to be expected at least 20 years from now), it's better than someone blatantly lying and just presenting works of his imagination as experimental results (yeah, that happened, everyone thought the guy was just great unless someone found the same diagram explaining totally different facts, until then there were only a few puzzled scientists who couldn't reproduce any of his research).

          We need that basic science and we have to look farther into the future than the next business quarter or even the next two years. It's fine to have industrial funding, but you'll only get that for technologies that go into a marketable product in the next 3 years. We'd never have gotten semiconductor-technology if science were only dependant on such industrial funding, we'd be building better and better relay switches by now and computers would be prohibitively expensive, let alone digital watches.

          It's the job of our politicians to secure our future by funding such basic science now, but those politicians fail to see anything that's beyond their term of office (see education systems worldwide). At least it's not politicians who decide which project gets funding and which doesn't, it's usually other scientists who assign parts of the total "science budget" to specific projects. Thos other scientists have quite a good grasp how long this project will take to yield any marketable results, but they know as well, that it'll probably be worth it (you never can say for sure, maybe we all get hit by a huge asteroid and should have put everything into an effort to get a foothold on mars, who can say).

          I think these new materials give us a great chance for better understanding of high-temperature superconducting materials, and, hell, they found a totally new form of matter, we don't even know what we could use it for.
    • by infolib (618234) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:20AM (#8122500)
      The article seems to highly stress the practical application of this new form of matter.

      That is to say the least. It talks about superconductors for maglev trains etc. but in reality the new form of matter is a small blob of gas hanging trapped by lasers in a vacuum chamber. The only connection is that these studies may help us develop better theories about how superconductors work. (The current theories on high-temp superconductors are quite weak). A less popular introduction to Jins work is here [physicsweb.org], but it's not quite recent.

      What are the safety and health issues involved in using this in 'practical applications'?

      None. There are no practical applications yet, and when you look at the experiment it's just a submillimeter blob of potassium. The moment someone disturbs the experiment it will disintegrate and fill the vacuum chamber with very dilute potassium gas. Potassium can be dangerous, but there's a thousand times more in the bin they take it from, and I'm not worried about that at all.
  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:54AM (#8122198) Homepage Journal
    the 21st century's version of the 20th's "i was promised rocket cars!" will be "i was promised maglevs!"

    maglevs always seem to be just around the corner... perpetually...
    • Look at Europe, Asia (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nniillss (577580) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:01AM (#8122229)
      You can order a maglev from Siemens, Germany, at any time. Provided you have a deep pocket.
      • a non-experimental, longer than a few showcase miles (shanghai?), continuously functional, and most importantly ECONOMICAL maglev

        i can prorbably order a space shuttle too... so what?

        the tracks are just too expensive dude, the economics will never see a real useful maglev

        we can have my rocket cars too... but the economics don't work, that's the real issue, not if you can order it or not
      • You can order a maglev from Siemens, Germany, at any time. Provided you have a deep pocket.

        Hey ... you can order one from me too! Early delivery dates may be a problem though :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:55AM (#8122204)
    Lets see... ...
    They cooled potassium gas to a billionth of a degree C above absolute zero or minus 459 degrees F -- which is the point at which matter stops moving. ...

    Step 1. Freeze until cold cold cold (like a regular superconductor)
    Step 2. ???
    Step 3. Have a room temperature superconductor
    Step 4. PROFIT!!!!

    Ok, seriously... Whats to say that you can't get any kind of matter to act like superconductors at a low enough temperature?

    And while I'm at it:
    Imagine a beowulf clust.....
  • by squaretorus (459130) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @06:56AM (#8122206) Homepage Journal
    Presentation of this story suggests that this work is a step towards room temp superconductors. While this may be true, I suspect it is no more true of this that any other significant development of our understanding of that wierd stuff we call 'quantum'.

    I really dont see superconductors becoming feasable at room temperatures anytime soon (i.e. 100 years) unless we all decide we actually like it when our rooms are well below freezing.

    New forms of matter are interesting - but that they are found only at a billionth of a degree above absolute zero is no more interesting to me than the fact that we can build a fridge able to get stuff down to those temperatures in the first place. I'd be scared if we didn't find some spooky stuff going on!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well that's not exactly true. It's at the extremes that it is simplest to see where our models break down, so we might learn more, adjust our thinking, an make the incremental improvements to what we know well.

      I think room tempeture superconducting is probably outside the scope of possible. But that doesn't mean I don't think there are tangible rewards to be had from double checking, even if my guesses are ultimately vindicated.

      In a way, I lament those who share your lament. Denis Miller (I'm morbidly
    • by danila (69889) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:13AM (#8122475) Homepage
      Here is a quote from a great E2 writeup [everything2.com] by wheloc:
      The fun thing about bosons is that any collection of things which acts sortta like a particle, and who's spins sum to some integer value, will act like a boson. If, for example, you get two electrons traveling together and reduce their temperature sufficiently under the right conditions they will begin to act like a single particle. If one has a spin of +1/2 and the other has a spin of -1/2 then the composite "particle" will have a total spin of 0, effectively making it a boson (this special type of boson is called a "Cooper pair"). Fermions bump into each other, bosons do not. Resistance in a wire (as in Ohm's Law) is caused by electrons bumping into each other. If all the electrons form Cooper pairs then this no longer happens, and electricity can flow through a material much better. This is the principle behind superconductivity.


      Apparently, what these guys did was closely related to forming Cooper pairs. When they found out other things related to this, we might be able to understand how to create these pairs at +25C. Right now one of the requirements seems to be to cool down the fermions, but if we find a way around...
      • by Bananenrepublik (49759) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:52AM (#8122656)
        If one has a spin of +1/2 and the other has a spin of -1/2 then the composite "particle" will have a total spin of 0
        This part is bogus, spin addition is more complicated than that. Whether you get a spin 0, 1/2 or 1 composite particle depends on the proper superposition of pair states. You can get an integer spin particle by combining two half-integer spin particles.

        WRT the article, I don't see why they talk about having created a new state of matter. This is wrong, a claim only made up to attract attention. Superfluid Helium II is a Bose-Einstein-condensate of Helium 3, which has a half-integer spin -- exactly the same thing. There is one interesting difference, though: they managed to pick fairly heavy atoms, Potassium is much heavier than Helium.

        Disclaimer: I'm a graduate student in physics.
        • by puppet10 (84610) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @12:06PM (#8124105)
          I'll let Weimann (researcher at JILA, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, his group was the first to create a BEC) do my talking for me since I only have an overview understanding of the topic:

          "Although superfluid helium exists in conditions much warmer than the Bose-Einstein condensate that the Colorado researchers made, it is widely considered a Bose-Einstein condensate, even though it is in a very different sort of system than Einstein was talking about."[1 [whyfiles.org]]

          Additionally in a Bose condensed gas strong interactions in the fluid state are eliminated making the system easier to understand and measure its properties.[2 [physicsweb.org], 3 [physicsweb.org]]

          So while it may be arguable whether its a new state of matter, based on how different the state is from a superfluid state, it is important because it makes the study of these systems in detail possible by eliminating many confounding interactions.[2 [physicsweb.org]]
  • by CGP314 (672613) <CGP@NosPAm.ColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:00AM (#8122223) Homepage
    So... quantum whatever... can I touch it? Without massive pain? What's it feel like?

    --
    In London? Need a Physics Tutor? [colingregorypalmer.net]

    American Weblog in London [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • So... quantum whatever... can I touch it? Without massive pain? What's it feel like?
      --
      In London? Need a Physics Tutor?


      You're the damn physics tutor, you tell me.
  • by Guy_Warwick (740214) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:05AM (#8122240) Homepage
    Deborah Jin the team leader gives more of an idea of her work in this article. http://physicsweb.org/article/world/15/4/7
  • Arguable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tacocat (527354) <tallison1 AT twmi DOT rr DOT com> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:07AM (#8122247)

    I'm not a Quantum Physicist by any stretch, just a Materials Engineer. But it seems to me that the condensates have a small issue about them. They seem to hold an extremely narrow definition of a material.

    Considering solid, gases, liquids, and even plasmas, they all have a range of environmental factors within which they can exist and have some level of application/interaction to the rest of the newtonian universe. I'm not disputing that they are able to get all these little bits together, but at a billionth of a fraction above absolute zero? That's going to make for a pretty cold ride on the maglev

  • This is news?! :-) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ylodi (746582) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:12AM (#8122265)
    Croatian scientist Danijel Djurek discovered superconducting ceramic that works reliably at room temperature. Danijel says that current will flow without resistance through the material, which is a mixture of lead, lead carbonate, and silver oxides. Here is article in today's croatian daily paper (sorry, there is no translation). [vecernji-list.hr] Old news on you.com.au [you.com.au].
    • I finally get to use my croatian knowledge for something ....

      Here we go:

      Huge Discovery

      Danijel Djurek manufactured a techologically revolutionary material that helps conserve energy.

      Croatian physycist discovered a conductor of electicity without resistance. Even though results are verified additional investigation is still needed according to Mladen Prester from the Physics Institute

      Conduction of electiricity without loss and vehicles which with their small electrical motors travel thousands of

  • by nniillss (577580) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:15AM (#8122278)
    While it's impossible to tell from this shitty article what was actually observed, it's clear that this super-low-temperature experiment has nothing to do with high-Tc superconductivity. At least not more than a million previous experiments; a more likely candidate would have been experiments done long ago on superfluid 3He.
    • Plus... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarkMan (32280)
      "sixth form of matter"

      So, let's count, shall we - we have:

      1. Solid.
      2. Liquid
      3. Gas
      4. Plasma
      5. Bose-einstein condensate
      7. Nemetic liquid crystals
      8. Smetic liquid crystals
      9. The other type of liquid crystals whoes name escapes me
      10. Glass (Arguable)
      11. That funky stuff that neurtron stars are made of
      12-15 truely wierd QM stuff, like charmonium

      And now, the newest member: 6

      Maybe, just maybe, that's an over hyped term. There are lot's of states of matter. I've probably missed some.

      Can we please kill the
  • When will this matter?
  • HIgh Tc (Score:5, Informative)

    by geordieboy (515166) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:37AM (#8122356)
    I think this is possibly a big step towards room temperature superconductivity. The point is that in normal (even high Tc) superconductors, the forces between the cooper pairs are rather weak, hence the need to cool to at least 70K or so to get the effect. In this fermionic stuff, the force is a little stronger (at least, this is claimed in the article). Thus it may be possible to design a material which uses the same principle as the fermionic gas but in the form of a solid material at say 300K (just as high Tc superconductors are essentially solid B-E condensates, more or less).
    BTW, I'm a cosmologist, not a condensed matter person, so I could be talking out of my arse.
  • by timepilot (116247) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:39AM (#8122360)
    Okay, I'm all for more efficient generators and maglev trains, but I'd really like to see transporters, warp drive, photon torpedos or at the very least a good tricorder.

    Any chance the *next* form of matter can help here?
  • The Original Article (Score:2, Informative)

    by narftrek (549077)
    Here's [nist.gov] the original (and official in my book) article.
    I read this yesterday and thought to myself "wow this would make a great /. article." Lo and behold it shows up here. Damn work for blocking non .gov addresses!!
  • Cooper Pairs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by verloren (523497) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @07:45AM (#8122389)
    I'm sure there's a superconductor engineer reading this somewhere, but in the meantime I'll point out that we don't really know what causes superconductivity. Cooper pairs are a good theory, but haven't been proven to be the cause. So coming up with a substance that is similar to a thing that might cause superconductivity is hopeful, but let's not get carried away.

    Cheers, Paul
    • The Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory of superconductivity is widely accepted (see both Ashcroft & Mermin Solid State Physics and Kittel Introduction to Solid State Physics). Part of the reason for this is that the theoretical predictions it makes for various superconductive effects are in excellent agreement with experiment. I would say that proves the validity of the theory to the extent that any scientific theory can be proven, since scientific theories are always subject to revision based on experi
  • by plams (744927)
    does it matter? or does it anti-matter?
  • Brrrr (Score:2, Funny)

    by CrabbMan (724775)
    Seeing as this form of matter only exists at billionth of a degree C above absolute zero, I can see this as being useful only for New York trains in the winter. . .
  • by panurge (573432) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:08AM (#8122455)
    I actually had part of a sample on my desk at one point in the early 90s. It was about 3/4 of a turn from an experimental helix, and the reason that it was 3/4 of a turn was that when the current had been put through the helix it had abruptly stopped superconducting and broken up. As I understand it, this is the big problem with superconductors: the runaway thermal destruction the moment the combination of temperature and field strength exceeds the superconducting envelope.

    It's interesting how all the big ideas of the 1940s and 1950s have come to nothing: no people walking around on the Moon or Mars, no widespread personal jet aircraft, no fusion reactors, nuclear power limited by safety concerns and the availability of cooling water, limited use of superconducting magnets, lasers being used in CD players rather than as enormous weapons. Fifty years later, most research seems to be into making things smaller and smaller, or making tiny quantities of exotic things (as in this case.) Surely the remaining proponents of the Big Ideas should have learned to stay quiet by now?

    • Quite a few Big Ideas writers badly overestimated the time needed to land on the Moon, and were rather surprised by the 1969 date. Of course, in everything afterwards they were terribly optimistic.

      Fusion reactors and lasers are just slower than originally thought. Fusion is very close, and basically reduced to an engineering problem at this point. Giant laser weapons are at hand, and are the subject of at least a couple of military projects slated to go into service Real Soon Now. (And I mean they're alrea
    • A pity you can't edit howlers. I meant, of course "high temperature superconductor", i.e. around 100K.

      Put it down to age and reading the word "room" in the article: it wasn't deliberate.

  • Ok, so we've got Potassium atoms forming Coopers pairs. In a normal Superconductive state, Coopers pairs are electrons which have opposite spin, thus resulting in a net spin of 0. Because this is a whole integer spin, they behave like bosons (according to Bose-Einstein statistics) rather than fermions. In short, they behave more like photons than electrons.

    Now, according to this more informative article that someone already linked to,

    "Interestingly, the constituents of matter - protons, neutrons and el
  • These are nice experiments but definitly not "a scientific breakthrough in providing a new type of quantum mechanical behavior".

    Yes, fermions (particle with spin which is an odd multiple of 1/2) are different beasts than bosons (with integer spin) and fermions cannot form Bose-Einstein condensate but fermions can form pairs that are bosonic. It has been observed in many cases. Superfluid He-3 (which is fermionic) requires fermion pairing and it has been observed quite long ago (and given 1996 Nobel Prize

  • Superconductors (Score:3, Informative)

    by pmj (527674) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @08:23AM (#8122515) Homepage
    I've seen lots of posts saying "this has nothing to do with room temperature superconductors, but really cold gasses!" and whatnot.

    The point is that the pairing formation of these fermions is potentially related to the Cooper pairing in electrons (also fermions). While it obviously isn't going to lead directly to a high temperature superconductor, the better we understand the mechanism IN GENERAL, the easier it will be for materials scientists and other condensed matter physicists to start figuring out how to get the critical temperature of REGULAR, SOLID superconductors up.

    In that regard, this is big news.
  • by MarsDude (74832) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:36AM (#8122877) Homepage
    from the article:
    "They cooled potassium gas to a billionth of a degree C above absolute zero or minus 459 degrees F -- which is the point at which matter stops moving. "

    So you have something that could bring a superconductor closer, which would save HUUUGGGEEE amount of energy. Only 1 thing... you need to cool it down to minus 459 degrees F. And that would cost exactly how much energy???

  • ...are the electircal engineer's wet dream. If this research really materializes in some technology and real world aplications, not only would it make our engineer's lives easier (no resitance, less heat, less heat radiating surface, more powerful and energy efficient motors) but also benefit society as a whole (less emissions). Unless they patent it the next day and require six figure licensing fees.

    On the other hand potassium is *very* reactive.
  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:54AM (#8123426)
    Says that


    "Only one fermion of a given type is allowed to be in a specific quantum state. A quantum state is a discrete level that can be labeled. The labeling gives information about the spatial characteristics (e.g. the orbit) and the spin of the particle. Two electrons can exist in the same quantum orbital, but only if they have different spin states. No two electrons of the same spin can occupy the same orbital state. "


    That's why this is interesting.


    yeah, I've got a degree in it. But engineering pays better.


    Just google for "Pauli Exclusion Principle" and Fermion.

  • by tarsi210 (70325) * <nathan@nathanCOUGARpralle.com minus cat> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:59AM (#8123459) Homepage Journal
    This will not do! I demand that the scientists come up with a name for this stuff that is more fun. You just can't use this properly in sci-fi films. Observe:

    Captain Shamerica: Cease and desist, foul scum!
    Grokthor: Never! *rowr*
    Captain Shamerica: Then I shall blast you with my fermionic condensate ray!

    See? Poor Captain Shamerica now looks like a pussy because he's using some weirdo-thingy to whack the bad guys.

    New name! New name! *forms picket line*
  • by sluke (26350) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @11:30AM (#8123724)
    This year one of the nobel prizes in physics went to Tony Legget who explained experiments over twenty years ago in which Helium 3, when cooled low enough exhibited superfluidity. In this scenario the Helium 3 which is a fermion pairs up much like low Tc cooper pairing (except in a p-wave state). This allows it to flow without resistance in addition to giving it interesting magnetic properties. What I would like to know is how this experiment is different from the experimental work on Helium 3. It seems that both involve pairing of fermion atoms to form bosons, except that somehow in this example there are charge carriers... Does someone have a reference to the article at the preprint archive (or in a journal)?
  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @11:36AM (#8123794)
    When you see hype like this, they are gunning for the Nobel prize. I doubt they'll grant one for fermiotic matter, since it is an extension of the efforts that creatic Einstein-Bose matter and won the nobel in the late 1990s.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @11:43AM (#8123851)
    Note these new states of matter occur at super-cold or super-hot conditions. At super-cold the atoms stop motion and engage in bizaire quantum mingled quantum states. You needed a micro-degree about absolute zero for Bose matter and a nano-degee for fermatic matter.
    There was a physics conference earlier in january debating whether gluon plasmas have been seen or not. When you heat and collide protons to billions of degrees, almost the speed of light, they may just merge into one big quark soup, not seen since the Big Bang.
  • More Information (Score:3, Informative)

    by InfoSec (208475) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @12:06PM (#8124095) Homepage
    There's a VERY detailed article about the whole thing over at Physics Web [physicsweb.org].

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