Jul 13, 2016

Physicists collide ultracold atoms to observe key quantum principle

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Physicists from New Zealand’s University of Otago have used steerable ‘optical tweezers’ to split minute clouds of ultracold atoms and slowly smash them together to directly observe a key theoretical principle of quantum mechanics.

The principle, known as Pauli Exclusion, places fundamental constraints on the behavior of groups of identical particles and underpins the structure and stability of atoms as well as the mechanical, electrical, magnetic and chemical properties of almost all materials.

Otago Physics researcher Associate Professor Niels Kjærgaard led the research, which is newly published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications (“Multiple scattering dynamics of fermions at an isolated p-wave resonance”).

Observing the Pauli Exclusion Principle by Slowly Colliding Atomic Clouds

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