Ultracold Atoms Could Provide 2D Window to Exotic 1D Physics

In a recent paper in Physical Review Letters, Matthew Foster and Seth Davis, theoretical physicists at Rice University, proposed an experiment to measure fractionalization not in electrons but in atoms so cold they follow the same quantum rules that dictate how electrons behave in quantum materials—a growing class of materials with exotic electronic and physical properties that governments and industry are eying for next-generation computers and electronic devices.

LIGO and Virgo Detect Neutron Star Smash-Ups

On April 25, the National Science Foundation's Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European-based Virgo detector registered gravitational waves from what appears likely to be a crash between two neutron stars—the dense remnants of massive stars that previously exploded. One day later, the LIGO-Virgo network spotted another candidate source with a potentially interesting twist: it may in fact have resulted from the collision of a neutron star and black hole, an event never before witnessed.

NASA Taps 11 American Companies to Advance Human Lunar Landers

NASA has selected 11 American companies to conduct studies and produce prototypes of human landers for its Artemis lunar exploration program. This effort will help put American astronauts — the first woman and next man — on the Moon’s south pole by 2024 and establish sustainable missions by 2028. Through Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Appendix E contracts, the selected companies will study and/or develop prototypes during the next six months that reduce schedule risk for the descent, transfer, and refueling elements of a potential human landing system.

Quantum Gas Turns Supersolid

Two research teams led by Francesca Ferlaino, one at the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck and one at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, have reported on the observation of hallmarks of supersolidity in ultracold atomic gases. The researchers observed several tens of thousands of particles spontaneously organizing in a self-determined crystalline structure while sharing the same macroscopic wavefunction.

Cryogenic Equipment Maker Licenses ORNL Method for More Efficient Liquid Helium Use

As the helium shortage continues, cryostat manufacturer Advanced Research Systems, Inc.(CSA CSM) has licensed a technology, liquid helium auto fill (LHeAF), developed by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (CSA CSM) that is designed to automatically refill liquid helium used in laboratory equipment for low-temperature scientific experiments, which will reduce downtime, recover more helium and increase overall efficiency.