This research has been done by utilizing the University of Florida (UF) Laboratory and published online in the journal Nature.
“We are in the age of quantum mechanics,” said Neil Sullivan, a UF physics professor and director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory High B/T Facility on the UF campus. Products of the quantum mechanics such as the quantum magnets could help in achieving the unbelievable phenomena of supercomputation, alternative energy and levitating trains, i.e. next generation of fast transportations, Sullivan said.
Researchers worked in the Microkelvin laboratory at UF. This lab is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is present within the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory High B/T Facility at UF. In this lab, experiments can be conducted at near-absolute zero temperatures that are extremely cold temperatures. This laboratory has an additional benefit of sustaining the extreme temperature for long that is opposite to many of the other labs which can acquire extreme temperature but cannot sustain it. This extreme temperature of the lab is helpful in studying the weird phenomenon of quantum world.
Researchers in this facility studied the Bose-Einstein Condensate, which is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons at near absolute-zero temperature, of a crystal that has been doped. They studied the atomic spin of the sub-atomic particles; bosons, in the crystal until its transition to the Bose-Einstein Condensate and then the sample was further cooled until the properties of the condensate started destroying leading to a “Bose glass”. They noted the exact decaying point. At the temperature of 1 millikelvin, the researchers observed the expected phenomenon.
From the abstract,
The transition from the Bose glass (corresponding to a gapless spin liquid) to the Bose–Einstein condensate (corresponding to a magnetically ordered phase) is marked by a universal exponent that governs the scaling of the critical temperature with the applied field, in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions. Our study represents a quantitative experimental account of the universal features of disordered bosons in the grand canonical ensemble.
“It took six months to get the readings,” said Liang Yin, an assistant scientist in the UF physics department who worked on the equipment in the lab. “Because the magnetic field we used to control the wave intensity in the sample also heats it up. You have to adjust it very slowly.”
“All the world should be watching what happens as we uncover properties of systems at these extremely low temperatures,” Sullivan said. “A superconducting wire is superconducting because of this Bose-Einstein Condensation concept. If we are ever to capitalize on it for quantum computing or magnetic levitation for trains, we have to thoroughly understand it.”
Rong Yu, Liang Yin, Neil S. Sullivan, J. S. Xia, Chao Huan, Armando Paduan-Filho, Nei F. Oliveira Jr, Stephan Haas, Alexander Steppke, Corneliu F. Miclea, Franziska Weickert, Roman Movshovich, Eun-Deok Mun, Brian L. Scott, Vivien S. Zapf & Tommaso Roscilde, (2012). Bose glass and Mott glass of quasiparticles in a doped quantum magnet. Nature, doi:10.1038/nature11406