A research group led by Professor Mikio Uezuma of Tokyo Institute of Technology has succeeded in producing an artificial crystal consisting of laser light and ytterbium atoms.It is thought that it will be possible to approach the understanding of the novel properties of solids such as superconductivity.

 Crystals, which are the stage of superconducting phenomena, are solids formed by repeating the arrangement of atoms in a regular grid pattern.It is indispensable to investigate the behavior of electrons in it to clarify the phenomenon.However, it is impossible to accurately computer-simulate an object that has quantum properties such as electrons, that is, both particles and waves.Therefore, a method to investigate the phenomenon by actually using quantum particles is proposed.

Since the electrons in a solid are classified into a type called fermions, the phenomenon can be reproduced if particles of the same type can be arranged in a grid pattern.In this research, this was achieved by an artificial crystal in which an atom called ytterbium is placed in an optical lattice created by a laser.Ytterbium can develop its properties as fermions by adjusting the laser used.In addition, atoms move slower than electrons, making it easier to observe phenomena.Furthermore, by changing the shape of the optical lattice, it is possible to design to resemble various substances, which is expected to lead to the elucidation of many phenomena.

In the future, we will continue our research to elucidate the physical phenomena in solids.Of particular interest is the realization of superconductivity at higher temperatures.Superconductivity, which has already been put into practical use in research and medical treatment, needs to be continuously cooled with liquid nitrogen, which is a cause of cost.If the superconducting state can be realized at a higher temperature, it will lead to a reduction in cooling costs and will be used in technologies related to daily life such as transmission networks.It would not be impossible if we could understand the reason why superconductivity, which is still unclear, appears.

Source:[Tokyo Institute of Technology] "Artificial crystals made of light and atoms" observed with single-atomic resolution-Exploring the mystery of high-temperature superconductors using artificial materials-

Tokyo Institute of Technology

The pinnacle of science and engineering university that continues to produce science and engineering people with high aspirations and a Japanese spirit, mastering the knowledge that creates the times, refining their skills

Tokyo Institute of Technology was established as the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1881 (Meiji 14), when modernization of industry was an urgent need.Since its establishment, it has continued to produce excellent research results with excellent science and engineering human resources, and is still at the top of Japan's science and engineering universities.Tokyo Institute of Technology requires not only a high degree of specialization but also liberal arts […]

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