Lasers function by enabling the emission of electromagnetic radiation with a certain wavelength, which results in the production of coherent light waves. The underlying reality of the cosmos, according to quantum physics, is that waves are particles and particles are waves. Making a laser out of matter is theoretically conceivable, but it has proven to be challenging in practice. Before now. According to a study in Nature, scientists at the University of Amsterdam have created a continuous matter laser utilizing strontium atoms in the Bose-Einstein Condensate, or BEC, which is referred to as the so-called fifth state of matter.
Particles must be cooled to virtually absolute zero before being placed in a BEC. The condensate behaves like a coherent wave, so even if it is quite challenging to do so, you will be rewarded with something truly spectacular. Actually, light is the cause of the problems. By intelligently removing some of the energy that atomic systems possess by causing light particles, or photons, to bounce off of them, light may be utilized to cool them down. Given the delicate nature of this state, however, this bouncing can also interfere with the BEC.
“In earlier tests, the atoms were all cooled gradually in one location. We made the atoms move as they went through successive chilling processes in our setup, instead of spreading the cooling steps out across time “Florian Schreck, the team’s captain, released a statement. “At the conclusion of the experiment, ultracold atoms reach the BEC, where they may be employed to create coherent matter waves. New atoms are already in route to refill the BEC as these current atoms are being utilised. This allows us to continue the procedure virtually indefinitely.
It took 25 years to develop the first BEC, and this innovation wasn’t as simple as it seemed. The squad struggled for many years to get to this point. “The team, which was then based in Innsbruck, developed a method in 2012 that insulated a BEC from laser cooling light, making it possible to use laser cooling to cool objects down to the degenerate state required for coherent waves for the first time. While this was an important first step in solving the long-standing problem of building a continuous atom laser, it was also obvious that a special machine would be required to further the research, according to the first author Chun-Chia Chen.
We started with a leap of faith, borrowed money, an empty room, and a staff wholly supported by personal grants when we moved to Amsterdam in 2013. The experiment was finally about to succeed six years later, early on Christmas morning in 2019. To overcome a final technical challenge, we got the notion to add an additional laser beam. Immediately, every picture we took revealed the first continuous-wave BEC. The next stage for this team is to stabilize the beams because the laser is continuous but not yet steady. As with light lasers today, matter lasers might be used in a number of applications once that is accomplished.