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HomePhysicscondensed matterBy cooling a plasma of magnetic atoms, massive two-dimensional supersolids can be...

By cooling a plasma of magnetic atoms, massive two-dimensional supersolids can be created

Nearly circular 2D supersolid in a round trap. Credit: Universität Innsbruck

In a new study, Francesca Ferlaino and Russell Bisset demonstrate how to cool an atomic vapour into a circular, two-dimensional supersolid. Researchers will be able to further investigate these exotic states of matter and hunt for characteristics such as turbulent vortex.

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In recent years, the supersolid has emerged as a novel state of matter. This substance possesses both the crystal structure of a solid and the qualities of a superfluid, a quantum fluid that flows without friction. Francesca Ferlaino and her team from the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck and the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Innsbruck were among the first to generate supersolid states in ultracold quantum gases of magnetic atoms. Now, they demonstrate that a proven strategy for producing supersolids in a one-dimensional crystal, involving the tuning of particle interactions, fails to achieve supersolidity in two dimensions.

“However, by establishing a new theoretical strategy, we show that cooling a gas of magnetic atoms directly into the supersolid domain is a plausible method for generating huge two-dimensional supersolids,” explains Thomas Bland, lead author of the new study published in Physical Review Letters. For this, researchers employ traps with a circular, pancake-like shape. This resulted in the experimental observation of the first supersolid in a circular trap, creating a 2D supersolid that is nearly round. The same team saw the first 2D supersolids with elongated geometries the previous year. These results pave the way for theoretical investigations of crystal formation in the future. “In a two-dimensional supersolid system, for instance, one can analyse the formation of vortices. These theoretical vortices have not yet been observed, but they are a significant consequence of superfluidity “Thomas Bland asserts.

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Further information: T. Bland et al, Two-Dimensional Supersolid Formation in Dipolar Condensates, Physical Review Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.195302

Journal information: Physical Review Letters

Source: Universität Innsbruck

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