Study shows how to cool an atomic gas into a supersolid

Super­solids go cir­cu­lar 2D.


Supersolid is the new phase of matter that can move its atom without exhibiting energy loss. It has both the crystal structure of a solid and the properties of a superfluid, a quantum fluid that can flow without friction.

The team led by Francesca Ferlaino from the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Innsbruck had generated supersolid states in ultracold quantum gases of the magnetic atoms.

In a new study, scientists have demonstrated a method for forming supersolids in a one-dimensional crystal. Through this method, scientists found that cooling a gas of magnetic atoms directly into the supersolid regime is a viable method for creating large two-dimensional supersolids.

Scientists used round, pancake-shaped traps to observe the first supersolid in a trap to create a nearly circular 2D supersolid. The experiments pave the way for future theoretical studies of crystal growth.

Thomas Bland, first author of the new study in Physical Review Letters, said“for example, one can study how vortices form in a two-dimensional supersolid system. These vortices described in theory have not yet been demonstrated, but they represent an important consequence of superfluidity.”

Journal Reference:

  1. T. Bland, E. Poli et al. Two-Dimensional Supersolid Formation in Dipolar Condensates. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.195302
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