Press Clipping: JILA and NIST Fellows Ana Maria Rey and James Thompson highlighted in "bnn"

Researchers observed the dynamic phases of BCS superconductor interactions in a Cavity QED by measuring the light leakage from the cavity.

Image Credit
Steven Burrows/Rey and Thompson Groups

A new bnn article delves into the recent research done by JILA and NIST Fellows Ana Maria Rey and James Thompson and their research groups who have achieved what was once thought to be a distant dream: the creation of an ultra-cold gas of strontium atoms exhibiting superconductor-like behavior. This achievement marks the first-ever observation of the long-anticipated third superconductivity phase, setting a new precedent in the field.

Led by the innovative Xin-Yu Luo, the research team at JILA utilized a novel technique known as "electroassociation" to create weakly bound tetratomic molecules. These molecules, formed in conditions over 3000 times colder than any previously observed four-atom molecules, represent a significant leap forward in our understanding and manipulation of superconductive states. The implications of this discovery are vast, opening up uncharted territories in the development of quantum technologies, including quantum computing and superfluidity.

The foundation of this breakthrough builds upon a proposal made in 2003 by JILA theoretical physicist John Bohn and his colleagues. They theorized that non-magnetic molecules could pair up using an electric dipole moment, a concept that remained unproven until now. A decade later, Luo and his team not only found evidence of a resonant state between pairs of molecules within an oscillating external microwave field but also took this hypothesis a step further. By inducing some of these molecules to form tetramers and successfully imaging their wavefunction, the researchers have opened a new window into the study of superfluidity, superconductivity, and beyond.

bnn's article sheds light on the significance of this discovery, not just for the scientific community but for future technological applications as well. The ability to create and study these ultra-cold molecules paves the way for the development of more efficient superconductors, which could revolutionize energy transmission, magnetic levitation, and even quantum computing. The research conducted by Luo and his team at JILA demonstrates the power of human curiosity and innovation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the pursuit of knowledge.

Written by Kenna Hughes-Castleberry, JILA Science Communicator