The understanding of the mechanics between the way in which atoms fuse to form molecules is an essential objective for the study of physics. Direct observation of this process is needed, but the tasks are quite tricky since individual atoms have to be paused so researchers can capture their move.
Previously, physicists and quantum physicists could learn more about the in-depth aspects of the atomic interactions by calculating correlations based on average values offered by atoms that been slowed down significantly.
This method offers valuable data, but it cannot obtain essential details related to the bump and grind of collisions linked to separate particles.
To maximize the amount of information that can be observed, a team of researchers employed a novel method in the form of aligned polarized light that can be used to trap the atoms and keep them in a fixed position.
Quantum Physicists made Individual Atoms To Merge
There is a high chance of capturing atoms, especially since they can be cooled to make them more susceptible to the traps. At this point, it is essential to mention that the process may not seem to be too complicated, but this is far from the truth.
According to one of the scientists who contributed to the experiment, the team captured and cooled three individual atoms at an impressively low temperature within a hyper-evacuated chamber that is on par in size with a toaster.
The atoms captured by the three traps were combined slowly, allowing researchers to observe their interactions. For the purpose of the experiments, the team used atoms of rubidium, which can bond to form dirubidium molecules. In this case, three atoms are needed to build a molecule.
During the process, two of the atoms will come close enough to form a bond, while a third one will take some of the bonding energy to establish another connection. The interactions were recorded with the help of a particular camera. More data can be found in a study published in a scientific journal.