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Physicists have created something akin to a black hole in their labs.

Posted by 3citynewswire on 04/11/2010

It’s on the atomic scale, that is, very, very small. But it’s the first time anything like this has ever been done and the experiment could prompt innovations in nano-sized devices.

Lene Vestergaard Hau, a physicist at Harvard University, and her colleagues cooled atoms to just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Next, they shot the cooled atoms toward a suspended single-walled carbon nanotube they named “Lucy.” The nanotube had 300 volts of charge surging through it.

Atoms that came within a micron of the charged nanotube became attracted to it, spiraling around it at  faster and faster speeds, maxing out at more than 2,700 miles per hour.

“It is a black-hole-like situation, where the nanotube’s pull on the atom creates a singular potential. The atom is captured and cannot escape once it enters inside the capture range,” said Hau.

In addition to accelerating, the atoms have increased kinetic energy that can be expressed in temperature. The cool atoms went from a chilly 0.1 degrees Kelvin to a blistering thousands of degrees Kelvin in less than a microsecond.

At some point the atom broke apart into an electron and an ion, which each continued to twirl around the nanotube at break neck speeds. Eventually, the electron get sucked into the nanotube and the ion, repelled by the charged nanotube flung off into space at 59,000 miles per hour.

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One Response to “Physicists have created something akin to a black hole in their labs.”

  1. hi wat is your fb name?

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