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Weighing an ant on top of an elephant: Quantum jump tipping the balance

Tiny change in the mass of individual atoms for the first time measured

08-May-2020

A new door to the quantum world: when an atom absorbs or releases energy via the quantum jump of an electron, it becomes heavier or lighter, according to Einstein’s theory of relativity (E = mc²). However, the effect is minuscule for a single atom. Nevertheless, the team of Klaus Blaum and Sergey ...

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Quantum logic spectroscopy unlocks potential of highly charged ions

31-Jan-2020

Scientists from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) have carried out pioneering optical measurements of highly charged ions with unprecedented precision. To do this, they isolated a single Ar¹³⁺ ion from an extremely hot plasma ...

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Distorted Atoms

11-Nov-2019

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. ...

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The proton precisely weighted

20-Jul-2017

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the ...

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Frozen highly-charged ions for highest precision spectroscopy

16-Mar-2015

A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig and the University of Aarhus in Denmark demonstrated for the first time Coulomb crystallization of highly-charged ions (HCIs). Inside a cryogenic ...

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Billard game in an atom

Physicists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics trace the double ionization of argon atoms on attosecond time scales

11-May-2012

When an intense laser pulse interacts with an atom it generates agitation on the micro scale. A rather likely outcome of this interaction is single ionization, where one electron is ejected from the atom. From time to time, however, two electrons can be removed from the atom, resulting in the ...

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Neutrino detector starts measurement

New facility in France to measure fundamental properties of neutrinos

31-Jan-2011

The Double Chooz collaboration recently completed its neutrino detector which will see anti-neutrinos coming from the Chooz nuclear power plant in the French Ardennes. The experiment is now ready to start collecting data in order to measure fundamental neutrino properties with important ...

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Hot Water in Cold Comets

17-Sep-2010

Comets, also named “dirty snowballs”, are largely composed of water. An international research team around Andreas Wolf, of the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, recently succeeded deciphering an important aspect of the way by which water molecules often form in ...

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