Scientists achieved the fastest quantum mechanics rotation in history, as they’ve made up a system of two nanoparticles that spin around each other at one billion rotations per second. This achievement might have a wide array of applications in biomedicine, optics, and electronics.
Initially, the experiment was meant to show how light’s energy can move particles but ended up achieving the fastest-rotating system of two nanoparticles.
By employing levitated optomechanical systems, two science teams performed two similar experiments, independently. In vacuum systems, where the air friction is null, nanoparticles can spin very fast as the spinning force outperforms the binding energy that holds atoms together.
The achievement reaches outside the natural physics laws, stepping into quantum mechanics and putting the basis for new studies in this field.
This quantum mechanics system could have a wide array of applications
During the first experiment, the scientists used particles levitated by light in a vacuum system to see how the light behaves in relation with the nanoparticles. The researchers discovered that the particles system was spinning at one billion rotations per second, providing a way to measure the friction between nanoparticles and spacetime.
“Levitated optomechanics has great potentials in precision measurements, thermodynamics, macroscopic quantum mechanics and quantum sensing,” said Tongcang Li, from Purdue University, and one of the first study’s participants.
Also, the experiment could help scientists measure the quantum nature of gravity.
The second experiment yielded similar results employing silica nanoparticles. During this one, the scientists could measure the spinning speeds of the nanoparticles system by observing the light that mirrored off the particles.
According to the experts working on this second experiment, “rapidly changing the polarization of the trapping light allows us to extract the pressure-dependent response time of the particle’s rotational degree of freedom,” as said Rene Reimann, a scientist at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Reimann and co-workers asserted that this quantum mechanics experiment could help researchers measure the mysterious signals in the Universe and can test the extreme limits of physics.