A new way to watch atoms move in a single atomic sheet

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Quite a lot has been going on:

Ultrathin and ultrafast: Scientists pioneer new technique for two-dimensional material analysis

IMAGE:’This image shows the experimental setup for a newly developed technique: ultrafast surface X-ray scattering. This technique couples an optical pump with an X-ray free-electron laser probe to investigate molecular… view more’

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Using a never-before-seen technique, scientists have found a new way to use some of the world’s most powerful X-rays to uncover how atoms move in a single atomic sheet at ultrafast speeds.

The study, led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and in collaboration with other institutions, including the University of Washington and’DOE’s’SLAC’National Accelerator Laboratory, developed a new technique called ultrafast surface X-ray scattering. This technique revealed the changing structure of an atomically thin two-dimensional crystal after it was excited with an optical laser pulse.

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Ultracold atoms could provide 2D window to exotic 1D physics

Rice University physicists Matthew Foster and Seth Davis want to view a vexing quantum puzzle from an entirely new perspective. They just need the right vantage point and a place colder than deep space.

“There’s a process in strongly interacting physics where fundamental particles, like electrons, can come together and behave as if they were a fraction of an electron,” said Davis, a graduate student in Foster’s research group. “It’s called fractionalization. It’s a really exotic, fundamental process that shows up theoretically in many places. It may have something to do with high-temperature superconductivity, and it could be useful for building quantum computers. But it’s very hard to understand and even harder to measure.”

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