Researchers at Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Lab have created a material never seen before by making copper atoms behave as though they were exposed to a 60 Tesla magnetic field, which is 30% stronger than any magnetic field ever sustained on Earth. They drew out this behavior in the atoms even though no magnets were used. If you think that sounds confusing, just think of how the Juggalos feel. (Sidenote: this is the first time anyone has ever implored people to think of the Juggalos.)
These “designer electrons” have tunable properties and could lead to cool new types of materials and devices. The researchers were inspired by graphene to create a similar atomic structure with a different material (copper electrons instead of carbon atoms).
They created the hand-crafted, honeycomb-shaped structures using a scanning tunneling microscope, which they used to place carbon monoxide molecules, one at a time, on a smooth copper surface. Carbon monoxide repels the electrons on the copper surface and forces them into a graphene-like honeycomb pattern. [...] The researchers then repositioned the carbon monoxide molecules on the surface so the electrons would behave as if they had been exposed to a magnetic field of otherworldly strength. Carbon monoxide molecules, which are black in the image [above], guide electrons, which are yellow-orange. Unlike ordinary electrons, they behave as if they have no mass and travel at the speed of light as if they’re in a vacuum. [Gizmodo]
Ho . . . ly . . . sh-t.
Check out the video below to see Hari Manoharan, who led the research, and others on his team discuss their discovery. When I saw the guy moving atoms that were in an S formation, I kept waiting for him to make them spell out sex. Needless to say, science has let us down again. We have simple needs. All we ask is that you arrange the electrons from copper atoms to spell out things we used to look up in the school library’s big dictionary then giggle about. Sheesh. Is that so hard?
(Seriously though, this is f–king awesome.)
If you want a more in-depth analysis of the quantum theory aspects of this research, Ars Technica has a great write-up on that.