0

Yocto-what? Researchers detect the smallest force ever recorded at 42 yoctonewtons

NewImage

ZME Science has the story on the researchers that detected the smallest force ever recorded- and what the heck a yoctonewton is.

The Newton, named after sir Isaac Newton, is the international unit of measure for force. 1 Newton is equal to 1 kilogram times 1 meter over 1 second square (1N = 1 kg * 1 m / s^2). A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton – or in other words, 0.000000000000000000000001 newtons.
Scientists working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley used a system of lasers and a cloud of ultracold atoms to measure the force…

This is not just a significant breakthrough in itself, but it could have significant results in the future. As scientists study (directly or indirectly) more and more tiny things, more accurate ways of detecting forces and interactions are necessary. For example, at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), scientists are attempting to record motions as small as one thousandth the diameter of a proton.

Changing things by measuring them

However, there’s a big problem with measuring tiny things. As you get to smaller and smaller scales, quantum effects start to kick in – and they can really mess things up. According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, you change the outcome of a value if you measure it – yes, that’s how quantum mechanic works sometimes. As these measurements of force are done with mechanical oscillators, when you get to the quantum scale, the measurement itself affects the osscilator. This barrier is called the Standard Quantum Limit (SQL). In the past couple of decades, scientists have come up with a myriad of creative (yet imperfect) ways of working around the SQL. However, none of them came even close, failing by over 6 orders of magnitude! Until now, that is…

In their experiments, they set up two equal and opposite optical fields and applied them onto a gas of rubidium atoms optically trapped and chilled to nearly absolute zero. The response is measured using a probe beam with a wavelength of 780 nanometers.

Read more.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 8,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Rethink Robotics closes shop. Long live collaborative robots #makerbusiness

Wearables — Cleaning is key

Electronics — Serial overkill

Biohacking — Biohacking Resources – Books, Talks and Podcasts

Python for Microcontrollers — CircuitPython @ Hackaday SuperCon #ICYMI @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF #Python

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.