The path of the positively charged ion (yellow) through the BEC (green) can still only be depicted artistically. An ion microscope currently being developed at the Fifth Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart will make this path directly visible with a resolution of less than 200 nanometers. Credit: University of Stuttgart/PI5, Celina Brandes
Researchers at the University of Stuttgart guide a single ion through a Bose-Einstein condensate.
Transport processes are ubiquitous in nature but still raise many questions.
The research team around Florian Meinert from the 5th Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart has now developed a new method that allows them to observe a single charged particle on its path through a dense cloud of ultracold atoms.
The team uses a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) for their experiments. This exotic state of matter consists of a dense cloud of ultracold atoms. By means of sophisticated laser excitation, the researchers create a single Rydberg atom within the gas.
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