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A physical has created the fifth state of matter working from home using technology quantum. is Amruta Gadge , the Quantum Systems and Devices Laboratory , of the University of Sussex, has successfully created a Bose-Einstein-Condensate (BEC) in the facilities of the University of Sussex in spite of working remotely from your living more than 3 kilometers of distance .

it Is believed that this is the first time that a BEC is created remotely in a lab that did not have one before. A BEC consists of a cloud of hundreds of thousands of atoms of rubidium cooled to temperatures of nanokelvin, which means more than a billion times colder than the frozen state. This is based on the postulates of Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein , who extended the theory to other particles and predicted that if a gas formed by certain types of atoms could be cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero, the point from which there is no heat or motion, these atoms would be added and would fit in a coherent quantum state, as a kind of unique and ordered “superátomo”. This is what Gadge has managed to create from a remote environment, which would open the door to operate quantum technology in inaccessible environments, like space.

“we Believe that this may be the first time that someone has set up a BEC remotely in a lab that did not have one of these systems before. We are all extremely excited that we can continue our experiments remotely during the confinement or possible restraints, future”, indicates Peter Krüger , professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Sussex, in a statement released in

Applications in the space, basement or in the bottom of the sea

But there are also wider implications beyond: “Improving the control capabilities of the remote laboratory is relevant for research applications intended to operate technology quantum in inaccessible environments such as the space, the subsoil, a submarine, or in extreme climates “, he adds.

In the conditions of the BEC, the atoms acquire a different property and they behave all together as a single object quantum. This object quantum has special properties that can detect magnetic fields very low. “We use multiple steps carefully programmed cooling by laser and radio waves to prepare a gas of rubidium at these temperatures ultralow -explains Krüger-. This requires a precise control by the computer of the laser light, magnets and electric currents in microchips based on the monitoring monitoring the environmental conditions in the lab while no one can be there to check in person”.

The Quantum Systems and Devices Laboratory has been working to have a second lab with a BEC running constantly during the past nine months as part of a larger project that develops a new type of microscopy, magnetic and other sensors quantum .

Applications “worldly”

The research team uses gas atomic as magnetic sensors close to several objects, including new advanced materials, ion channels in the cells and the human brain . The gases quantum cold trapped are controlled to create sensors which are extremely accurate that they are ideal for detecting and studying new materials, geometries and devices. Thus, this research can produce sensors to be applied in many areas, including the battery of electric vehicles, touch screens, solar cells and medical breakthroughs , such as images of the brain.

Just in time before the closure of the laboratory due to the coronavirus, the researchers installed a optical trap magnetic 2D , and have returned only a couple of times to perform the essential maintenance.

Working despite the coronavirus

Gadge was able to do the complex calculations and then optimize and run the script from your home by accessing the computers in the lab remotely. About the experiment, comments: “The research team has been working from home and we have not been able to access our labs for weeks. But we were determined to continue our research , so we have been exploring new ways of carrying out our experiments remotely. It has been a team effort huge.”

“The process has been much slower than if I had been in the laboratory, since the experiment is unstable and we had to give you between 10 to 15 minutes of cooling down time between each run. Obviously, this is not as efficient and much more time consuming to do it manually, because they have not been able to do scans systematic or correct the instability, as it could work in the laboratory (…) We hope to establish a team in the labs with social distancing measures as soon as possible, but we will be able to make that many researchers continue to work from home, and it will be more easy thanks to the progress we have made with the remote work”.