Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay




jeudi 27 février

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Accueil > Actualités > Trapping a fast atom wave on a cristalline surface

Trapping a fast atom wave on a cristalline surface

The possibility for a fast atom (with energy in the keV range) to undergo coherent scattering on a crystalline surface has recently been demonstrated through the observation of diffraction. As a new step forward, researchers at ISMO have succeeded in trapping fast He atom waves in the shallow well of the atom-surface interaction potential. While the trapped He atoms are confined along the direction normal to the surface at a distance of 0.3 nm, they keep their fast motion parallel to the surface, thus traveling distances longer than 200 nm before escaping the trap. These experimental observations are reinforced by theoretical calculations and indicate that, contrary to general belief, a real surface should be treated as a quantum object even at room temperature.

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