Apr 19, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

What Is It? The Sound of a Single Atom

Sep 17, 2014 01:38 AM EDT

Every nanosecond of every day, for millennia and eons, the atom has been hard at work construct every thing in the universe, from the air we breathe to the stars. But it hasn't been a lack-luster job, as it seems, because apparently the atoms are still singing. Ever imagine what an atom were to sound like if we could hear it moving around? Well it turns out that some researchers have done just that, and they're saying it sounds like a resounding D-note, 20 octaves above the highest note on a piano.

"We have opened a new door into the quantum world by talking and listening to atoms" co-author and lead researcher of the study published this week in the journal Science, Per Delsing says. "Our long term goal is to harness quantum physics so that we can benefit from its laws, for example in extremely fast computers."

The research team at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden created unique atoms unlike what we see in our everyday existence. As opposed to emitting particles of light when energy is released, these atoms we configured to absorb and emit "phonons" which are the energy form of sound particles.

Their "acoustic atoms" are novel uniquities now, however, the researchers are hopeful that by harnessing the quantum particles that they will be able to better manage flows of energy and matter in the future.

"Due to the slow speed of sound, we will have time to control the quantum particles while they travel" co-author Martin Gustafsson says. "This is difficult to achieve with light which moves 100,000 times more quickly."

Though typically slow is bad in the realm of science and computing, the researchers say that by creating technology around these phonons, they will be able to maintain better control while switches and changes would still be faster than the blink of an eye.

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