Physicists Create A Fluid With Negative Mass

Posted: Apr 19 2017, 11:13am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Physicists Create a Fluid with Negative Mass
(a) Schematic representation of the 1D expansion of a SOC BEC. The asymmetry of the dispersion relation (solid curve) causes an asymmetric expansion of the condensate due to the variation of the effective mass. The dashed lines indicate the effective mass, and the shaded area indicates the region of negative effective mass. The parameters used for calculating the dispersion are Ω = 2.5 E R and δ = 1.36 E R . The color gradient in the dispersion shows the spin polarization of the state.
  • (b) Experimental TOF images of the effectively 1D expanding SOC BEC for expansion times of 0, 10, and 14 ms.

Physicists have really done it this time. They have managed to create negative mass which breaks the rules of ordinary physics.

Physicists have created a fluid that has negative mass. This may sound like an odd-sounding concept but it is exactly what it has been labeled. When you push it, it doesn’t undergo movement in the direction of the force but instead moves in the opposite direction.

This phenomenon has really surprised the scientists who cannot make head or tail out of it. It just might be the discovery that will help explain many of the mysteries of the universe such as black holes for example.

Apparently, matter can have negative mass just like a charge can be negative or positive. While people do not think in this manner and we are all conditioned to think in accordance with Newtonian principles, the universe is in fact stranger than our puny and limited thoughts.

Newton’s second law states that when you push something in a certain direction it will be a case of mass being acted on by a force that causes it to accelerate in that direction. Yet here we have just the opposite case being demonstrated in a laboratory.

In case of negative mass, whatever you do to it, it will do the opposite which is kind of weird and strange to even bring into consideration. Rubidium atoms were used in the lab to make this negative mass experiment turn into a success.

These atoms were cooled to just a little above absolute zero. This produced a Bose-Einstein condensate. Particles move very slowly in this state and they also behave in a quantum manner. Furthermore, they act like a superfluid.

Lasers were used to slow the particles down. Also they were made colder and then the hot high energy particles were allowed to escape thus cooling the fluid even further.

The lasers confined these atoms. The resulting rubidium superfluid had regular mass at this stage. To create negative mass in this superfluid, the scientists used a second set of lasers.

Thus the rubidium now behaved as if it had negative mass after the atoms were kicked around by the second set of lasers. The superfluid almost seems to hit an invisible barrier when pushed and reacts by moving in the opposite direction.

This experiment was tried before with mixed results. Yet the scientists have ensured this time around that the same mistakes were not repeated.

The research is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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