World’s Fastest Man-made Spinning Object Created

Posted: Jul 22 2018, 12:01am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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World’s Fastest Man-made Spinning Object Created
Credit: Purdue University photo/Tongcang Li

Fastest man-made spinning object could help researchers study quantum mechanics

Researchers from Purdue University have created the world’s fastest spinning man-made object. The object spins at more than 60 billion revolutions per minute. That's more than 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill.

The fastest spinning object is expected to play important role in quantum mechanics, which deals with the behavior of matter and energy on atomic and subatomic scale.

“This study has many applications, including material science," said Tongcang Li, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and electrical and computer engineering, at Purdue University. "We can study the extreme conditions different materials can survive in."

To create the object, researchers synthesized a tiny dumbbell from silica and allowed it to levitate in a vacuum using laser light. As the laser light passed through the levitating object, it exerted a force and achieved very high rotation rates. When researchers steered the laser light around in a circle, the object spun. The dumbbell vibrates if laser works in linear or straight line.

Both spinning and vibrating dumbbells could be used to discover things like gravitational constant and density of Earth as well as to measure tiny forces or torsion balance. But researchers are aiming to further refine the process so that they can understand quantum mechanics and the properties of vacuum.

"People say that there is nothing in a vacuum, but in physics, we know it's not really empty," said Li. "There are a lot of virtual particles which may stay for a short time and then disappear. We want to figure out what’s really going on there, and that is why we want to make the most sensitive torsion balance.”

With this fast spinning dumbbell, we can push the boundary of our understanding of rotating bodies.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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