2022-12-02 Press Release

The concept of "forces acting between materials," as exemplified by the universal law of gravitation, has continued to occupy an important position in physics. An international research group including Masaru Hongo (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science, Niigata University / Visiting Scientist, RIKEN iTHEMS) and Keisuke Fujii (Postdoctoral Researcher, University Heidelberg, Germany) have revealed from theoretical calculations that the same intermolecular force known as van der Waals force acts between particles floating in a quantum fluid at cryogenic temperatures over long distances. Atomic groups cooled to near absolute zero (several tens of nano-Kelvin) by laser technology have attracted attention in recent years as a system in which quantum states can be controlled with high precision, and they are an ideal stage for investigating forces in the microscopic world. This research has newly revealed that a universal long-range force due to quantum fluctuation acts on impurity particles in atomic superfluids realized at cryogenic temperatures.

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