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  Watching an Electron Being Born

A strong laser beam can remove an electron from an atom - a process which takes place almost instantly. At the Vienna University of Technology, this phenomenon could now be studied with a time resolution of less than ten attoseconds (ten billionths of a billionth of a second). Scientists succeeded in watching an atom being ionised and a free electron being "born". These measurements yield valuable information about the electrons in the atom, which up until now hasn't been experimentally accessible, such as the time evolution of the electron's quantum phase - the beat to which the quantum waves oscillate.
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 Orbitons are one of three quasiparticles, along with holons and spinons, that electrons in solids are able to split into during the process of spin-charge separation, when extremely tightly confined at temperatures close to absolute zero.
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 Electron 'split-personality' seen in new quasi-particle

Researchers have discovered another way that electrons - one of the Universe's few fundamental particles - can undergo an "identity crisis".
Electrons can divide into "quasi-particles", in which their fundamental properties can split up and move around like independent particles.
Two such quasi-particles had been seen before, but a team reporting in Nature has now confirmed a third: the orbiton.

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Ed ~ an orbiton carries the electrons orbital moment 



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Electron particle's shape revealed
 
The most accurate measurement yet of the shape of the electron has shown it to be almost perfectly spherical.
The discovery is important because it may make some of the emerging theories of particle physics - such as supersymmetry - less likely.
The research, by a team at Imperial College London, is published in the latest edition of Nature journal.
In their scientific paper, the researchers say the electron differs from being perfectly round by a minuscule amount.

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Physicists step up the search for particle's predicted deformity - and hope to solve antimatter mystery along the way.

The electron is a perfect sphere, give or take barely one part in a million billion.
Many physicists are intent on finding out whether the electron is actually slightly squashed, as some theories predict. If the deformity is there, further refinement of the technique that made the latest measurement should pin down the deformity in the coming decade. The discovery would show that time is fundamentally asymmetrical, and could prompt an overhaul of the 'standard model' of particle physics.

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Title: Zitterbewegung and its significance for the Hawking radiation
Authors: Zhi-Yong Wang

An old interest in the zitterbewegung (ZB) of the Dirac electron has recently been rekindled by the investigations on spintronics and graphene, etc. In this report, we show another interesting aspect about ZB: one can present a different but equivalent perspective on the Hawking radiation in terms of ZB.

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Schrödinger was correct with Zitterbewegung

In Innsbruck, researchers managed to simulate an effect theoretically predicted 80 years ago.
"Zitterbewegung" like "eigenstates" is a quantum physics phenomenon of elementary particle that was predicted by Erwin Schrödinger in 1930.

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An electron rides on a light wave after just having been pulled away from an atom.
Scientists have filmed an electron in motion for the first time, using a new technique that will allow researchers to study the tiny particle's movements directly.
Previously it was impossible to photograph electrons because of their extreme speediness, so scientists had to rely on more indirect methods. These methods could only measure the effect of an electron's movement, whereas the new technique can capture the entire event.
Extremely short flashes of light are necessary to capture an electron in motion. A technology developed within the last few years can generate short pulses of intense laser light, called attosecond pulses, to get the job done.

"It takes about 150 attoseconds for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom. An attosecond is 10-18 seconds long, or, expressed in another way: an attosecond is related to a second as a second is related to the age of the universe" - Johan Mauritsson of Lund University in Sweden.

Using another laser, scientists can guide the motion of the electron to capture a collision between an electron and an atom on film.
The length of the film Mauritsson and his colleagues made corresponds to a single oscillation of a wave of light . The speed of the event has been slowed down for human eyes. The results are detailed in the latest issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.


Credit: Lund University


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Electrons have something in common with people: the more information they acquire about their setting, the more they become aware of their individuality and the more belonging to a group loses its importance. As a result, the coherent harmony that binds the electrons into a fixed relationship with their environment is lost. This is what scientists at the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society discovered when, with the aid of X-rays, they catapulted electrons out of molecules consisting of two nitrogen atoms. If in the process an electron is only slightly accelerated, it does not recognize from which of the two atoms it has been ejected and therefore behaves as if it had come from both atoms: It acts like a pseudo-pair that is fully cooperative. On the other hand, if the electron is accelerated quickly enough it knows whence it came and exhibits the characteristics of an individual. As the behaviour changes from cooperative to individual, the transition from quantum physics to classic physics can be explored. Furthermore, such transitions also play a role in technically interesting materials such as superconductors and magnets, and artificial molecules, - consisting of quantum points, which are intended to process data as components of future quantum computers.

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University of Chicago chemist David Mazziotti has developed a new method for determining the behaviour of electrons in atoms and molecules, a key ingredient in predicting chemical properties and reactions. He presented the details of his method in the Oct. 6 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

The behaviour of electrons in atoms and molecules affects many significant chemical reactions that govern everyday phenomena, including the fuel efficiency of combustion engines, the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere, and the design of new medicines. The importance of electrons in these and countless other chemical phenomena have led scientists since the 1950s to seek an efficient way to determine the distribution of electrons in atoms and molecules.
There can be hundreds or even thousands of electrons moving around the nuclei of a molecule—far too many for their distribution in the molecule to be determined exactly even with modern supercomputers. But during the 1950s, scientists realized that they could, in principle, use only a pair of electrons to represent any number of electrons accurately.

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