Four atoms make a material

Four atoms make a material

Guest post by Gabriel Popkin

Physicists know how to describe single atoms, and they know how to describe a large collection of particles, like air. But they don’t always know when to switch from one description to the other.

As few as four atoms could signal the switch, scientists now report October 24 in Science.

Andre Wenz of the University of Heidelberg and colleagues added extremely cold lithium atoms one by one to an atom trap. They then changed the internal state of one of the atoms and me...

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