Sunday, February 28, 2021

Collective quantum effect: When electrons keeps together

Many celestial objects such as stars or planets contain matter that is exposed to high temperatures and pressure—experts call it warm dense matter (WDM). Although this state of matter on earth only occurs in the earth's core, research on WDM is fundamental for various future areas such as clean energy, harder materials or a better understanding of solar systems. 

In a study it is found that  warm dense matter behaves significantly differently than assumed, which calls into question its previous description.To study the exotic state of warm dense matter on earth, scientists create it artificially in laboratories. This can be realized by compression through powerful lasers for example at the European XFEL in Schenefeld near Hamburg. "A sample, such as a plastic or aluminum foil, is illuminated with a laser beam, it heats up very strongly and is then compressed by a generated shock wave. The resulting spectra—that means how the sample behaves under these conditions—is recorded on detectors and in a scope of 10-10 m (1 angstrom) we can determine its material properties.

System reacts weaker the more it is perturbed:

Tobias Dornheim develops such simulation models for the theoretical description of warm dense matter. From what scientists knew until now, calculations have been based exclusively on the assumption of a "linear reaction." That means, the more the samples—so called targets—are hit by laser irradiation, thus the more strongly the electrons are excited in these materials, the more strongly they react.

๐—ช๐——๐—  ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜†

Research on warm dense matter is not only important for understanding the structure of planets such as Jupiter and Saturn or our solar system and its evolution, but is also applied in materials science, for example in the development of super-hard materials. However, it could play the most important role in the energy industry by contributing to the realization of inertial fusion—an almost inexhaustible and clean energy source with future potential.

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