Feeds

back to article Swiss, German physicists split the electron

An international research team has observed an electron being split into two “quasi particles”, one carrying the original particle’s spin, the other carrying its orbital movement. Spin (giving rise to magnetism) and angular momentum (the path the electron follows around the nucleus of an atom) are two out of the electron’s three …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Swiss Light Source

I didn't realise Steve Jobs was Swiss, nor that they had preserved his backside.

9
8
Anonymous Coward

Brainstorming Boffins Split Spin

It's fundamental dontcha know!

3
0
Anonymous Coward

I know you guy's are just cutting and pasting press releases, but the Bohr model was abandoned almost 90 years ago.

1
3
Bronze badge

re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

Maybe so, but not AFAICT the standard model which says that electrons are, eh, infrangible.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

Neutron walks into a pub...

Neutron: How much for a pint of bitter?

Landlord: For you... No charge!

17
1
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

Electrons are still "infrangible"

This here phenomenon seems to occur in a more complex materials that have several electrons and nucleai bunched up in a fracking complex structure.

The problem is that the reporter tries to describe something using imagery that doesn't necessarily apply. One would have to start from the mathematical foundations. The methaphors may come later..

6
1
Silver badge

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

Barman says: "We don't serve your kind in here?"

A neutrino walks into a bar.

10
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

Agreed. English language and the quantum world don't mix very well.

Physicists use maths (including lots of imaginary numbers) to very successfully describe that world. But trying to imagine something like an electron as an object made of other stuff just doesn't apply.

For example, Quantum Field Theory describes an electron as being something that is as big as the entire universe. It has a bit of "electronness" everywhere (the field being the whole universe and not just a football field). Only in some places and in some circumstances is it instantiated into something that you imagine a small point of charge to be.

Then you get onto equivalences. A photon can be a bit of light one moment, and a pair of particles the next. Stand in an accelerating lift and you can't tell whether you're in a strong gravitational field or are simply accelerating.

It's fascinating stuff, but so weird that it hurts my head thinking about it.

4
1
Silver badge

A neutrino walks into a bar.

With any luck this is the first instance of this joke and we can spend the rest of the day waiting for it to be discovered.

1
0
Happy

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

LMAO next week!

0
0
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

A neutrino^H^H^H^H^H^H^H tachyon walks into a bar.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: re: Bohr model was abandoned 40 years ago

Aaand, while we're at it ...

An atom says to his friend, "Man, I think I've lost an electron." The friend says "Are you sure?" He answers: "I'm positive!"

1
0
Silver badge

this is why I read El Reg

See, this is possibly the most important bit of news this week, and certainly the most exciting. And none of the 'big' web sites are covering it.

Presumably because it is not about football, or illustrated with a candid nap of an x-factor judge's gusset.

15
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: this is why I read El Reg

This why I don't rely on El Reg, this story was posted 6 hours before El Reg could cut and paste it

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120418134847.htm

Broaden your horizons. However, you might be the first sighting of a Register Fanboi though.

Am I biting the hand that feeds it? Oh yes!

4
4
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Am I biting the hand that feeds it? Oh yes!

Pah!

The Register has been seperating trolls from bridges for years.

8
0
Silver badge

Re: Am I biting the hand that feeds it? Oh yes!

AC, with those sorts of charges you're going to be lepton.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: this is why I read El Reg

I wouldn't call Ars Technica a 'small' site and they had it before El Reg

0
0
Boffin

There are, no doubt, a plethora of reasons for not «relying» on the Reg

when it comes to contemporary science, but Richard Chirgwin's reports are, in my humble opinion, not among them. He does a excellent job of reporting scientific developments in popular (i e, non-mathematical) language, at least as good a job as such pop sci sites as Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/) or Phys Org (http://phys.org/). Moreover, from what I have seen, Mr Chirgwin is ready to correct his articles if and when errors of fact are pointed out to him. There are, alas, other bloggers here on the Reg whose dedication to scientific objectivity is far less evident and who would be much more appropriate subjects for your criticism....

Henri

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: this is why I read El Reg

"And none of the 'big' web sites are covering it."

The BBC news website covered it a few hours before the reg.

Is that 'big' enough?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17754216

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Science eh

Just when we reckon we know it all, they go and discover new stuff.

4
1
Silver badge

Where did the charge go?

Did it stay with the spinon, orbiton or wander off by itself to cry in the corner all alone?

Is this result really that significant? Afaik this wasn't a true splitting of a discrete electron but rather the apparent shift of some of its properties around the electron sea in a semi conductor - whilst it's an exciting result - it's not the revelation that breaking apart a single electron orbiting a hydrogen atom would be.

Having said that it may have theoretical and practical uses analogous to the 'electron holes' concept in semi-conductors.

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Where did the charge go?

A good question Gordon. It seems important enough to expect them to go looking for it or at least mention it. I suspect that what has happened is that the X-rays picked out some aspect of the properties of the quantum 'mush' that is smeared around the electron 'sea' of this complex crystalline solid.

I also wonder what temperature the solid was at when they detected this.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Where did the charge go?

It's behind you!

2
0
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Where did the charge go?

Probably the bar tender asked for cash. The split was the result of the quasi-particles hunting for their wallet and purse.

0
0
Bronze badge

Kingons, Queeons & Republicons

Splitting electrons is soooo boring. They'll just find another little Russian doll.

I want to see proper, popular research, research that would be published by my journal of choice, namely 'Hello!'. When are we going to get concrete proof of the Pratchettian Kingons, Queeons and Republicons. The theory [1] has been around since the late 1980s. I, personally, am prepared to undertake the torture of minor royals in order to assist this valuable and necessary research.

[1] http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mort-Discworld-Novel-Novels/dp/0552131067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334815856&sr=8-1

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Kingons, Queeons & Republicons

I propose that henceforth a population of holons be known as Roy.

(orbiton)

1
0
Joke

Re: Kingons, Queeons & Republicons

Is he wearing black sunglasses? Oh, no, that's Roy Orbison...

Keep mixing up names. Thursday yet?

0
0

The seperation of spin . . .

If you take the spinon out of politics - does that leave the true'on particle behind . . . there might be light at the end of the tunnel or is that mixing theories up?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: The seperation of spin . . .

Yes, but creatively. We might of course find that politics is nothing but spin, and taking spin away leaves nothing but emptiness (or a residue of hot air at most).

1
0
Gold badge

Re: The seperation of spin . . .

Nah. Take away the spin and you'd still have greed, rabid control-freakery and a smattering of pure evil left.

Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

2
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

The Nannyon?

2
0

Re: The seperation of spin . . .

Yourmomium

0
1
Silver badge

Re: The seperation of spin . . .

You can take the spin out of politics, but you'll still get screwed by the remaining momentum... And the charge is always too high.

12
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

The Tonyon?

1
1
Silver badge

Re: The seperation of spin . . .

"Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?"

Money.

8
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

I prefer the Politicion. It comes in three quantum "flavours": Labour, Conservative, and Libdem. When observed before an election, the three flavours are distinctly observable. After an election Conservative and Labour turn out to be identical in terms of greed, incompetence, and all other observable quantum properties, and Libdem vanishes.

7
0
Boffin

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

when you split the Politicion and take out the spin, the orbit will become an inward spiral that will cause orbit particle to eventually disappear up its own arse, as usual the charge will be passed to the maninthestreetion.

2
0
Big Brother

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

Only recently shed ourselves of 13 years of the real rabid control freaks. The UK hadn't yet reached the 'glories' of North Korea and Stalinist USSR, but was well on the way.

The Tories are doing a fine job of undoing the control mess left behind, but it is so great that socialist sect followers have difficulty distinguishing what is inherited control-freakiness from reality.

2
4
Gold badge

Libdem particle

I think the Libdem particle is a good example of the uncertainty principle, you're never quite sure if it's there. The only thing you know for sure is that it has zero impact on anything else..

3
1

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

I'll bite.

"hadn't yet reached the 'glories' of North Korea and Stalinist USSR, but was well on the way"

"have difficulty distinguishing [...] reality"

Do you actually know what the Stalinist USSR was like?

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

The Bliaron

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

Cranks don't 'do' reality, so I think your biting will be in vain.

The 'rabid control' was indeed inherited - a continuation of policy from the 1980s onwards. I don't see much sign of it slowing down, let alone being 'undone'. Renaming the 'Interception Modernisation Programme' as the 'Communications Capabilities Development Programme' is not exactly bringing down the Berlin Wall, is it?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

I thought they renamed that the Berlin Transverse Aerial Navigation Aid.

0
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

> Do you actually know what the Stalinist USSR was like?

You never knew if you, your friends, or your family members might suddenly disappear in the night.

Plus lines to get toilet paper.

0
0
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

And you really, really don't want to know about Marxist-Leninist toilet paper.

0
0

Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

The mandelson, surely?

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Totally off-topic

An idea on a future approach on how to get rid of the pesky spacetime and unify QM and Gravity:

http://media.scgp.stonybrook.edu/video/video.php?f=20120411_2_Arkani-Hamed_qtp.mp4

Some of the Anons here may be interested.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

What's an "Anon"?

Some kind of particle with unknown attributes, used to convey embarrasing or controversial information? this is probably what makes up dark matter. Can I have my Nobel prize now?

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What's an "Anon"?

a memetic particle created by the Lulz-Haet Collider

1
0
Silver badge

I'm uncertain

"Spin here, orbit there..."

Well, probably.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.