Mar 26, 2012Science and Technology
Physicists discover previously unknown phenomenon in quantum plasmas

Ruhr University Bochum physicists, Prof. Padma Kant Shukla and Dr. Bengt Eliasson, found a previously unknown phenomenon in quantum plasmas. A negatively charged potential makes it possible to combine within the plasma positively charged particles (ions) in atom-like structures. This current can be conducted much more quickly and efficiently than before and it opens up new prospects for nanotechnology. An ordinary plasma is an ionized electrically conducting gas consisting of positive (ions) and negative charge carriers (so-called non-degenerate electrons). It is the main component of our solar system. On Earth, such plasmas can be used among others for energy in controlled thermonuclear fusion plasmas, similar to the sun, or even to fight disease in medicine. The findings of the Bochum scientists open up the possibility of ion-crystallization on the size scale of an atom. Applications include micro-chips for quantum computers, semiconductors, thin metal foils or metallic nanostructures.

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