Researchers claim recording sound of single atom

Researchers claim recording sound of single atom

While human ears can enjoy soft sound of the breeze and mild chirping of the birds, they can't experience the sound of an excited atom. But, a group of international scientists successfully demonstrated the sound of a single atom when it is excited.

Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Martin Gustafsson from the Columbia University's Department of Chemistry, along with their colleagues created an artificial 0.01 millimeter-atom and charged it with energy.

They designed the atom to absorb and release energy in the form of sound, called phonon; rather than in the form of light (photon) that atoms typically emit. Thus, they could better experience the quantum sound. Though, the sound from the experimental atom was completely inaudible to human ears.

Researcher Goran Johansson, from the Chalmers University of Technology, said, "We couple propagating phonons to an artificial atom in the quantum regime and reproduce findings from quantum optics with sound taking over the role of light."

Johansson added that the sound amplitude or strength was very weak. In fact, it was the weakest possible sound achievable at the frequency that it vibrates.

The detailed findings of the research appeared in the September 11th edition of journal Science.

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