The Red Tea Detox
Home / Physics / Synthetic magnetic monopoles have been created in the lab
The Red Tea Detox

Synthetic magnetic monopoles have been created in the lab

A magnet always has a north and a south pole. Even if a magnet is cut in half down to the atomic level, magnetic fields are bipolar. However, in 1931 it was theorized that there are natural monopoles which help explain some of the peculiarities of magnetism. This has never before been tested because scientists have not been able to create monopole elementary particles in the lab that could be studied individually – until now.  The research was led by David Hall of Amherst College and the results were published in Nature.For the first time, physicists will be able to test the theories laid out by Paul Dirac 83 years ago. The monopole particles created in this experiment are structurally identical to those that he theorized.  Dirac suspected that monopole elementary particles would be compatible with the Standard Model and could explain why the charges of protons and electrons act like discrete units, which seem to create an imbalance of electrostatic charges as they attract and repel one another.  
Hall’s lab was able to create the monopole particles by chilling rubidium atoms to less than 100-billionths of a degree warmer than absolute zero. This temperature drives atoms into a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), which is the lowest quantum state possible. This condensation causes the rubidium to act differently than they normally would, forming a cloud that acted like a wave and not a group of individual particles. The cloud was then induced into a vortex to align all of the particles to the same magnetic orientation. A single rubidium atom was placed in the middle of the vortex, it created a hole in the center, completely void of atoms, creating the monopole atoms. Just because these monopole particles have been created in the lab does not necessarily mean that they exist in nature, but if they do, researchers will now have a better idea of what to look for. Popular targets for these are rocks and samples from the moon. If natural monopoles do exist, they were likely formed shortly after the Big Bang, as the conditions were much more energetically favorable than they are now. This is still a tremendous accomplishment, because it gives evidence that natural monopole particles like Dirac theorized are actually possible.
Without a doubt, humans have played an integral role in axolotl decline. It was a dietary staple for the Aztecs, back when millions filled the lakes. However, as Mexico City has been built up in recent years, the development and subsequent water pollution has irrevocably harmed the populations and choked them out. Some have tried to create sanctuaries for the amphibians with clean water added to sections that have been blocked off with rocks and heavy vegetation. Everyone loves the axolotl, the neotenic salamander with external gills that look like crazy hair and a sneaky little smile. For nearly a decade conservationists have been warning that these animals could be on the verge of vanishing. The Mexican Academy of Sciences has stated that after a recent attempt three months to survey the animals, they were not able to find a single wild specimen. Although no axolotls turned up during this last survey, declaring them extinct in the wild might be a bit premature, according to biologist Tovar Garza. A new three-month-long survey is set to begin in February during their breeding season. The entire area will be thoroughly searched again, with special attention paid to the canals, where they tend to accumulate in cold weather.
Axolotls are the typical textbook example for neoteny, which is when an animal reaches sexual maturity without completing the metamorphosis into a typical adult. A fully grown axolotl looks quite a bit like a salamander in the larval stage. They are endemic to central Mexico and were found in only two lakes. A fully grown axolotl grow to be about 23 cm (9 in), though some individuals have reached 45 cm (18 in). Luis Zambrano of the National Autonomous University in Mexico recently completed a three-month-long survey around Lake Xochimilco and did not find any of the animals. In 1998, a similar survey netted about 6,000 individuals per square kilometer, but the number plummeted to 1,000 in 2003 and only 100 in 2008. The axolotls have been labeled as critically endangered since 2006, due to the small population size and declining trend.  Though the axolotl may very well have been eliminated from its natural habitat, they are not gone from the face of the Earth. Axolotls have incredible regeneration abilities, and they are studied in many laboratories around the world as scientists try to better understand these limb regeneration mechanisms that do not exist in humans after fetal development.

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)

About admin

Check Also

According to Stephen Hawking, black holes as we currently understand them do not exist

According to Hawking, “The absence of event horizons mean there are no black holes – in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Red Tea Detox