Scientists are creating molecules the size of bacteria

Credit: Bryce Getchell/Nerd Reactor

Credit: Bryce Getchell/Nerd Reactor

Imagine for a minute that scientists have the ability to create giant molecules, as big as bacteria! Well stop imagining, because as of recent they can. Scientists have just created these large molecules with hope that they might help with the future of quantum computing.

To create these massive molecules, researchers cool cesium atoms almost to absolute zero. Then by exposing them to high energy lasers, the molecules will form Rydberg atoms, which are atoms that have been ionized to a state of high energy. The size of these molecules are about one thousandth of a millimeter in size. While this may seem small, it is a thousand times larger than that of a typical molecule!

While this isn’t the first time that larger-than-normal molecules have been created, it is the first time being done so with clear cut evidence and data. Johannes Deiglmayr, a physicist at ETH Zürich and a coauthor of this study explains that the binding energies of these molecules are being measured and with additional calculations, predictions of the molecules properties have been made. So far the predictions have matched rather well with the measurements.

If everything goes according to plan, the molecules can have very practical applications in quantum computing. Quantum computers will use atoms as quantum bits. As the atoms interact scientists will be able to perform computations.

Source: Physical Review Letters

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