Using laser beams, scientists have created a new type of quantum matter with crystalline properties.
How insanely expensive diamonds, and quite affordable graphite composed of atoms of the same element - carbon. Fine - but significantly affects the properties of these substances and their value - the difference between the two materials is the geometry of packing of atoms. In this case, the same substance can be both graphite and diamond. In the normal world ... But in the quantum world have its own laws.
A group of physicists from the Max Planck Institute and the University of Munich LMU, Germany, with the help of laser beams has translated several of rubidium atoms in the so-called Rydberg state characterized by a high degree of excitation of the atom. In this case, scientists have obtained a substance that is a superposition of well-defined crystal structures. In other words, researchers have something that is, if we speak the language of our example, or graphite or diamond - the exact structure of the resulting material will be identified only by his observation.
The scientists say their discovery could be used in quantum information processing systems.