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Release No.: 2018-03
For Release: Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 2:00pm

One Atom to Rule Them All: A New Class of Quantum Matter Observed

illustration of a Rydberg molecule

This illustration of a Rydberg molecule, showing the likelihood of finding an electron on top of the ground state atom, with the peaks correspond to where the electron is most likely to be located. This shows an uncanny resemblance to a trilobite, a fossil of an ancient marine creature. When atoms are added to the Rydberg atom orbit, the resulting molecule eventually transforms into a Rydberg polaron, which acts like a single massive particle.

Donald Booth (University of Wisconsin)

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