Thursday, January 30, 2014

So, Phssthpok, Monopoles Do Exist!

In response to a post that indicated that magnetic monopoles had at last been created in the laboratory I posted:

I want to believe this, but I need some proof. Magnetic monopoles have proven to be so elusive that I stopped expecting that they actually existed.  I feel the way I did when I first learned about the massless particles called neutrinos and then, years later, that they had a small amount of mass after all. I am confused and excited, but also cautious.

A bit later I added, "Good news for string theory, if confirmed", because string theory predicts the existence of magnetic monopoles, and many scientists are unhappy that string theory doesn't seem to predict much of anything that can actually be tested.

Having checked a couple of reliable sources, it seems that the story is correct. Of course, only one team has looked at the results at this time but I'm hopeful they will be confirmed.  So now I add:

Okay, so it appears that there is strong evidence that an artificial Dirac monopole has been created in the laboratory.  Interestingly, in order to create it they had to magnetically manipulate a Bose Einstein condensate. This weird state of matter is one in which a cloud of atoms act as if they were a single atom as the atoms contained within the cloud smear out and cease to occupy a clear position in any one particular place. That is to say, they attain a state of quantum superposition.

It is also interesting that in order to create this artificial magnetic monopole, (the first ever created, if the research is confirmed), the researchers utilized a cloud of ultracold rubidium atoms. I find that interesting because the first Bose Einstein condensate created back in 1995 used a cloud of ultracold rubidium atoms.

Even more interesting, as I searched for supporting evidence that this had actually been accomplished, I discovered a number of commercial sites which are eager to sell me magnetic monopoles.  Apparently, time travelers are bringing goods from the future for all of us to enjoy here in the past. Well, their past but our present.  Although if they came back with their goods I suppose it makes this their present. But that would mean their present was now in their past...well, know what I mean.

Since I love science toys, I have ordered a couple of dozen monopoles, some for me and some to put away as Christmas gifts. While I was at it, I also ordered 17 kilos of dark matter and 4.2 × 10 to the ninth joules of dark energy.  With these it should be easy to whip up a perpetual motion antigravity machine.

I wanted to order a few sparticles, but you know how expensive those are! I mean a single selectron costs more than all the rest of the stuff I ordered put together, and a squark would bankrupt a small nation.  Maybe someday, if I ever win the Lottery...

No comments:

Post a Comment