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While so far, most work has focused on helium, researchers have recently turned to atomic gases -- in particular, those with strong dipolar interactions. The team of Francesca Ferlaino has been investigating quantum gases made of atoms with a strong dipolar character for a long time. "Recent experiments have revealed that such gases exhibit fundamental similarities with superfluid helium," says Lauriane Chomaz referring to experimental achievements in Innsbruck and in Stuttgart over the last few years. "These features lay the groundwork for reaching a state where the several tens of thousands of particles of the gas spontaneously organize in a self-determined crystalline structure while sharing the same macroscopic wavefunction -- hallmarks of supersolidity."
The researchers in Innsbruck experimentally created states showing these characteristics of supersolidity by tuning the interaction strength between the particles, in both erbium and dysprosium quantum gases. "While in erbium the supersolid...
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