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What in the vortex? Tiny, floating dumbbell rotates 60 billion times a minute



  What in the vortex? Tiny, Floating Dumbbell Rotates 60 Billion Times Per Minute

Scientists have made tiny silicon dioxide "dumbbells" that are too small to see with the naked eye, turning them faster than any other man-made object on earth.

Tongcang Li / Purdue University

Spinning objects are mesmerizing and mesmerizing, as shown by last year's overwhelming fidgeting spinner demonstration. But even the fastest fidgety leaves the reigning champion of the swirling objects: a tiny dumbbell that can rotate 60 billion times per minute.

That's enough to turn your head.

Spin doctors ̵

1; er, researchers – recently created the nanoscale rotor and floated it in vacuum and blasted it with lasers to turn it. Their research, described in a new study, could help reveal how different substances react under extreme conditions and how friction behaves in vacuum, Tongcang Li, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, said in a statement. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]

For the past decade, researchers have tested boundaries – and broken records – to find out how fast human things can turn. In 2008, Live Science reportedly clocked a match-sized engine at one million revolutions per minute. Then, in 2010, scientists set a new rotation record as they shot a piece of graphene at a dizzying 60 million turns per minute, Popular Science reported that year.

Three years later, this record was destroyed by a microscopic bullet measuring only 4 microns – one-tenth the width of a human hair – capable of 600 million spins per minute or about 500,000 times faster than the spin cycle in a washing machine.

For the new study, the scientists tested so-called nanodumbbells, made of two bonded silica spheres; each dumbbell measured about 0.000012 inches (320 nanometers) long and about 0.000007 inches wide (170 nm).

  Nanodumbbells were emptied and rotated by lasers, rotating 60 billion times per minute.

Nanodumbbells were emptied and rotated by lasers, rotating 60 billion times per minute.

Credit: Tongcang Li / Purdue University

Densely focused laser light can manipulate tiny objects, and the researchers tested their dumbbells by bombarding them with circularly polarized light, which happens when the electric field generated by the light becomes a constant size, but its direction rotates with time , This polarized laser light forced the nanoscale rotors to spin. In the absence of stray air molecules for slowing down – the test was carried out in a vacuum – the tiny spinner was able to achieve rotation speeds of 60 billion revolutions per minute, which goes far beyond what has been possible so far, the scientists report. 19659005] The researchers were also able to swing the nano-dumbbells in place by writing in the study with a laser that was linearly polarized and confined its light to a single plane.

Observations of the rotation and vibration of objects Light, how vacuum cleaners work, explain the scientists. People usually keep vacuums empty, but physicists see a vacuum occupied by vivid virtual particles, Li said in the explanation, and this research with floating, rotating nanosheets brings researchers one step closer to finding out what is really going on there It's going to be a quantum level, Li said.

The results were published online July 20 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Original article about Live Science.


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