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Contact: Dr. José R. Crespo López-Urrutia

Paul Trap

Caption: Ions in a gaseous crystal: an alternating field between rod-shaped electrodes confines magnesium and magnesium hydride ions (red spheres) in a trap. A laser beam is used to cool the particles until they solidify to a crystal in which the distances between the ions are much greater than in a mineral crystal. A German-Danish team of researchers is able to slow down the rotation of the molecular ions with a highly tenuous, cold helium gas (spheres to the left and right of the ion crystal).

Credit: J. R. Crespo/O. O. Versolato/MPI for Nuclear Physics

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