Researchers simulated the early universe in the laboratory
A team of researchers from the University of Heidelberg using cold potassium atoms has created a simulation of the early universe in their laboratory, which is well compatible with some theories.
Understanding what happened in the first few moments after the Big Bang is difficult due to the lack of evidence. Therefore, astrophysicists have no choice but to come up with descriptive theories of what might have happened.
To validate their theories, scientists have built models that represent the theoretically described conditions. Now, in this new research and effort, researchers have used a different approach to build a physical model in their laboratory to recreate the conditions of the moments after the Big Bang.
According to the article published in the journal "Nature" Heidelberg University researchers have succeeded in doing this experimental simulation in the laboratory. "Silke Weinfurtner" (Silke Weinfurtner) in cooperation with the University of Nottingham has also published his opinion about this research in the same publication.
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Starting Based on the theory that the Big Bang created the expanding universe, researchers sought to create what they describe as a "quantum field simulator." Considering that most theories show that the early universe was probably very cold and its temperature was close to absolute zero, the researchers created a very cold environment. Then, to show the world they were trying to simulate, they added potassium atoms to it.
In this way, the atoms were cooled to just above absolute zero, and then their speed was reduced using a laser, resulting in a A Bose-Einstein condensate (a kind of abersial) was formed. The researchers then used light from a specially designed projector to nudge the atoms into the desired arrangement. Using these settings, superfluid excitons (a type of electron-hole bound state), known as "phonons", were emitted in two directions.
Next, by manipulating the propagation speed, the researchers were able to propagate the waves in Reconstruct the early world according to the theory. Now they suggest that the behavior of their superfluid is somewhat similar to the physics governing space-time and the process of particle production in the moments just after the big bang.
One of the first experiments conducted using this simulation , involved mimicking the expansion of the early universe, which showed that the atoms in the superfluid moved in a wave pattern in ways similar to those predicted by theory for particle pairs.
Cover photo: A graphic representation of the formation. Stars in the early Universe
Credit: E R Fuller/National Science Foundation