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New molecule made that earlier existed only in theories: BBC.

ISLAMABAD, April 24, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- A molecule that until now existed only in theory has finally been made. Known as a Rydberg molecule, it is formed through an elusive and extremely weak chemical bond between two atoms, BBC reported. The new type of bonding, reported in Nature, occurs because one of the two atoms in the molecule has an electron very far from its nucleus or centre. It reinforces fundamental quantum theories, developed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, about how electrons behave and interact. The Rydberg molecules in question were formed from two atoms of rubidium - one a Rydberg atom, and one a normal atom. It will be interesting to see what other fundamental physics we will be able to test with this approach A Rydberg atom is special because it has one electron alone in an outermost orbit - very far, in atomic terms, from its nucleus. Back in 1934 Enrico Fermi predicted that if another atom were to find that lone, wandering electron, it might interact with it. But Fermi never imagined that molecules could be formed, explained Chris Greene, the theoretical physicist from the University of Colorado who first predicted that Rydberg molecules could exist. We recognised, in our work in the 1970s and 80s, the potential for a sort of forcefield between a Rydberg atom and a groundstate [or normal] atom. Its only now that you can get systems so cold, that you can actually make them.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 24, 2009
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