New way to probe exotic matter aids in the study of atomic and particle physics

(Top) A view of the outside of the apparatus that was installed at the J-PARC facility, Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture. It is north of Tokyo. (Lower left), The electronic components, including a high precision sensor. (Lower left) A microscopic view of the silicon sensor used to make the observations. Credit: Torii et al.A new method has been developed by physicists to see details about the structure and makeup of materials. It is superior to previous methods. Conventional spectroscopy alters the frequency of light shining onto a sample over time to reveal more details. Rabi-oscillation spectrum spectroscopy is a new technique that does not require the exploration of a large frequency range and can therefore operate at a much faster speed. This technique could be used to examine our most popular theories of matter to gain a better understanding the material universe.Although we can't see them with our naked eyes, we all know the atoms that make matter. All the matter we interact are made up of collections of neutral neutrons, positive protons and negative electrons. There are many other forms of matter than those made up of these three components, such as exotic atoms and neutral neutrons. For example, muonium is similar to hydrogen. It has one electron orbiting around one proton but has a positively charged Muon particle instead.Because muons allow scientists to test their best theories of matter, such as the Standard Model or quantum electrodynamics, they are essential in cutting-edge Physics. This is vital as cracks can only form when a solid theory is tested to the extreme. These cracks could be used to identify where more detailed theories are needed or what they might even be. The study of muonium, while being of great interest to the Physics community, has so far been largely ignored.Associate Professor Hiroyuki A.Torii, from the Graduate School of Science of the University of Tokyo, stated that muonium is a short-lived atom. Therefore, it is crucial to observe quickly with the maximum power in order to get the best signal from the limited time available. Conventional spectroscopic techniques require repeated observations at a variety of frequencies in order to locate the key frequency. This is known as the resonance frequency. It takes time.Torii and his colleagues devised a new type of spectroscopic technique that uses a well-understood physical phenomenon called Rabi oscillation. To convey information about anatom, Rabi-oscillation spectrum does not require searching for frequency signals. It instead examines the raw sensor data, or time-domain data, and provides information based on it. This new method provides significant improvements in precision."The study of exotic elements requires both low-energy atomic Physics and high-energy particle Physics. Torii stated that this combination of disciplines in physics indicates we are on the right track to better understanding our material universe. Torii said, "I am eager to see physicists using Rabi-oscillation spectrumcopy to peer deeper into the world exotic atoms containing uncommon particles and isotopes and other types of matter created at particle accelerators all over the globe."Additional information: S. Nishimura and al, Rabi Oscillation Spectrum of the Hyperfine Muonium Atoms. Physical Review Letters (2021). arXiv.2007.12386 [hep-ex] Information about the Journal: Physical Review Letters S. Nishimura et., Rabi-Oscillation Spectroscopy for the Hyperfine Structure Muonium Atoms (2021). arXiv:2007.12386 [hep-ex]