World’s Fastest Man-Made Spinning Object Developed
Scientists have developed the fastest man-made rotor in the world, at more than 60 billion revolutions per minute, this machine is more than 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill. They believe that this will help them to study quantum mechanics. Tongcang Li, an assistant professor at Purdue University in the US said, “This study has many applications, including material science. We can study the extreme conditions different materials can survive in.”
This mind-boggling invention not only pushes the boundaries of physics but could also be used to study some of the quantum mechanics mysteries and the operation of objects in vacuum. The advantage of a getting a nanoparticle suspended and rotated in a vacuum helps to make precise measurements unaffected by the standard variations in air flow and temperature.
The research team synthesized a tiny dumbbell from silica and levitated it in high vacuum using a laser. The laser can work in a straight line or in a circle – when it’s linear, the dumbbell vibrates, and when it’s circular, the dumbbell spins. A spinning dumbbell functions as a rotor, and a vibrating dumbbell functions like an instrument for measuring tiny forces and torques, known as a torsion balance. These devices were used to discover things like the gravitational constant and density of Earth.
The nanoparticle itself is only about the size of a bacterial particle, around 170 nanometres wide and 320 nanometres long, so you can’t see it with the naked eye. Li’s team may be able to learn things about vacuum friction and gravity.
Li said, “People say that there is nothing in vacuum, but in physics, we know it’s not really empty,” and further added, “There are a lot of virtual particles which may stay for a short time and then disappear. We want to figure out what’s really going on there, and that’s why we want to make the most sensitive torsion balance.”
Having such a tiny object to experiment on should give is a better understanding at how the building blocks of matter work at the tiniest scales. In other words, you might be hearing a lot more about this nanoscale rotor in the future. The research findings were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.