The study of physics often involves researchers taking a closer look at minute particles and their behavior, in order to understand what rules govern the universe.
This study also often involves the observation of the behavior of charged particles called ions, which if studied carefully, can reveal hidden quantum mechanical properties.
In order to make this possible, physicists use a technique called Buffer Gas Cooling in order to cool the particles down, so that their movements can be controlled and observed.
This technique involves exposing the ions to clouds of cold atoms, which cool down the particles considerably in a short period of time.
This technique relies on the laws of thermodynamics, that assume that if exposed to cold stimuli, the particles would automatically cool down to the same temperature.
This assumption has been the basis of almost all researches done, regarding the study of such particles. Unfortunately, now it has been discovered that under certain circumstances, ions don’t follow this logic at all.
This discovery has been made by researchers from the University Of California, who realized that the temperature of the particles depended on the number of ions cooled at the same moment.
This distinction was observed through an experiment that involved mingling laser cooled barium ions and calcium atoms. The result was a difference in the result temperatures.
While this may not be a big deal for laymen, but for researchers who base their entire work on results gained through this process, this is a shock that will now force them to re-evaluate everything they ever did.
Not to mention that they will not have to try and find a more reliable way of studying particle behavior, since the existing method has been proven ineffective.