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MIT scientists discover that heat behaves like sound waves in a ‘rare state of matter’ – News18


Scientists continue to make revolutionary discoveries and some involve the unusual behavior of certain elements. According to new reports, scientists have discovered that in certain states of matter, heat can act like sound, that is, it can behave like a sound wave.

Heat is a form that spreads and then gradually dissipates, but can behave like a sound wave in a rare state of matter. This phenomenon is called “second sound” and has reportedly only been observed in a few materials. Scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), for the first time, have successfully captured the “second sound” phenomenon. ” in action.

The disseminated images show how heat can flow as sound waves, when generated in a superfluid, being a state of matter where atoms have no friction. Physicists observed that heat and matter “slosh” around each other, creating oscillations, similar behavior to sound waves.

Study co-author and assistant professor at MIT, Richard Fletcher, said, “It’s like you have a tank of water and you make half of it almost boiling.” He further explained: “If you then observed, the water itself might “look calm, but suddenly the other side is hot, and then the other side is hot, and the heat comes and goes, while the water seems calm.”

This research was led by Martin Zwierlein, professor of Physics at MIT. According to him, this study would now help them explore the temperature response. He further stated that “it teaches us things that are very difficult to understand or even achieve.”

To carry out the experiment, the researchers used particles that repel each other. They then cooled the atoms and applied a magnetic field to form a superfluid. They created a hotspot using laser beams in the superfluid and used another beam to record the heat waves. The study was published in the journal Science and is useful for scientists to understand the nature of heat in a superfluid or other related materials, such as superconductors and neutron stars.

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    first published: February 12, 2024, 11:19 IST

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    MIT scientists discover that heat behaves like sound waves in a 'rare state of matter' - News18

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