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The coldest reaction efficient energy production to new materials like mold-

proof walls and even better building blocks for quantum


With ultracold chemistry, researchers computers.
get first look at exactly what happens In her previous work, Ni used colder and colder
during a chemical reaction temperatures to work this chemical magic: forging
molecules from atoms that would otherwise never
Date: November 28, 2019 react. Cooled to such extremes, atoms and molecules
Source: Harvard University slow to a quantum crawl, their lowest possible energy
state. There, Ni can manipulate molecular interactions
Summary: with utmost precision. But even she could only see the
In temperatures millions of times colder than start of her reactions: two molecules go in, but then
interstellar space, researchers have performed the what? What happened in the middle and the end was a
coldest reaction in the known universe. But that's not black hole only theories could try to explain.
all. In such intense cold, their molecules slowed to Chemical reactions occur in just millionths of a billionth
such glacial speeds, they could see something no of a second, better known in the scientific world as
one has been able to see before: the moment when femtoseconds. Even today's most sophisticated
two molecules meet to form two new molecules. In technology can't capture something so short-lived,
essence, they captured a chemical reaction in its though some come close. In the last twenty years,
most critical and elusive act. scientists have used ultra-fast lasers like fast-action
cameras, snapping rapid images of reactions as they
The coldest chemical reaction in the known occur. But they can't capture the whole picture. "Most
universe took place in what appears to be a of the time," Ni said, "you just see that the reactants
chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: disappear and the products appear in a time that you
Deep within that organized chaos, in can measure. There was no direct measurement of what
temperatures millions of times colder than actually happened in these chemical reactions." Until
interstellar space, Kang-Kuen Ni achieved a feat now.
of precision. Forcing two ultracold molecules to Ni's ultracold temperatures force reactions to a
meet and react, she broke and formed the coldest comparatively numbed speed. "Because [the molecules]
bonds in the history of molecular couplings. are so cold," Ni said, "now we kind of have a bottleneck
effect." When she and her team reacted two potassium
"Probably in the next couple of years, we are the only rubidium molecules -- chosen for their pliability -- the
lab that can do this," said Ming-Guang Hu, a ultracold temperatures forced the molecules to linger in
postdoctoral scholar in the Ni lab and first author on their the intermediate stage for microseconds. Microseconds
paper published today in Science. Five years ago, Ni, -- mere millionths of a second -- may seem short, but
the Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and that's millions of times longer than usual and long
Chemical Biology and a pioneer of ultracold chemistry, enough for Ni and her team to investigate the phase
set out to build a new apparatus that could achieve the when bonds break and form, in essence, how one
lowest temperature chemical reactions of any currently molecule turns into another.
available technology. But they couldn't be sure their
intricate engineering would work. With this intimate vision, Ni said she and her team can
test theories that predict what happens in a reaction's
Now, they not only performed the coldest reaction yet, black hole to confirm if they got it right. Then, her team
they discovered their new apparatus can do something can craft new theories, using actual data to more
even they did not predict. In such intense cold -- 500 precisely predict what happens during other chemical
nanokelvin or just a few millionths of a degree above reactions, even those that take place in the mysterious
absolute zero -- their molecules slowed to such glacial quantum realm.
speeds, Ni and her team could see something no one
has been able to see before: the moment when two Already, the team is exploring what else they can learn
molecules meet to form two new molecules. In essence, in their ultracold test bed. Next, for example, they could
they captured a chemical reaction in its most critical and manipulate the reactants, exciting them before they
elusive act. react to see how their heightened energy impacts the
outcome. Or, they could even influence the reaction as
Chemical reactions are responsible for literally it occurs, nudging one molecule or the other. "With our
everything: breathing, cooking, digesting, creating controllability, this time window is long enough, we can
energy, pharmaceuticals, and household products like probe," Hu said. "Now, with this apparatus, we can think
soap. So, understanding how they work at a about this. Without this technique, without this paper, we
fundamental level could help researchers design cannot even think about this."
combinations the world has never seen. With an almost
infinite number of new combinations possible, these new
molecules could have endless applications from more
 ACTIVITY 1: (50 pts.) 20%

1. Define the words in bold (Spanish) (20 words). 20 pts.


Provide a meaning that has sense with the text.

2. Provide alternative words for some words (English) (10 words) 10 pts.
2. Extract from the text sentences that contain connectors and comparatives. (5 each) 10 pts.
3. Provide complete definitions (English) for some words (5 words) from the text. 10 pts.

Due date: Week January 13-17

 ACTIVITY 2: (50 pts.) 40%


1. Paraphrase the text (article). Rewrite the article (English) using alternative words, definitions,
different connectors and comparative forms. 40 pts.

2. Use an article format and add pictures, photos or any images to complement your text.
10 pts

Due date: Week January 27 – 31

 CERTAMEN 1: 40%