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What is inside an atom, between the nucleus and the electron? Usually there is nothing, but why could there not be other particles too? If the electron orbits the nucleus at a great distance, there is plenty of space in between for other atoms. A "giant atom" can be created, filled with ordinary atoms. All these atoms form a weak bond, creating a new, exotic state of matter at cold temperatures, referred to as "Rydberg polarons."

A team of researchers has now presented this state of matter in the journal Physical Review Letters. The theoretical work was done at TU Wien (Vienna) and Harvard University, the experiment was performed at Rice University in Houston (Texas).

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Category: Science