Scientists Have Discovered An Entirely New Type of Weak Atomic Bond
Scientists from Purdue University have come across an entirely new type of atomic bond, as seen in a butterfly Rydberg molecule.Scientists have come across an entirely new type of molecule, which they are calling the butterfly Rydberg molecule. First identified back in 2002, this strange molecule is believed to be a weak pairing of excitable atoms, held together by a hitherto-unknown type of atomic bond. According to the researchers, these molecules are generated when an electron is pushed far away from the atom’s nucleus, in turn making it electronically unstable and excited.
While they do exist on their own, it wasn’t until 2002 that Rydberg molecules were found capable of attracting and binding with other atoms. The research, conducted by a group of scientists from Purdue University, was the first to predict the existence of a molecular combination that has come to be known as the butterfly Rydberg molecule, thanks to its unique, butterfly-shaped arrangement of orbiting electrons.
The latest study marks the first time that researchers have been able to observe butterfly Rydberg molecules in the laboratory, some 14 years after the original discovery. As part of the current project, the team has also identified a new kind of weak atomic bond. Speaking about the findings, lead scientist Chris Greene said:
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