Physics

Fastest spinning object in the world hits 300 billion rpm

Fastest spinning object in the...
Using a high-powered laser, researchers at Purdue University have made a microscopic "dumbbell" the fastest spinning object ever created
Using a high-powered laser, researchers at Purdue University have made a microscopic "dumbbell" the fastest spinning object ever created
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The fastest-spinning object ever made is a dumbell-shaped nanoparticle that spins at an astounding 300 billion rpm
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The fastest-spinning object ever made is a dumbell-shaped nanoparticle that spins at an astounding 300 billion rpm
The nano rotor is set spinning using the radiation pressure of polarized light
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The nano rotor is set spinning using the radiation pressure of polarized light
Using a high-powered laser, researchers at Purdue University have made a microscopic "dumbbell" the fastest spinning object ever created
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Using a high-powered laser, researchers at Purdue University have set a microscopic "dumbbell" spinning at 300 billion rpm, making it the fastest spinning object ever made
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Back in July 2018, researchers at Purdue University created the world’s fastest-spinning object, which whipped around at 60 billion rpm – and now that seems like the teacup ride at Disneyland. The same team has now broken its own record using the same technique, creating a new nano-scale rotor that spins five times faster.

Like the earlier version, the whirling object in question is a dumbbell-shaped silica nanoparticle suspended in a vacuum. When it’s set spinning, this new model hit the blistering speed of over 300 billion rpm. For comparison, dentist drills are known to get up to about 500,000 rpm, while the fastest pulsar – which is the speediest-spinning known natural object – turns at a leisurely 43,000 rpm.

The fastest-spinning object ever made is a dumbell-shaped nanoparticle that spins at an astounding 300 billion rpm
The fastest-spinning object ever made is a dumbell-shaped nanoparticle that spins at an astounding 300 billion rpm

Setting this record involves shining two lasers at the nanoparticle. One holds it in place, while the other starts it spinning. When the photons that make up light strike an object, they exert a tiny amount of force on it, known as radiation pressure. Normally this force is too weak to have any noticeable effect, but in a vacuum where there’s very little friction record speeds can be reached. That’s the case here, and it also applies to the concept of light sails, which could one day propel spacecraft at high speeds.

"In the 1600s Johannes Kepler saw that the tails of comets always pointed away from the sun because of radiation pressure," says Tongcang Li, an author of the study. "We use the same thing, but with concentrated lasers, to levitate and rotate the nanoparticles.”

Apart from breaking world records, the researchers say that this kind of device could be used to measure quantum effects like vacuum friction and nanoscale magnetism.

The research was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Source: Purdue University

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13 comments
vince
Spin me that fast and it will probably take me 10 years to return to normal and be able to walk again.
Mzungu_Mkubwa
I wonder at what velocity the surface furthest away from the axis of spin might be going? It is known that the higher the velocity, the higher the mass... so at what point does the mass of the particle increase? Or at the very least when is it pulled apart by centrifugal force?
FB36
Realize, a tiny object that is spinning at extreme rpm, would be storing a lot of kinetic energy! That is IMHO the battery solution of the future: a micro-flywheel suspended w/ (permanent) magnets (in vacuum) spinning at extreme rpm (in a small battery size device)!
lee54
So how did they measure the rotation speed? That’s just as interesting a subject, yet no mention of how it is done.
Bob Flint
Had a much larger version under a glass bulb, with 4 sails, each sail about 1cm x 1cm black on one side & white on the other. The four sails mounted on a central mast that perched on a glass post. Spun at a slow 5-10 rpm in full sunlight, but only cost $10
Unconincon
Question is, two silicon nano particles can spin at 50 million times per second with out feeling the effect of centripetal force? Even in a vacuum? We can see things like this in space. But, it's usually one object that contributes to the gravitational pull. How can they continue their cohesive bond?
Dave Schall
V = Omega * r. If those are 100nm particles and Omega = 300 billion rpm / 60 s/min then V = 500 m/s. Fast, but not relativistically fast.
John Foster
Just wondering if anyone thought to check for micro gravitational wave output or incident synchrotron radiation as a by product?
Ronald King
Seems like this technique could also be used as indirect evidence of quantized time. If you reach a point in which the rpms reach a maximum limit, it could be indicative of a fundamental speed limit of time. Of course they do have a ways to go. 300 Billion RPM is about one rotation per 5 nanoseconds. Just 35 orders of magnitude later you reach planck time. Keep at it guys!
Steven Chipperson
Although Crooke, the inventor of the Crooke’s radiometer (the spiny vacuum thing Bob Flint mentioned) also Thought that radiation pressure was the answer, in fact it was thermal transpiration. In other words it’s heat, not quantum photons causing the veins to move.

https://youtu.be/llxqNcipTwA