Xenon chill

A spectroscopic study of chilled xenon atoms has uncovered a possible link between the classical world of chaotic behavior, which is essentially based on Newtonian mechanics and the sub-atomic constituency of the quantum world. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used by Brian Saam and colleagues at the University of Utah's College of Science, USA, to investigate predictions about spin alignments made earlier by colleague Boris Fine of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and his colleagues. The work shows a fundamental new physical phenomenon but could also have practical relevance for the development of xenon as a powerful contrast agent for medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).