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Direct observation of a single electron’s butterfly-shaped distribution in titanium oxide

Direct observation of a single electron's butterfly-shaped distribution in titanium oxide
Figure 1. (a) Distribution of a butterfly-shaped 3d electron orbital. (b) Valence electron density distribution around the titanium (Ti3+) ion at the centre of the titanium oxide (TiO6 ) octahedron obtained by the CDFS analysis developed by the research team for this project. Credit: Shunsuke Kitou

The functions and physical properties of solid materials, such as magnetic order and unconventional superconductivity, are greatly influenced by the orbital state of the outermost electrons (valence electrons) of the constituent atoms. In other words, it could be said that the minimal unit that determines a solid material’s physical properties consists of the orbitals occupied by the valence electrons. Moreover, an orbital can also be considered a minimal unit of ‘shape,’ so the orbital state in a solid can be deduced from observing the spatially anisotropic distribution of electrons (in other words, from how the electron distribution deviates from spherical symmetry).


The orbital states

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Fusion and Interstellar Space Travel: Direct Fusion Drive Facts

futuristic holographic nuclear fusion particles simulation

Kittiphat AbhiratvorakulGetty Images

  • Using a conceptual direct fusion drive, we could reach Saturn and Titan in just two years.
  • Titan’s liquid surface oceans and rich hydrocarbons make it an interesting target in deep space.
  • The fusion drive uses microwaved plasma to propel the ship and power its other systems.

    Experts say the right kind of propulsion system could carry spacecraft to Saturn in just two years. The direct fusion drive (DFD), a concept being developed by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, would make extremely fast work of the nearly billion miles between Earth and Saturn.

    🌌You like our badass universe. So do we. Let’s explore it together.

    Researchers there say the Princeton field reversed configuration-2 (PFRC-2) drive could be the secret to feasible travel within our solar system.

    The research team chose Saturn’s moon Titan as an ideal, well, moonshot. The #1 moon in our solar system has a

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