What's the science behind Rydbergator?
How the game simulates excitation of atoms into Rydberg states in a 2-dimensional plane.
Welcome to the Rydbergator - Rydberg Atom Simulator.
A game and a simulator with atoms which interact with each other at a large distance.
Niels Bohr’s model of the atom explains how atoms absorb and emit light, and while doing so, the electrons inside the atoms are jumping between different states. The model accounts for spectroscopic investigations by the Swedish scientist Johannes Rydberg, and in particular, it reveals that electrons can orbit the atomic nucleus at a large distance, much like the outer planets in the solar system. Such orbits are referred to as Rydberg states, with the atomic electron placed on an orbit that is far from the ionic core.
Due to weak binding of the electron to the ion, the atoms in the Rydberg states are easily polarisable, resulting in strongly enhanced, long-range interatomic interactions.
In a European research network, RySQ, a number of universities across Europe study the use of lasers to excite electrons into the Rydberg states. The aim is to induce interactions between different atoms and to make the state of some atoms control whether other atoms get excited or not. Ultimately, these studies can teach us about dynamics in complex systems, and they may lead to the construction of a quantum computer.
In the Rydbergator you can play with a system of atoms confined to a plane. You can excite them in spatial patterns, and you can see how such patterns evolve with each laser excitation pulse. If you like, you can choose among different physical parameter settings, and see how that influences the dynamics. You can define games and challenges so that you can compete with your friends on who gets the largest number of Rydberg atoms, whose atoms get to dominate a specific domain, or who conquers the atomic flag.
At this moment, we have not determined what are the best games – it is up to you to explore!
The Rydbergator - Rydberg Atom Simulator is not gathering data from your play apart from general statistics on how much the simulator is utilized (number of plays for the different levels). The game serves as a tool for exploring dynamics of these type of systems allowing the user to choose the evolution rules. The primary users are scientists working with Rydberg Atoms and students that are interested in this field. A secondary goal is popularization of Physics by means of people having fun with a physics-inspired game.