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Dord

Bose-Einstein condensate made on the ISS

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I've just read this...
 

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AN EXOTIC fifth type of matter has been created in one of the coldest places in the universe – a device on board the International Space Station (ISS).

The Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) was launched to the ISS in 2018 to investigate a strange kind of matter, known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). This suitcase-sized device chills atoms of rubidium and potassium in a vacuum chamber, using laser light to slow their movement. Magnetic fields then contain the resulting cloud of atoms, which is cooled to nearly absolute zero at -273°C, producing a BEC.

This chilly substance was initially theorised by Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose in the early 1920s as the fifth state of matter, following solids, liquids, gases and plasma. It is a supercooled gas that no longer behaves as individual atoms and particles, but rather an entity in a single quantum state.

[...]

The initial results show that BECs behave differently in orbit. The team found that about half of the atoms form into a halo-like cloud around the main body of the BEC. On the ground, these atoms would simply fall due to gravity, but in microgravity on the ISS, the cloud remains suspended.

In the near future, the researchers hope to use the experiment to watch atoms collide on a quantum level. They also want to probe ripples in space-time called gravitational waves by monitoring disturbances in the movement of the atoms.

Looking further ahead, the experiment could also tackle ideas like Einstein’s equivalence principle, which says that all masses in a given gravitational field accelerate in the same way. Tests in microgravity could reveal whether there are any violations of the principle. “It’s usually unwise to bet against Einstein,” says Thompson. “But it’s always important to test these things.”


...and I was wondering if a gas can be "super cooled" and remain as a gas instead of condensing to a liquid (some go straight to a solid IIRC) can the same be true for plasma? 

Hopefully they might get some more interesting results with their research in to quantum level collisions, gravitational waves and the equivalency principle.

I guess working in microgravity will be the next big milestone in our understanding of these things.  Interesting times ahead.

 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24632862-300-exotic-fifth-state-of-matter-made-on-the-international-space-station/

Edited by Dord

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15 hours ago, Dord said:

I've just read this...
 


...and I was wondering if a gas can be "super cooled" and remain as a gas instead of condensing to a liquid (some go straight to a solid IIRC) can the same be true for plasma? 

Hopefully they might get some more interesting results with their research in to quantum level collisions, gravitational waves and the equivalency principle.

I guess working in microgravity will be the next big milestone in our understanding of these things.  Interesting times ahead.

 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24632862-300-exotic-fifth-state-of-matter-made-on-the-international-space-station/

"Supercooled" has a meaning in science, but in my work we regularly get Rb gas down to a temperature of a couple of microKelvins (and true in the article, before getting colder and then condensing into a BEC), and it remains a gas. Meanwhile, the melting point of Rb is a little under 40 ºC.

So the answer to your question is yes.

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On 6/13/2020 at 3:36 PM, swansont said:

So the answer to your question is yes.

Thank you

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