Wikijunior:The Elements/Bose-Einstein condensates

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bose-Einstein condensates[edit | edit source]

Bose-Einstein condensates are pieces of atoms called bosons that when supercooled, condense (fall out of) a gas to form a phase of matter that exhibits some very strange properties. Two scientists, Satyendra Bose and Albert Einstein, had predicted it in the 1920. They didn't have the technology to create it back then. Now we do. The first actual experiment to prove that Bose condensates exist was performed in 1995. The two scientists who completed the task were Cornell and Weiman. A Bose-Einstein condensate happens at super low temperatures near absolute zero. When the temperature gets low enough the matter starts to clump together. A group of atoms take up the same space creating a "super atom." There are no longer separate atoms. They all take on the same qualities.

To summarize in a grossly abbreviated manner, a Bose-Einstein condensate is a collection of supercooled particles that assume the same quantum state (they are "in phase") and thus exhibit quantum mechanical behaviour on a relatively macroscopic scale as a singular collection of between 10^4 and 10^5 particles. Thus, effectively becoming "the largest quantum particle".