Bose Einstein Basics  

Posted by M Riyadh Rizqullah in


Energy in MatterThis state of matter was the only one created while you were alive. In 1995, two scientists, Cornell and Weiman, finally created this new state of matter. Two other scientists, SatyendraBose and Albert Einstein, had predicted it in the 1920. They didn't have the equipment and facilities to make it happen in the 20s. Now we do. If plasmas are super hot and super excited atoms, the atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) are total opposites. They are super-unexcited and super-cold atoms.


Let's explain condensation first. Condensation happens when several gas molecules come together and form a liquid. It all happens because of a loss of energy. Gases are really excited atoms. When they lose energy, they slow down and begin to collect. They can collect into one drop. Water condenses on the lid of your pot when you boil water. It cools on the metal and becomes a liquid again. You would then have a condensate.

Kelvin Temperature ScaleThe BEC happens at super low temperatures. We have talked about temperature scales and Kelvin. At zero Kelvin all molecular motion stops. Scientists have figured out a way to get a temperature only a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero. When temperatures get that low, you can create a BEC with a few special elements. Cornell and Weiman did it with Rubidium.


So it's cold. A cold ice cube is still a solid. When you get to a temperature near absolute zero something special happens. Atoms begin to clump. The whole process happens at temperatures within a few billionths of a degree so you won't see this at home. The result of this clumping is the BEC. A group of atoms takes up the same place, creating a "super atom." There are no longer thousands of separate atoms. They all take on the same qualities and for our purposes become one blob.

This entry was posted on 11 Agustus 2008 at 9:16 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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