On the International Space Station, physicists worked in a unique laboratory to create a bose-Einstein condensation state,media slash Gear reported. With this quantum material, scientists will be able to further explore the vast universe of quantum physics. The cold-atom laboratory could “successfully utilize the microgravity of space, which should allow scientists to create phenomena that are not possible on Earth,” according to a study published this week in the journal Nature.
According to Nature, the cold atomic laboratory “is expected to be the coldest place in the known universe.” In January, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir installed an atomic interferometer in their lab. In May, the remotely operated Cold Atomic Laboratory was the only cold atomic laboratory in the United States to operate because of the rule of keeping the social distance.
“Most quantum physicists would say cold atom experiments are cool,” says Kamal Oudrhiri, CAL mission manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “
Bose-Einstein condensation is a gaseous, hyperfluid state of matter that the boson atom presents when it cools to near absolute zero. When particles condense into strange macro-quantum objects, they open the door for scientists to study strange behavior. Since this condensation takes place in microgravity, not near the gravity of the earth, dispersion takes much longer. This allows time to study the above-mentioned cohesion.
To make the lab “the coldest place in the known universe,” researchers on the International Space Station need to create a boson-Einstein condensation lasting five seconds at very low temperatures. So far, they have created a boson-Einstein condensation lasting more than a second at temperatures of more than 200 trillionths of a degree above absolute zero. In the future, they hope to drop temperatures to more than 20 trillionths of a degree above absolute zero — the coldest experiment ever.