For the first time in history, an international team of physicists succeeded in producing the weird state of matter, known as Bose-Einstein, condensate (BEC) in space. In their new work, physicists discuss the rocket, which was sent into space with a tiny device that they created, so that they could perform experiments when it went into free fall.
A Bose-Einstein condensate produced by the uptake of gas atoms has an extremely low density and then cools very close to absolute zero (technically up to a billionth of a degree). At such cold temperatures, atoms begin to behave strangely, moving into a single macroscopic quantum wave that turns them into a strange state of matter. And as Science Magazine reports, physicists in Germany have now successfully produced such a BEC in space.
Physicists have performed their experiments in space because, in contrast to laboratory work, space has no gravity. In order to be examined, a BEC usually has to be taken out of its trap of electromagnetic fields and light, and in a vacuum chamber it would hit the ground in just a fraction of a second, making it very difficult to study.
But deep in space, this problem does not exist, for once a Bose-Einstein condensate is released, it can float without having to deal with gravity, allowing physicists to make experiments that are never in the borderline could take place laboratory. These experiments also involve quite interesting things, such as learning Bose-Einstein condensates in space, which for physics research means learning more about its quantum nature through BEC bubbles.
̵1; Times and Tech (@TimesandTech) October 19, 2018
To create this strange state of matter, physicists began by creating an automated derrick that would be a chip with rubidium-87 atoms included laser, a power source and electronics included. The rig was then attached to a rocket that was launched on January 23, 2017 in Sweden, covering 150 miles in space. Physicists were able to generate a BEC in just 1.6 seconds and perform their experiments during the six-minute weightlessness as the rocket fell back to earth. 110 different pre-programmed measurements were performed.
While American Physicists launched NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory in May to study Bose-Einstein condensates. In this case, Germany won the race for the first BEC in space. But between the Cold Atom Laboratory and Germany's exciting new results, physicists with this state of mind will learn more than they previously anticipated.
The new study on the Bose-Einstein condensate that originated in outer space was published in Nature .