7:30 pm, Wednesday, March 29
Fairmont Social lounge, St. John's College
Bose-Einstein condensation: quantum weirdness at the
lowest temperature in the universe
Nobel Laureate, 2001
University of Colorado
In 1924 Einstein predicted that a gas would undergo a
transformation at a sufficiently low temperature (now known as
Bose-Einstein condensation or BEC). In 1995, my group was able to
observe this transformation by cooling a gas sample to the
unprecedented temperature of less than 100 billionths of a degree above
absolute zero. The BEC state is a novel form of matter in which a large
number of atoms lose their individual identities and behave as a single
quantum entity, the "superatom". This entity is the atom analogue to
laser light, and, although large enough to be easily seen and
manipulated, exhibits the nonintuitive quantum behavior normally
important only at much tinier size scales. The study and use of the
curious properties of
BEC has now become an important subfield of physics. I will discuss how
we create BEC and some of the subsequent research we have done on it.
Interactive applets as a tool for teaching science will be demonstrated
in the presentation.
Find out more by visiting his website.
Additional resources for this talk: video,