FROM VI­SION TO RE­AL­ITY IN 100 YEARS

Science Illustrated - - TECHNOLOGY/ABSOLUTE ZERO -

1924 EINSTEIN PREDICTS QUANTUM WAVE

Physi­cists S. Bose and A. Einstein pre­dict that ul­tra- cold atoms will be­have like a col­lec­tive wave – a Bose-Einstein con­den­sate.

1985 LASER COOL­ING IS INVENTED

Laser beams can slow down atoms, hence cool­ing them. The method al­lows the cool­ing of a gas of atoms to less than one thou­sandth of a de­gree above ab­so­lute zero.

1995 CONDENSATES ARE PRO­DUCED

The first BoseEin­stein condensates are pro­duced at tem­per­a­tures of a few bil­lionths of a de­gree above zero. In 2001, three US physi­cists are re­warded with a No­bel Prize in physics for their re­sults.

2001 BOSE-EINSTEIN IN ATOM CHIPS

Bose-Einstein condensates can be pro­duced in atom chips, but they are hard to study. When the atom cloud is let loose, physi­cists have 10ms, be­fore the quantum state col­lapses.

2007 UNI­VER­SAL COLD RECORD

Sci­en­tists make a chip-based cham­ber fall down through a 146-m-high tower in a state of weight­less­ness. En route, the con­den­sate is cooled to 50 bil­lionths of a de­gree above zero.

2017 FIRST SPACE EX­PER­I­MENT

An cham­ber is launched into space for the first time from Kiruna, Swe­den. Over a pe­riod of six min­utes of weight­less­ness, physi­cists make 85 dif­fer­ent con­den­sate mea­sure­ments.

2018 100 BIL­LIONTHS ABOVE ZERO

The Cold Atom Lab­o­ra­tory is launched to the ISS, to study condensates for 10-20 sec­onds, as they ex­pand and cool. The cham­ber cools be­low 100 bil­lionths of a de­gree above ab­so­lute zero.

A cloud of ul­tra- cold atoms is let loose from a chip in the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion, ISS. The cloud ex­pands and is cooled to 100 bil­lionths of a de­gree above ab­so­lute zero (-273.15 °C).

Near ab­so­lute zero, atoms col­lect into one quantum wave.

An or­di­nary gas is made up of sep­a­rate, in­di­vid­ual par­ti­cles.

SCIENCE SOURCE/IMAGESELECT, F. SCHMUTZER

Satyen­dra Bose and Al­bert Einstein pre­dicted that ul­tra- cold par­ti­cles are con­verted into a quantum wave.

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