Wolfgang Ketterle

Wolfgang Ketterle

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Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wolfgang Ketterle (born 1957), German physicist. He received the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physics, along with two others, for their work on Bose- Einstein condensates (BECs), the "fifth state of matter". These are formed when atoms are cooled to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. The atoms then behave as if they were one large atom. Ketterle has used this coherence to form an atom laser, the particle equivalent of a normal (light) laser. BECs could have many uses in nanotechnology and precision measurement. Ketterle is the John A MacArthur professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. Photographed in 2001.

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