SAM OGDEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SAM OGDEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bose-Einstein condensate research. Technician with a machine used in the study of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs), a "fifth state of matter". A BEC is a form of matter in which the atoms are indistinguishable. It is only formed at extremely low temperatures, just a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero. The atoms in a BEC behave as if they are one large atom. This is an atomic equivalent of laser light, in which all the photons are in phase. This is the laboratory of Wolfgang Ketterle, who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on BECs. Ketterle works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
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