Cold Atom Lab of NASA accomplishes one major milestone for Quantum Science

The current month marks 25 years since the first production of the fifth state of matter by the scientists. It has astonishing properties ultimately, unlike liquids, solids, plasmas, and gases. The accomplishment received a Nobel Prize, an achievement that changed physics.

New research in the Nature journal builds on the legacy. In month July 2018, the Cold Atom Lab of NASA was declared the first facility to manufacture the fifth state matter in the Earth orbit dubbed, Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). A primary physics facility on the International Space Station (ISS), the Cold Atom Lab, operates by cooling down atoms to ultracold temperatures to enable them to study their primary physical components in ways that could not have been possible on Earth. Currently, the mission crew announces on the details of setting this distinctive lab up and in operational, as well as their improvement toward a long-term target of using microgravity when illuminating new aspects of the quantum world.

Either you know it or not, the quantum knowledge touches our lives every day. The mechanics of quantum refers to the division of physics that centers on the atoms and subatomic particles behaviors, and it is an essential part of most components in various modern technologies, comprising of computers and cell phones that utilize the wave personality of electrons in silicon.

Though the initial quantum phenomena were seen more than a hundred years ago, scientists are still studying this territory of our universe.

David Aveline, a Cold Atom Lab science team member at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA located in Southern California, stated that looking back to the making of the first Bose-Einstein. Physicists identified how operating in space would offer considerable advantages in learning the quantum systems. He added that there had been some focused exhibitions in the regard; however, with the continuing operation of Cold Atom Lab, they are showing that there is a lot to achieve by performing the prolonged experiments in orbit daily.

Colder than normal cold

The colder the atoms get, the slower their movement and the more comfortable they become to study. Ultracold atoms amenities such as Cold Atom Lab operate by cooling down particles to until a fraction of a degree higher than absolute zero, or the heat at which they would hypothetically stop moving altogether.

Freezing atoms is the only method of producing a Bose-Einstein condensate, and scientists create BEC’s inside a vacuum. It means that on Earth, the gravity pulls the bits down and falls rapidly to the floor, naturally limiting observing times to a fraction of a second.