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2017 Programme

When Freezing Cold is Not Cold Enough: New Forms of Matter Near Absolute Zero

Professor Wolfgang Ketterle
Nobel Laureate in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,USA


Why do physicists freeze matter to extremely low temperatures? Why is it worthwhile to cool to temperatures which are a billion times lower than that of interstellar space? In this talk, I will discuss new forms of matter, which only exist at extremely low temperatures. Low temperatures open a new door to the quantum world where particles behave as waves and "march in lockstep".
In 1925, Einstein predicted such a new form of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, but it was realized only in 1995 in laboratories at Boulder and at MIT. More recently, cold atoms have become a tool to study phenomena of condensed matter physics at huge spatial magnification at densities which are a billion times lower than ordinary materials.

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2017 Programme