Properties of Superfluids

Superfluid He

Superfluid Research

Bose-Einstein Condensates


Physics of Superconductors

Superconductors and magnetism



Bose-Einstein Condensates

A Bose-Einstein condensate is a special state of matter in which all the atoms are in the same quantum configuration. This is incredibly valuable in the study of quantum mechanics, becuase it gives physicists a macroscopic view of special phenomenon they would normally never be able to see. The theory behind Bose-Einstein condensates has been around since 1924, but it wasn't until 1995 when the condensation was actually demonstrated in rubidium. Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery and interest was renewed in this exteremely valuable quantum tool. Just a few months after they succeeded with rubidium, Wolfgang Ketterle's group at M.I.T. produced a Bose condensate with sodium atoms. At Rice University Randall G. Hulet succeeded in creating a condensate with lithium. All these teams are used the same basic apparatus, and the condensates all exhibit similar properties.

Below is an image of the evaporative cooling process used to produce the rubidium condensate:

Below are some computer modeled images of vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates from the NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) website.