Research File: hot stuff with cool atoms

Bose-Einstein condensate (© National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Laura Durnford investigates the weird and wonderful world of a new type of matter. It is called Bose-Einstein condensate and is very different from the solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter we’re used to. By taking a gas cloud of atoms and cooling it down to incredibly low temperatures, it condenses into this new matter. There are indications that this matter could have practical implications for things such as atomic clocks, computing, communications technology and maybe even medicine.

Contributors include:
– Professor Boudewijn Verhaar of the Department of Theoretical Physics at Eindhoven University
– Professor Gerard Meijer of the FOM Institute for Plasma Physics in Nieuwegein

Producer: Laura Durnford

Broadcast: November 2002