Scientists Discover Quantum Matter for the First Time in Space

Nearly a century in the past, Indian mathematician, Satyendra Nath Bose, and German theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of a unique particle that’s liable for the endless growth of the universe. This got here to be often known as the Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). Now, for astronauts onboard the International Space Station have discovered the particle out in a house, orbiting the earth. And scientists think that this could lead to some major discoveries in the future.

Now, BECs are quite fragile particles and that makes it pretty laborious to retain the factor for a longer time. This is as a result of they’re fashioned when bosonic atoms (ones that have an equal variety of neutrons and protons) are introduced down 0 Kelvin.

Once the element is formed, scientists use magnetic traps to confine the element. However, Earth’s high gravitational pull “restricts the shape of possible magnetic traps in such a way that a deep trap is needed to confine a BEC”, according to the report. So, without the appropriate magnetic trap, the BEC interacts with the external world, the temperature rises and as a result, the atom disseminates before scientists could study it. On Earth, this happens in milliseconds.

Image: Nature Journal

However, a team of NASA scientists working in the International Space Station (ISS) recently revealed the first results from BEC experiments done in the space station that show unexpected results. According to David Aveline, the leader of the research project, the team found rubidium BECs orbiting the earth. They then used similar magnetic traps to confine the BEC and surprisingly, the element sustained for a whole second before dissipating. This gave the scientists a much longer time to study the matter than they get here on Earth.

According to the scientists, this was possible due to the low-gravitational force (microgravity) in the space station. So, this leads the researchers to believe that microgravity plays a huge role in studying the BECs.This discovery could lead to some monumental breakthroughs in quantum physics.

Latest articles

Related articles