Tuesday, February 04, 2014

ISS Could Become the Coldest Place In the Universe?!

What happens when things get cold?  Well, we pretty much have that down as far as our macro universe goes.  But when things get extra cold at the quantum level....well weird crap starts to happen.

NASA is sending some new equipment to the ISS with the sole purpose of getting COOOOOLD.
And not just everyday cold...no sir NASA is looking to create the coldest place in the universe.  The Cold Atom Lab, due to arrive at the ISS in 2016,  it will be able to create an environment that can be kept stable at something extremely close to absolute zero. 

Why would you want to do that you might ask....remember you asked....NASA wants  to study Bose-Einstein condensates.  Kinda makes your brain hurt right?    So what are Bose-Einstein condensates?  Well in simple enough terms that my tiny brain can understand, it is a condition that happens when gasses are cooled to extremely cold temperatures.  At the quantum level each atom begins to behaves much like one giant atom, making quantum effects visible on a macroscopic scale.  Which means that even though the quantum level effects can not be resolved, atomic and sub atomic effects can be observed, so if a bunch of atoms starts acting like one atom, then by proxy, we can observe a quantum state.  Yep, at the very least, NASA and that means we, will for the first time be able to see quantum physics work in real time!

Check out the youTube video below for a much saner explanation. 

Here is the complete DVice article  HERE

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