Meaning Bose-Einstein Condensed State

What Bose-Einstein Condensed State:

The Bose-Einstein condensed state (BEC by Bose-Einstein condensate) is considered the fifth state of aggregation of matter and was seen for the first time in 1995.

Currently, 5 states of aggregation of matter are recognized, being 3 of them, the solid, liquid and gaseous state, the basic ones; being naturally observable on the surface of the Earth.

In this sense, the fourth state of matter is the plasmatic state, which we can observe naturally outside our planet, for example, in the sun. The fifth state of matter would be the Bose-Einstein condensate, observable only at the subatomic level.

It is called "condensate" due to the process of condensation at temperatures close to absolute zero (-273.15ºC) of gas made of subatomic particles that have a type of spin quantum. A spin quantum or spin, in Spanish, is called the rotation of the elementary particles itself.

In general, if this gas is condensed, a subatomic superfluid called Bose-Einstein condensate is obtained, the fifth state of aggregation of matter first observed in 1995.

The definition of gas, in this context, appeals to the natural and dispersed separation that characterizes gases, therefore, condensing these particles invisible to the human eye has been one of the technological advances in the area of ​​quantum physics.

Characteristics of Bose-Einstein condensate

The Bose-Einstein condensed state has 2 unique characteristics called superfluidity and superconductivity. Superfluidity means that matter stops having friction and superconductivity indicates zero electrical resistance.

Due to these characteristics, the Bose-Einstein condensed state has properties that can contribute to the transmission of energy through light, for example, if the technology allows extreme temperatures to be reached.

The fifth state of matter

The Bose-Einstein condensed state, also called as the quantum ice cube, was only known from the theoretical studies of physicists Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) who predicted in 1924 the existence of such state.

The fifth state only existed in theory until 1995, due to the difficulties in achieving the 2 conditions necessary for it:

  • Production of low temperatures close to absolute zero and
  • Creation of gas from subatomic particles with a certain spin.

Considering the historical background, the Bose-Einstein condensed state was only possible in 1995 thanks to two major breakthroughs:

First, it is due to the physicists Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Steven Chu and William D. Phillips the discovery of a laser light capable of trapping atoms (reducing their speed of movement) and that at the same time managed to cool them reaching temperatures close to zero. absolute (-273.15 ° C). Thanks to this advance, the aforementioned physicists receive the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.

Second, physicists Eric A. Cornell and Carl Wieman of the University of Colorado, when they managed to group 2,000 individual atoms into a "super atom", which would become what would become the Bose-Einstein condensate.

In this way, it is possible to see for the first time in 1995 the new state of matter baptized as the Bose-Einstein condensate in homage to its first theorists.

The 4 states of matter that we currently know encompass our natural environment. The 5th state of matter defines aggregations at subatomic levels, just like the discoveries of other states from the 20th century on.

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