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50 Years Ago

50 years ago, a millionth of a degree above absolute zero seemed cold

Excerpt from the July 8, 1967, issue of Science News

By
7:00am, July 5, 2017
computer simulation of an ultraclold cloud of atoms

CHILL OUT  Scientists create ultracold clouds of atoms to study a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, shown above in a computer simulation.

Lowest temperature yet

A common pin dropped on a table from a height of one-eighth of an inch generates about 10 ergs of energy, obviously a minuscule amount. That 10 ergs raises temperature, and even that tiny amount is “much too much” to be allowed in the experiment during which Dr. Arthur Spohr of the Naval Research Laboratory reached the lowest temperature yet achieved — within less than a millionth of a degree of absolute zero. — Science News, July 8, 1967.

 

Update

Today, scientists can make clouds of atoms at temperatures as low as 50 trillionths of a degree above absolute zero (

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