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Nobel prize: Physics

12:02pm, October 10, 2001

Three scientists who were the first to create an exotic, potentially useful state of matter called the Bose-Einstein condensate have won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Carl E. Wieman of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Eric A. Cornell of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), also in Boulder, will share the nearly $1 million prize with Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Colorado scientists are members of JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado.

In 1995, Wieman and Cornell together used rubidium-87 atoms to make the world's first Bose-Einstein condensate (SN: 7/15/95, p. 36). A few months later, Ketterle and his group repeated the feat with sodium atoms (SN: 12/2/95, p. 373).

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