Lab under the magnifying glass

Have you ever wondered how the physicists’ lab looks like? We have mentioned our lab and experiment several times but haven’t really shown it before. Our experimental physicists are working with lasers and trying to reach the coldest state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate by cooling atoms with lasers. It sounds mysterious and hard to imagine how does it work in reality.

Ottó Elíasson, a PhD student in experimental physics, took charge of showing the lab to the world and explaining what is happening there. He worked with microscopic wires before he joined the experiment at Aarhus University in 2014.

The experimental table might seem to be a pile of incomprehensible contraptions for untrained eyes but after all these years, Ottó knows each and every pieces of it. In collaboration with Toni Genov, our video content manager, Ottó highlighted the most interesting and essential parts of the experiment and explained the main idea behind cooling atoms in our lab at Aarhus University.

Check out the video and explore with Ottó what goes on in a real lab!

A few expressions worth to remember

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. Under such conditions, a large fraction of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point microscopic quantum phenomena, particularly wave-function interference, become apparent. A BEC is formed by cooling a gas of extremely low density, about one-hundred-thousandth the density of normal air, to ultra-low temperatures.

Absolute zero is the lower limit of the thermodynamic temperature scale, a state at which the enthalpy and entropy of a cooled ideal gas reaches its minimum value, taken as 0. By international agreement, absolute zero is taken as −273.15° on the Celsius scale which equates to −459.67° on the Fahrenheit scale.

 

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Lab under the magnifying glass
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