With the help of the carrier rocket “Antares” Orbital ATK space Agency NASA sent to the International space station the equipment for the experiment on extreme cooling of matter. Project Cold Atom Laboratory (“Laboratory cold atom”, CAL) is designed to achieve a temperature that is 10 billion times lower than the temperature of vacuum. It is necessary to obtain condensation of Bose — Einstein group of a large number of atoms that exhibit quantum properties on a macroscopic level.
The experiment consists of several tools, such as box, lasers, vacuum chamber and electromagnetic knife. All of this is designed to work with atoms, namely, to cool them to a temperature closest to absolute zero than ever. If successful, the experiment will help to slow their speed on the longest at the moment, period.
At absolute zero, is equal to -273,15 degrees Celsius (0 Kelvin), the atoms of a substance stop moving completely, which, however, is unattainable in practice due to zero-point quantum fluctuations, which is manifested when the system minimum energy state. This effect is observed when you create a condensate of the Bose — Einstein condensate, composed of bosons — particles that can occupy the same quantum state, i.e. to become indistinguishable from the point of view of the experimenter. Since all the particles are able to reach the minimum energy level, all the condensate ceases to interact with atoms of surrounding substances, whereby, for example, the force of friction disappears and there is superfluidity.
The microgravity aboard the ISS will allow for observation of the condensate Bose — Einstein within a very long period of time of 10 seconds.
“The study of these hyperchaotic atoms could transform our understanding of matter and the fundamental nature of gravity. The experiments that we will conduct with CAL, will help us to better understand gravity and dark energy are the most common forces in the Universe,” commented Robert Thompson, the project scientist CAL jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA.
Quantum effects that occur in the condensate Bose — Einstein, including superfluidity, can be used for efficient energy transfer and the creation of superconductive devices and quantum computers and ultra-precise atomic clocks with laser cooling.
Cold Atom Laboratory launched aboard a private cargo spaceship Cygnus Monday, may 21. In addition, the ISS was sent the equipment for sequencing genomes of microbes, discovered on Board the ISS, and hand-held sextant to determine the position of the stations by stars.