Science NewsCurated by RSF Research Staff Home > Science News > NASA wants to create the coolest spot in the universe Laser cooling is... cool. Now, NASA will be utilizing laser cooling on-board the International Space Station to create the coolest spot in the universe. This technique is used to produce the distinct state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, where multiple atoms merge as a unified waveform. On Earth, gravity constantly introduces additional motion of the atoms -- the well-known downward pull -- disrupting the Bose-Einstein condensate. At the atomic level, motion is heat, so the unavoidable force of gravity restricts how low the temperature can be brought. But on the International Space Station, the macroscopic quantum configuration of atoms can potentially exist for a longer period since they will be in free fall (effectively zero g), therefore removing a major cause of excess motion. This same technique of creating a Bose-Einstein condensate was recently reported to produce an entirely new form of matter -- a supersolid. A supersolid has the crystalline periodicity of a solid yet combines properties of superfluidity. Studying this unique form of matter may provide a better understanding of related phenomena, such as the quantum vacuum which has many of the properties of a crystalline superfluid. This is directly related to the origin of spin, a factor that is highly important in the dynamics and ordering parameters of the universe. "If you had superfluid water and spun it around in a glass, it would spin forever," said Anita Sengupta of JPL, Cold Atom Lab project manager. "There's no viscosity to slow it down and dissipate the kinetic energy. If we can better understand the physics of superfluids, we can possibly learn to use those for more efficient transfer of energy." The upcoming experiments on-board the International Space Station may serve to reveal more fundamental properties of matter, dark energy detection, as well as a number of improved technologies for sensors, quantum computers and atomic clocks. Reported by: William Brown Article: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-nasa-coolest-universe.html New program aims to enable detection of extremely minute magnetic fields without shieldingMarch 22, 2017Single-atom magnets store bits of dataMarch 22, 2017New Feedback System Could Allow Greater Control Over Fusion PlasmaMarch 21, 2017Superfluid helium behaves like black holesMarch 16, 2017Star in Closest Orbit with Black HoleMarch 15, 2017 Sharing is caring - please share this with your friends: Facebook Twitter If you like this content, you will love the Resonance Academy.