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The 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics
Oleh : Nobel Foundation
Rabu, 10 Oktober 2001 (22:51 WIB) dari IP 18.104.22.168
The 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics
9 October 2001
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel
Prize in Physics for 2001 jointly to
Eric A. Cornell
JILA and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts,
Carl E. Wieman
JILA and University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA,
"for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali
atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the
New State of Matter Revealed: Bose-Einstein Condensate
A laser beam differs from the light from an ordinary light bulb in several ways.
In the laser the light particles all have the same energy and oscillate together.
To cause matter also to behave in this controlled way has long been a
challenge for researchers. This year|APO|s Nobel Laureates have succeeded - they
have caused atoms to "sing in unison" - thus discovering a new state of
matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).
In 1924 the Indian physicist Bose made important theoretical calculations
regarding light particles. He sent his results to Einstein who extended the
theory to a certain type of atom. Einstein predicted that if a gas of such
atoms were cooled to a very low temperature all the atoms would suddenly
gather in the lowest possible energy state. The process is similar to when
drops of liquid form from a gas, hence the term condensation.
Seventy years were to pass before this year|APO|s Nobel Laureates, in 1995,
succeeded in achieving this extreme state of matter. Cornell and Wieman then
produced a pure condensate of about 2 000 rubidium atoms at 20 nK
(nanokelvin), i.e. 0.000 000 02 degrees above absolute zero.
Independently of the work of Cornell and Wieman, Ketterle performed
corresponding experiments with sodium atoms. The condensates he managed
to produce contained more atoms and could therefore be used to investigate
the phenomenon further. Using two separate BECs which were allowed to
expand into one another, he obtained very clear interference patterns, i.e. the
type of pattern that forms on the surface of water when two stones are
thrown in at the same time. This experiment showed that the condensate
contained entirely co-ordinated atoms. Ketterle also produced a stream of
small "BEC drops" which fell under the force of gravity. This can be
considered as a primitive "laser beam" using matter instead of light.
It is interesting to speculate on areas for the application of BEC. The new
"control" of matter which this technology involves is going to bring
revolutionary applications in such fields as precision measurement and
Eric A. Cornell, 39 years, born 1961 in Palo Alto, California (US citizen).
PhD 1990 at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cambridge,
Massachusetts. Senior scientist at NIST (National Institute of Standards and
Technology), Professor Adjoint, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Wolfgang Ketterle, 43 years, born 1957 in Heidelberg, Germany (German
citizen, US resident). PhD 1986 at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
and Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching. Professor of Physics at
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Carl E. Wieman, 50 years, born 1951 in Corvallis, Oregon (US citizen). PhD
1977 at Stanford University. Professor of Physics at University of Colorado,
Prize amount: SEK 10 million, will be shared equally among the Laureates
Press Officer: Eva Krutmeijer, phone |PLS|46 8 673 95 95, |PLS|46 709 84 66 38,
RE:The 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics
Oleh : Ikuk
Jumat, 14 Desember 2001 (23:18 WIB) dari IP 22.214.171.124
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