Evaporative cooling has been used to cool atoms to extraordinarily low temperatures. The process was used in 1995 to create a new state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) of rubidium atoms (see Nobel laureate Carl Wieman and his Science 2.0 articles here), which was so revolutionary and unnatural that BEC atoms travel at a rate of only three feet per hour.  Now in its 50th year, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) physicists have met a goal once bordering on the impossible –  they have chilled a gas of molecules to very low temperatures by adapting the familiar process by which a hot cup of coffee cools 

read more

via Science 2.0 Read More…