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BIO Magazine - Space Station Instrument Will Be the Coldest Thing in the Universe Δεκέμβριος 2015
Δεκέμβριος 2015 No38

BIO Space Sciences

Space Station Instrument Will Be the Coldest Thing in the Universe
Space Station Instrument Will Be the Coldest Thing in the Universe

When temperatures fall to record lows, some hardy folks like to boast that they went about their daily tasks unfazed by the wind chill warnings. Well, if sub-zero bragging rights are at stake, the International Space Station will soon have the entire universe beat.

In 2016, a new instrument due to be added to the ISS — NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory — will become the coldest location in the known universe. The instrument is capable of achieving a temperature of 100 Pico-kelvin, or one ten-billionth of a degree above absolute zero. For perspective, the average temperature of space is a balmy 2.7 Kelvin, or -454.81 degrees Fahrenheit.

At these extremely low temperatures, ordinary concepts of solid, liquid and gas are irrelevant. Matter can be in two places at once, objects behave simultaneously as particles and waves, and nothing is certain.

 

Cool Science

The temperature isn’t the only thing that’s cool about the Cold Atom Lab. Scientists will use the instrument to study the behavior of a strange form of matter known as Bose-Einstein condensates. Bose-Einstein condensates occur when atoms get so cold — near absolute zero — that they coalesce into a single wave of matter.

ice cream of the future.” Astronauts, we’re counting on you.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/02/06/space-station-instrument-will-be-the-coldest-thing-in-the-universe/#.U05SlVe0iYB

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