This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]
NSF Home IMAGE LIBRARY HOME Contact NSF Image Library How to Use the NSF Image Library
Image Search


IMAGE SEARCH
ALL IMAGES
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY
NEWS IMAGES
NSF SENIOR STAFF
OTHER PHOTO SOURCES

Image: A series of three false-color images of a gas of ultra-cold Rubidium atoms at temperatures of (left to right) 400, 200, and 50 nanoKelvins (nK), show the emergence of a Bose-Einstein condensate (or BEC). At 400 nK, the atoms behave like a conventional gas, with a smooth distribution of high and low energy atoms. At 200 nK, the BEC begins to appear in the form of a significant fraction of near-zero energy atoms, shown as a peak in the center of the image. The skirt surrounding the peak is the remaining noncondensed atoms. By 50 nK, the noncondensed fraction has all but vanished, leaving about three thousand atoms in a single macroscopically occupied wavefunction--the Bose-Einstein condensate. The images are about 200 micrometers on a side.  [Image 1 of 2 related images; see also, Bose-Einstein Condensate Researchers.]<BR>
<BR>
<U><B>More about this Image:</B></U><BR>
The first demonstration of the Bose-Einstein condensation in a gas was made in 1995 by Eric A. Cornell, an adjoint professor at the University of Colorado, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a National Science Foundation-supported researcher, and his colleague Carl Wieman.<BR>
<BR>
As predicted by Albert Einstein 70 years ago, atoms, when cooled to temperatures approaching absolute zero, condense into a

Dr. Cornell was awarded the Alan T. Waterman Award by the National Science Board in May 1997 for his work in this area, the highest honor for young researchers. He was also named a Nobel laureate in Physics in 2001. Cornell's experiments since then have established the area as an exciting new field of physics. Many physicists consider the creation of the Bose-Einstein condensate the most important discovery since high-temperature superconductivity. It's a new macroscopic state with unique and fascinating properties. Its applications have included the transformation of the field of atom interferometry in much the same way the laser revolutionized optical interferometry. Cornell's work has opened up a rich and fascinating physical system with a host of further questions to explore. Thumbnail">


Name:

E-mail Address:

Where will the image be used:
NSF requests users to complete an electronic information form documenting the requestor's planned use of the image. This form provides us with valuable tracking information that will help to shape the contents of the image library in the future. We do not retain any personal information (name, email address other than domain name - “.edu,” “.org,” “.com,” “.gov,” etc.) in our files. If you would prefer not to provide your name and email address, type any letter in those boxes. For information about NSF’s Privacy Policy, please see http://www.nsf.gov/home/pubinfo/privacy.htm.


Image Library HomeNSF HomeOffice of Legislative and Public Affairs Home


The National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: 703-292-5111
FIRS: 800-877-8339 ~ TDD: 703-292-5090

Last Modified: Jan 31, 2001