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Topic: NASA’s Cold Atom Lab

NASA’s Cold Atom Lab arrives at International Space Station

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA Astronaut Christina Koch recently gave a warm welcome to a very cool arrival to the International Space Station: a new piece of hardware for the Cold Atom Lab, an experimental physics facility that chills atoms to almost absolute zero, or minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273 degrees Celsius). That’s colder than any known place in the universe.

The Cold Atom Lab has been up and running in the space station’s science module since July 2018 and is operated remotely from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Five groups of scientists on Earth are using the Cold Atom Lab to conduct a variety of experiments to help answer questions about how our world works at the smallest scales.

NASA Astronaut Christina Koch unloads new hardware for the Cold Atom Lab aboard the International Space Station the week of December 9th, 2020.  (NASA)

NASA Astronaut Christina Koch unloads new hardware for the Cold Atom Lab aboard the International Space Station the week of December 9th, 2020. (NASA)

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NASA announces International Space Station Experiment Reaches Ultracold Milestone

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA reports the International Space Station is officially home to the coolest experiment in space.

NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) was installed in the station’s U.S. science lab in late May and is now producing clouds of ultracold atoms known as Bose-Einstein condensates. These “BECs” reach temperatures just above absolute zero, the point at which atoms should theoretically stop moving entirely. This is the first time BECs have ever been produced in orbit.

CAL is a multiuser facility dedicated to the study of fundamental laws of nature using ultracold quantum gases in microgravity.

This series of graphs show the changing density of a cloud of atoms as it is cooled to lower and lower temperatures (going from left to right) approaching absolute zero. The emergence of a sharp peak in the later graphs confirms the formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate -- a fifth state of matter -- occurring here at a temperature of 130 nanoKelvin, or less than 1 Kelvin above absolute zero. (Absolute zero, or zero Kelvin, is equal to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273 Celsius). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This series of graphs show the changing density of a cloud of atoms as it is cooled to lower and lower temperatures (going from left to right) approaching absolute zero. The emergence of a sharp peak in the later graphs confirms the formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate — a fifth state of matter — occurring here at a temperature of 130 nanoKelvin, or less than 1 Kelvin above absolute zero. (Absolute zero, or zero Kelvin, is equal to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273 Celsius). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA researchers prepare to create Coldest Spot in the Universe inside International Space Station

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Everyone knows that space is cold. In the vast gulf between stars and galaxies, the temperature of gaseous matter routinely drops to 3 degrees K, or 454 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

It’s about to get even colder.

NASA researchers are planning to create the coldest spot in the known universe inside the International Space Station.

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