Bose–Einstein condensate

play
noun Bose–Ein·stein condensate \ˈbōs-ˈīn-ˌstīn- sometimes -īn-ˌshtīn-\
variants: less commonly

Bose–Einstein condensation

Definition of Bose–Einstein condensate

plural

Bose–Einstein condensates

also

Bose–Einstein condensations

physics

  1. :  a state of matter that occurs when a set of atoms is cooled almost to absolute zero in which a statistical description of the positions of the atoms implies that they physically overlap each other and in effect form a single atom The uncertainty principle of physics claims that if the velocity of an atom is sufficiently well defined, its position becomes proportionately ill defined. By cooling a set of atoms to only a little bit above absolute zero, their velocity can be determined fairly accurately, to the point where their theoretical positions overlap each other. At this point, the atoms can all be treated as if they exist in the same quantum state and are part of a single large atom. Take a rarefied gas—atoms darting around in a container—and cool it so that the motion becomes slower and slower. Each atom's wavelength will widen until finally, as the temperature nears absolute zero, they all overlap, forming an exotic substance called a Bose-Einstein condensate. — George Johnson, The New York Times, 16 Oct. 2001

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Origin and Etymology of bose–einstein condensate

after Satyendra Nath Bose †1974 Indian physicist and Albert Einstein †1955 American physicist born in Germany


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Bose–Einstein condensate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!