Definition of Bose–Einstein condensate
: 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
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Origin and Etymology of bose–einstein condensate
after Satyendra Nath Bose †1974 Indian physicist and Albert Einstein †1955 American physicist born in Germany
First Known Use: 1938See Words from the same year
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