MIT scientists have brought a supercool end to a heated race among physicists: They have become the first to create a new type of matter, a gas of atoms that shows high-temperature superfluidity.
Their work, to be reported in the June 23 issue of Nature, is closely related to the superconductivity of electrons in metals. Observations of superfluids may help solve lingering questions about high-temperature superconductivity, which has widespread applications for magnets, sensors and energy-efficient transport of electricity, said Wolfgang Ketterle, a Nobel laureate who heads the MIT group and who is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics.
Seeing the superfluid gas so clearly is such a dramatic step that Dan Kleppner, director of the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms, said, "This is not a smoking gun for superfluidity. This is a canon."
Denise Brehm | EurekAlert!
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