Is our world a 3D holographic illusion created in a test-tube?

Physics is COOL! Molecules chilled to coldest temperature ever recorded at 2.5 thousandths of a degree above absolute zero

  • Scientists at Yale University have created the world’s coldest molecules
  • Based in Connecticut the experiment chilled them to almost absolute zero
  • It is the coldest temperature ever recorded for any molecule
  • The physicists used a laser system to trap the molecules and cool them
  • And it could prompt new research into areas such as quantum chemistry

Physicists have succeeded in chilling molecules to the coldest temperature ever reported.

The experiment lowered the temperature of selected molecules to 2.5 thousands of a degree above absolute zero.

And the result could prompt new research in areas ranging from quantum chemistry to tests of the most basic theories in particle physics.

The research, published in the journal Nature, was conducted by scientists at Yale University in Connecticut.

It involved dropping the temperature of strontium monofluoride with lasers in a process known as magneto-optical trapping (MOT).

At almost absolute zero (-273.15°C or -459.67°) they are the coldest molecules ever achieved through direct cooling, representing a physics milestone.

‘We can start studying chemical reactions that are happening at very near to absolute zero,’ said Dr Dave DeMille, a Yale physics professor and principal investigator.

‘We have a chance to learn about fundamental chemical mechanisms.’

Magneto-optical trapping has become very popular with atomic physicists in the past generation – but only at the single-atom level.

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Magneto-optical trapping involves holding molecules in place with lasers. In so doing the physicists were able to cool the molecules to a fraction of a degree above aboslute zero (artist's illustration shown)

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