Bose-Einstein Condensate

Neha Kishor
Updated on

Bose-Einstein condensate is a state of matter which is typically formed when a gas of bosons at low densities is cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. In a gas, each atom has its own energy and can move freely. When these atoms are bosons, they are allowed to have the same energy at the same time. When the gas is cooled down the atoms slow down and their energy decreases. Due to their quantum nature, the atoms behave like a wave that increases in size and temperature decreases. At a very low temperature, the size of the wave becomes larger. When the temperature of Bose-Einstein gas is lowered from absolute zero the number of Boson fall rapidly into the ground state. This rapid increase in the ground state population below the critical temperature is known as Bose-Einstein condensation.


Bose-Einstein condensate was first predicted in 1924-1925 by Albert Einstein and crediting a pioneering paper by Satyendra Nath Bose on the new field now known as quantum statistics. Bose first sent a paper to Einstein on quantum statistics in which he derived Planck’s quantum radiation law. Einstein then extended Bose’s ideas to matter in two other papers. The result of their efforts is the concept of a Bose gas, governed by Bose-Einstein statistics, which describes the statistical distribution of identical particles with integral spin, now called bosons. Bosons, particles that include the photon as well as atoms such as helium-4 are allowed to share a quantum state. Einstein proposed that cooling bosonic atoms to a very low temperature would cause them to fall into the lowest accessible quantum state, resulting in a new form of matter.


Particles can only have a set amount of energy. They either have the energy to bounce around in gases or just the energy to flow like a liquid or be fixed like a solid. If we take enough of the particle’s energy away, we get to the tiniest amount of energy possible. This is a Bose-Einstein condensate. This makes all of the particles the same and instead of bouncing around randomly in all different directions, they all bounce up and down in exactly the same way, forming something called ‘a giant matter wave’ fifth state of matter based on chemical properties.

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