May 27, 2024

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Quantum chemistry experiment on the International Space Station creates the strange fifth state of matter

Quantum chemistry experiment on the International Space Station creates the strange fifth state of matter

Aboard the International Space Station is a small laboratory the size of a small refrigerator that makes some of the coldest things in the universe. It’s called the Cold Atom Laboratory, and for some time, scientists have been using this chamber to investigate the strange quantum properties of atoms in microgravity. But on Wednesday (November 15), they announced they had reached a milestone.

Operated remotely by a team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, the Cold Atom Laboratory has officially produced a quantum gas containing two types of atoms. This could ultimately open the door to entirely new space experiments in quantum chemistry.