Thursday, September 29, 2011


Read for fun !

A Bose-Einstein condensate(BEC) is like an Exam ! It seems funny, but please keep on reading, I'll prove it. A BEC is created out of atoms or molecules at low temperatures so that all atoms in an ensemble reach the ground state of the potential or a trap. A commonly used trap is a Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT). This is like an exam room with physical walls, exam questions, proctors, professors, and the career in a long term. They bind the test-takers in the exam room tightly.

The most energetic atoms leave an MOT quickly, the same way as a smart test-taker does. The low energy atoms go towards the lower and lower state of the trap and they are bound to form a BEC. Similarly, a less smart test-taker remains in the exam room for the whole time assigned to the exam or even more if the proctors or professors allow to do so ! If the trap is stronger or tighter, the atoms are more firmly trapped than in a weaker trap and the coherence is also maintained for a longer time. Analogously, if the questions in the exam are tougher, it makes a test-taker to remain in the exam room for a longer time; but if the questions are easier, the test takers escape right away ! A good exam will help making a good career of a test taker; it is a similar situation to a good BEC, which can be used for various purposes ranging from the study of its properties to the applications in inertial navigation systems and precision measurements. Oh, most importantly, all atoms in a BEC are in the same quantum state like all the test takers in an exam room; all of them are solving the problems the same way, with a goal of succeeding in the test; they are supposedly in the same state of their minds!

I hope I convinced you that a BOSE-EINSTEIN CONDENSATE is NOT different from an EXAM !

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