Scientists who achieved the lowest temperature ever recorded in the universe (and how they can be used to develop unimaginable techniques)

  • Alexandra Martins
  • BBC News World

image source, Ella Maru Studio / Courtesy of Ibarra / Rice University.


An artist’s presentation of the complex magnetic correlations that scientists observed in their pioneering experiment. The different colors represent the six possible inner states of ytterbium atoms.

What is the lowest temperature you can imagine? The lowest recorded level on Earth is -89.2℃ in Antarctica. In some places on the moon it can go as low as -200 degrees Celsius.

But an international team of scientists has achieved an even lower temperature, the lowest ever measured in the universe.

Researchers from Rice University in the United States and Kyoto University in Japan obtained temperature in the laboratory 3 billion times cooler than interstellar space.

Scientists used lasers to cool atoms to a temperature of just one billionth of a degree above −273.15 ℃, which is absolute zero on the Kelvin scale. This is the temperature at which all motion of the atoms comes to a complete stop.

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