Scientists in Germany have broke the record for the coldest temperature ever measured in a lab.

In a strange experiment that involved dropping a quantum gas and switching a magnetic field on and off to bring its atoms to an almost complete standstill. German physicist achieved the temperature of 38 trillionths of a degree above -273.15 Celsius by dropping magnetized gas 393 feet (120 meters) down a tower.

It is to be noted however that the experiment only managed to achieve this record-breaking temperature for up to 2-seconds. Although simulations showed that it should be possible to maintain this coldest of coldest temperature for up to 17 seconds in a weightless environment, such as onboard the ISS or a satellite.

Researchers was investigating the quantum properties of a so-called fifth state of matter: Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), a derivative of gas that exists only under ultra-cold conditions. While in the BEC phase, matter itself begins to behave like one large atom, making it an especially appealing subject for quantum physicists who are interested in the mechanics of subatomic particles.

As per scientific definition 'Temperature' is a measure of molecular vibration – the more a collection of molecules moves, the higher the collective temperature.

In this record-breaking experiment, scientists trapped a cloud of around 100,000 gaseous rubidium atoms in a magnetic field inside a vacuum chamber. Then, they cooled the chamber way down, to around 2 billionths of a degree Celsius above absolute zero, which would have been a world record in itself.

This ultra-cold temperatures achieved is useful in enhancing quantum computers' power as it may help scientists build better quantum computers, says to researchers at MIT.


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