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Science. 2010 Jun 18;328(5985):1540-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1189164.

Bose-Einstein condensation in microgravity.

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1
Institut für Quantenoptik, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Welfengarten 1, 30167 Hannover, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Science. 2010 Jul 2;329(5987):33.

Abstract

Albert Einstein's insight that it is impossible to distinguish a local experiment in a "freely falling elevator" from one in free space led to the development of the theory of general relativity. The wave nature of matter manifests itself in a striking way in Bose-Einstein condensates, where millions of atoms lose their identity and can be described by a single macroscopic wave function. We combine these two topics and report the preparation and observation of a Bose-Einstein condensate during free fall in a 146-meter-tall evacuated drop tower. During the expansion over 1 second, the atoms form a giant coherent matter wave that is delocalized on a millimeter scale, which represents a promising source for matter-wave interferometry to test the universality of free fall with quantum matter.

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PMID:
20558713
DOI:
10.1126/science.1189164
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