# Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials: Bose-Einstein Condensate

Bose-Einstein Condensate, or BEC, is sometimes referred to as the “fifth state of matter”. It occurs when quantum particles called **bosons **are supercooled, producing a resultant system where these integer spin particles all occupy the same quantum state. BEC has a number of interesting properties and potential applications.

*By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge, patterns that will help you answer questions. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on Bose-Einstein Condensate.*

__BOSE-EINSTEIN:__

BEC is named for **Albert Einstein** and **Satyendra Nath Bose.** Bose first came up with a statistical analysis of the quantum properties of photons, which he shared with Einstein. Einstein took the work and extended it into theoretical physics, proposing a potential new state of matter.

__CORNELL AND WIEMAN:__

In 1995, **Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman** successfully created a BEC in the lab at UC Boulder. Shortly thereafter, **Wolfgang Ketterle** also achieved a similar result at MIT, and the three shared the **2001 Nobel Prize in Physics **for their work.

__RUBIDIUM:__

**Rubidium**, specifically vaporized rubidium, was the material that Cornell and Wieman successfully used to create the BEC. They used laser-cooling to lower the rubidium vapor to a **supercooled** state near absolute zero.

__GROSS-PITAEVSKII EQUATION:__

One equation connected with BECs that comes up frequently is the** Gross-Pitaevskii equation**, which gives the single particle wave function for a BEC. This formula only models BECs near absolute zero, however,

__DR. LENE HAU:__

At Harvard University, Dr. Hau uses a Bose-Einstein condensate in her work on **Slow Light**. Hau was able to fire a pulse of light into the BEC and first slow light to the neighborhood of 17 mph; she later made adjustments to the procedure that essentially reduced the speed of light to zero.

*****

*Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out: *

* LiveScience has a __nice explanation of Bose-Einstein Condensates__ with material for further reading.

* Satyendra Nath Bose was honored in India with the issuing of a postage stamp with his likeness. You can read more about his life and other achievements in Quantum Statistics __here__.

* Think you know all the states of matter? __Think again.__

* Here’s a video of Dr. Hau explaining how Slow Light is achieved using BEC:

***

*Want to learn a ton more quizbowl information, compete on thousands of questions and generally have a blast this summer? *__Come Qwiz with us!__

*Questions? Have a great idea for a future Qwiz5? We'd love to hear from you! Email us at *__hello@qwizbowl.com__

*Love this Qwiz5? Don’t forget to subscribe for updates and share this with your friends through the links below!*