Apr 20, 2018

Ultra-Cold Atoms Recreate the Expanding Universe in Tabletop Experiment

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, quantum physics

Eerie similarities unite vastly different scientific ideas in sometimes utterly surprising ways. One of these similarities may have allowed scientists to recreate the expanding universe—on a countertop.

Researchers accomplished their feat using Bose-Einstein condensates, which are collections of certain atoms held to the near coldest-possible temperatures. Bose-Einstein condensates let scientists see teeny quantum mechanical effects on a much larger scale, and have been used to do lots and lots of wild physics. These scientists hope they can use its quirks to model the behavior of the far grander cosmos.

“It’s hard to test theories of cosmology,” study author Gretchen Campbell, from the University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute, told Gizmodo. “Maybe we can actually find a way to study some cosmological models on the laboratory scale.”

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