Scientists have made one super-cool discovery, and it could have major implications for future breakthroughs.
The concept of “Absolute Zero” has always been an impossible goal for scientists. Try as they might, there’s always some way for the slightest smidgen of warmth to creep into an experiment and keep an object from getting to that state. But a group of researchers with the National Institute of Standards and Technology has just come closer than anyone has ever before.
A paper published in the journal Nature recently describes how they used a laser to make a microscopic aluminum drum the coldest thing ever cooled in human history, breaking the quantum limit for supercooling, according to a statement from the institute.
It’s a new technique that will enable scientists to make stuff colder than ever, and could lead to breakthroughs in building incredibly sensitive instruments or even to better understand quantum mechanics, and we can use every bit of knowledge we have in that category.
“The colder you can get the drum, the better it is for any application,” said NIST physicist John Teufel, who led the experiment. “Sensors would become more sensitive. You can store information longer. If you were using it in a quantum computer, then you would compute without distortion, and you would actually get the answer you want.”
“The results were a complete surprise to experts in the field,” Teufel’s group leader and co-author José Aumentado said. “It’s a very elegant experiment that will certainly have a lot of impact.”