High five! Elusive ‘fifth state of matter’ is at last in scientists’ grasp
Physicists believe this state contains vital clues to mysterious phenomena such as dark energy
Scientists have observed the fifth state of matter in space for the first time, offering unprecedented insight that could help solve some of the quantum universe’s most intractable conundrums, research showed Thursday.
Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) – the existence of which was predicted by Albert Einstein and Indian mathematician Satyendra Nath Bose almost a century ago – are formed when atoms of certain elements are cooled to near absolute zero (0 Kelvin, −273.15°C).
At this point, the atoms become a single entity with quantum properties, wherein each particle also functions as a wave of matter...