MadSci Network: Physics

Re: In response to a Response on low temp

Date: Fri Nov 20 08:25:59 1998
Posted By: John Balbach, Post-doc/Fellow, Physics, National Institutes of Health
Area of science: Physics
ID: 910473582.Ph


     There is a nice page I found explaining Bose-Einstein Condensates that 
you might be interested in from the Ketterle Group at MIT.

     The first point about Bose-Einstein Condensates is that they are 
a phase of weakly interacting gases so they cannot occur in ice, a solid.  
However, if the pressure is low enough, water can exsist as a gas to very 
low temperatures; could the gas form a Bose-Einstein Condensate?

     Probably not.  Water, even as a gas, is not weakly interacting.  It is 
an electrically polar molecule, and can therefore interact with other water 
molecules over large distances.  Also, if you refer to the page I mentioned 
earlier, you will find that the cooling methods used in creating 
Bose-Einstein Condensates are suited only to single atom gases, so it would 
be difficult to cool water to a point where creation of the condensate is 
physically possible.  

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