Washington: NASA scientist are on the job to create the coldest spot aboard the International Space Station (ISS) that would help them unravel the secrets behind interesting and novel quantum phenomena.
Using NASA`s Cold Atom Lab, scientists plan to create temperatures only a few degrees above absolute zero on the station.
“We`re going to study matter at temperatures far colder than are found naturally,” informed project scientist Rob Thompson from NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.
The Cold Atom Lab is an atomic `refrigerator` planned to make the orbiting laboratory on the ISS its new home in 2016.
Researchers would also be able to mix super-cool atomic gases on board the space station.
Atoms would float free of perturbations, which would allow for extremely sensitive measurements of the weak interactions that occur.
The ISS is a prime location to perform such experiments because of lack of interference from the pull of gravity.
Practical applications of the work include quantum sensors, matter wave interferometers and atomic lasers.