We know the usual three-phase or the state of matter exist around us, namely solid, liquid, and gas. What exactly is it? We can define it as something which exists in this universe, which has some weight of its own and consists of several atoms. When we move to the molecular level, we can see that they bind to each other; hence they’re the building blocks for every material. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Solids in which the particles are close to each other with almost no movement. This structure is visible through a powerful microscope. You know that a solid with its shape doesn’t change unless we apply some external force. Due to its high density, it attains stability. The liquid, which we commonly drink like water have slightly less force of attraction, so it can change its shape when we alter it. Gas is all around us. The atmosphere itself consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and other major constituents.
Let me introduce to the two unfamiliar matters we rarely know. Plasma found in televisions, and I guess you may already make this guess earlier. This matter is also present in neon signboards, computer chips, and even the inner lining of your favorite chips packet, the shiny metallic layer. Most importantly, it is the most natural state ever found in the entire universe; after all, the stars are also plasma at very high temperatures.
So, now moving on to the fifth matter, the BEC. Originated back in 1924, one of the great scientists, Albert Einstein, along with the Indian physicists, Satyendra Nath Bose in his papers, described the condensate and named after them. This matter was created in 1995 at the University of Colorado using lasers and magnets. They cooled a sample of a metal known as Rubidium, atomic number 35 to almost zero degrees at an instant. Due to the sudden change of temperature, the atoms internally couldn’t move much. Later the kinetic energy lost, and a giant molecule got created.
In the year 2020, the researchers were able to recreate it with less than a blink of an eye, which is still very slow and maybe much less than you could ever imagine. It just got created in 100 femtoseconds, i.e., only in 10-13 seconds. Even the advanced cameras couldn’t work so fast. The researchers of Finland described the process where they pumped in energy in 50 femtoseconds was visible, but with 300 femtoseconds, it wasn’t noticeable. The condensate generates a very sharp striking band of light, very bright, which may have more uses in the future. Now with further advancement, the matter was even created in the space on the largest space station, ISS, where there is zero-gravity. The research in areas got carried out using Cold Atom Lab, a 70-million-dollar lab with only 0.4 cubic meter space with all necessary items to create the BEC. The lab process of creation was also patented, and they are eager to work more in the field.