Scientists bored with old forms of matter invent a new one.

OK, so it’s not because they were actually bored, but because they’re searching for one of the Holy Grails of science: a room-temperature superconductor. This new matter isn’t it as it still requires being chilled to billionth of a degree Celsius above absolute zero, but it’s closer and could lead to a room-temperature superconductor.

CNN.com – U.S. scientists create new form of matter – Jan. 28, 2004

The new matter form is called a fermionic condensate and it is the sixth known form of matter—after gases, solids, liquids, plasma and a Bose-Einstein condensate, created only in 1995.

“What we’ve done is create this new exotic form of matter,” Deborah Jin, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s joint lab with the University of Colorado, who led the study, told a news conference.

“It is a scientific breakthrough in providing a new type of quantum mechanical behavior,” added Jin.

Jin and her colleagues’ cloud of supercooled potassium atoms is one step closer to an everyday, usable superconductor—a material that conducts electricity without losing any of its energy.

“It is related to a Bose-Einstein condensate,” Jin said. “It’s not a superconductor but it is really something in between these two that may help us in science link these two interesting behaviors.”

As the article notes, this isn’t a first in the way of new forms of matter being made by scientists. Who knows? Perhaps that silly device on Star Drek that creates whatever the user wants out of thin air isn’t so far fetched after all.

5 thoughts on “Scientists bored with old forms of matter invent a new one.

  1. I love this kind of stuff! It has the pleasant taste of reality to it, as you say, when you’re bored of regular old reality.

    And, I’m thinking ol’ Deborah Jin there isn’t exactly hanging around her mailbox waiting for her Teslar watch to show up.

  2. I’d love to see Debs up against our Tesla friend, she’d wipe the floor with him!
    Ahh Quantum Statistics…..mmmmmm

  3. Okay, I give up. What IS this new form of matter?

    The other five forms have conceptually simple descriptions…but this one escapes me.

    It occurs when you have super-cold matter, with “non-copycat” molecules forced into a copycat relationship…or something like that. But what IS it?

  4. It’s a fermionic condensate. Says so right there in the article.

    As I understand it, the different types of typical matter are just various atoms clumping together in an assortment of ways. In essence the scientists forced some atoms that apparently don’t normally clump together to do so making a new “form” of matter which, alas, can only exist in the very specific environment they created it in at the moment. This is strictly off top of my head and a ridiculously simple explanation, but I think it’s essentially correct.

  5. Seems pointless to me,somehow.
    I mean one billionth of a degree Celsius off absolute zero! Hooray, only 273.6 billion similar steps and we’ve reached the point where ice melts,I for one won’t be holding my breath.
    All this to increase the efficiency of electrical transmission from 90% to 100% whilst the best generator (the diesel engine) has a maximum theoretical(!) efficency of a mere 73%?
    And to allow the invention of magnetically levitating trains?
    I thought they had been invented sometime in the sixties,indeed I have travelled on three of them myself (in Berlin,Germany now dismantled; in Birmingham UK also dismantled and at a japanese airport but i forgot which one;there’s also one at Disney World I believe).
    So what is the point?

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