The Coldest Spot in New Hampshire

It gets cold outside in the winter, but the coldest spot around is in Prof. Wright's lab in the basement of Wilder where an array of lasers traps these small clouds of lithium atoms and cools them almost to absolute zero temperature. The pictures show how the temperature of a cloud is measured: by releasing it and allowing it to expand for a fraction of a second. Colder clouds expand less, because the atoms are moving more slowly. The smallest cloud has a temperature of less than one millionth of a degree! At that temperature the atoms in the cloud are are "Fermi degenerate," and Prof. Wright's group is using them to study superfluidity and other exotic properties of quantum phases of matter.


Learn more about Kevin Wright  and his lab at: