NASA recently sent a dishwater sized box of lasers up to the international space station two years ago to create the fifth form of matter which is the Bose-Einstein condensate. It is the 5th state of matter and is a type of matter which has millions of atoms a form of a cloud that has been chilled to temperatures lower than the temperature in space using lasers inside the vacuum. At such low temperatures, the atoms lose their kinetic energy and come closer to each other which makes it easier for scientists to study the quantum world. The reason why the study of Bose-Einstein condensate is important because it links the macro world to the micro world also the quantum world. The quantum world is very complicated basically because it’s very hard to study tiny particles like electrons as they don’t have a definite position in space. now if these electrons come together and form a lump then it would be easier to study them with a microscope.
The box of lasers which is sent is called the cold atom laboratory which uses magnets and lasers to chill atoms to 1/10th billion of a degree just above absolute zero. Bose-Einstein condensates have been formed on earth for 25 years but their study is difficult because of the action of gravity which pushes them into the ground and the condensate disappears in a matter of milliseconds. However, as in space, there is no gravity hence it would be easier to make it there. It’s been reported that the cold atom laboratory has successfully and is consistently making the condensate in a microgravity. This could also help us in the study of gravitational waves and dark energy. the cold atom laboratory has endless microgravity which could sustain the Bose-Einstein condensate for a couple of years which will help inaccurate reading. At first, NASA only sent the cold atom laboratory for a year after which there will be replacements of some parts but becaus4e of some astronauts in the space station the laboratory-made its second-year anniversary in space.