Ketterle, Wolfgang

Ketterle, Wolfgang,

1957–, German physicist, Ph.D. Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany, 1986. He has been a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1990. Ketterle shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics with Eric CornellCornell, Eric Allin,
1961–, American physicist, b. Palo Alto, Calif., Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990. Since 1990, he has been a researcher at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in Boulder, Colo.
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 and Carl WiemanWieman, Carl Edwin,
1951–, American physicist, b. Corvallis, Oreg., Ph.D. Stanford, 1977. He was a professor at the Univ. of Colorado from 1984 to 2006. In 2007, he joined the Univ. of British Columbia in Canada as director of the Carl Wieman Science Foundation Initiative.
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 for creating the first Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC; see condensatecondensate,
matter in the form of a gas of atoms, molecules, or elementary particles that have been so chilled that their motion is virtually halted and as a consequence they lose their separate identities and merge into a single entity.
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) in the laboratory and characterizing its properties. Shortly after Cornell and Wieman produced the condensate in 1995 in their lab in Boulder, Colo., Ketterle achieved condensation using a different approach, a gas of sodium atoms, and was able to investigate further the properties of a BEC. Predicted by Albert EinsteinEinstein, Albert
, 1879–1955, American theoretical physicist, known for the formulation of the relativity theory, b. Ulm, Germany. He is recognized as one of the greatest physicists of all time.
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 in 1924, the creation of BECs provided scientists with a new window into the world of quantum physics.
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