Wolfgang Ketterle

Facts

Wolfgang Ketterle

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Wolfgang Ketterle

Born: 21 October 1957, Heidelberg, West Germany (now Germany)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: "for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates."

Prize share: 1/3

Work

One of the fundamental numbers in the world of quantum mechanics is the spin quantum number. Particles and atoms that have whole-number spin are described by other rules and equations than those that have half-number spin. Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein predicted in 1924 that at very low temperatures atoms with whole-number spin would be able to concentrate themselves in the lowest energy state and form a Bose-Einstein condensate. In 1995 Wolfgang Ketterle succeeded in proving the phenomenon in a rarefied gas of sodium atoms at an extremely low temperature.

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MLA style: Wolfgang Ketterle – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Fri. 19 Oct 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2001/ketterle/facts/>

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