NIST UPDATE - Physics Laboratory Articles
July 24, 1995

New State of Matter Seen Near Absolute Zero

Researchers at JILA, a joint program of NIST and the University of Colorado at Boulder, recently announced that they achieved a temperature far lower than any previously produced and created an entirely new state of matter predicted 70 years ago by Albert Einstein and Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. A paper in the July 14 Science by Eric Cornell, Carl Wieman and colleagues describes how the team cooled rubidium atoms to less than 170 nanokelvin (billionths of a degree Celsius) above absolute zero. The extreme cold caused the individual atoms to condense into a "superatom" that behaved as a single entity. Before photographing the superatom known as a Bose-Einstein condensate the physicists cooled the atoms to 20 nanokelvin above absolute zero, the lowest temperature ever achieved. The achievement climaxed a 15-year search by physicists worldwide for the condensate.

Media Contact: Collier Smith (Boulder),
Phone:(301) 975-NIST (6478)


New Guide Simplifies International System of Units

It's all you ever wanted to know about the metric system. NIST's new Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI), NIST Special Publication 811, offers advice on proper use of the modern metric system. In the 1995 edition, NIST physicist Barry N. Taylor covers definitions of SI base units, rules and style conventions for expressing measurement results, conversion factors and proper use of units within and outside the International System of Units. Also included is NIST policy on the use of SI units in NIST publications, classes of SI units, SI derived units with special names, symbols and prefixes, and a checklist for reviewing manuscripts. Single copies of the 84-page guide may be obtained from the

Calibration Program,
A104 Bldg. 411,
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-0001,
(301) 975-2002,
fax: (301) 926-2884.

Media Contact: Linda Joy,
Phone:(301) 975-NIST (6478)

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