2005 Lecturer: Wolfgang Ketterle

Wolfgang Ketterle, Physics Nobel Prize Laureate and the John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the 2005 Ford Motor Company Distinguished Lecture in Physics.

The lecture was held on Wednesday, April 6, 2005, in 1324 East Hall Auditorium at 4:15 PM with a reception preceding it at 3:45 PM on the first floor of the East Hall Atrium (located directly behind the lecture hall facing Church Street).

When Freezing Cold is Not Cold Enough -- New Forms of Matter at Close to Absolute Zero Temperature

Why do physicists freeze matter to extremely low temperatures? Why is it worthwhile to cool to temperatures which are more than a million times lower than that of interstellar space? This lecture will discuss new forms of matter, which exist only at extremely low temperatures. Low temperatures open a new door to the quantum world where particles behave as waves and “march in lockstep”. In 1925, Einstein predicted such a new form of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, but it was realized only in 1995 in laboratories at Boulder and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). More recently, Bose-Einstein condensates of molecules and fermion pairs have been created and may show behavior similar to electrons in superconducting materials.