13 Jul 2019

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eric Cornell who discovered new state of matter

From Saturday Morning, 9:35 am on 13 July 2019

Eric Cornell is an American physicist who, with Carl Wieman and Wolfgang Ketterle, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2001 for creating a new ultracold state of matter, the so-called Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).  

The existence of the condensate had been predicted by Albert Eistein, among others, and Cornell had been searching for it for over 10 years before his breakthough - which was discovering that chilling and slowing atoms caused them to merge into a single entity. 

Eric Cornell has been in New Zealand to attend the 24th International Conference On Laser Spectroscopy (ICOLS), hosted by the Dodd-Walls Centre, New Zealand's national research group for photonic and quantum technologies, which combines top scientists from across the country and is based at the University of Otago.

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Photo: Dodd-Walls Centre / 222 Photographic Studios