American physicist whose experiments using laser light to cool and
trap atoms earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997. He shared
the award with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, who also developed
methods of laser cooling and atom trapping.
One result of the development of laser-cooling techniques was the first
observation, in 1995, of the Bose-Einstein condensate, a new state of
matter originally predicted 70 years earlier by Albert Einstein and
the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. In this state atoms are so
chilled and so slow that they, in effect, merge and behave as one single
quantum entity that is much larger than any individual atom.
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