A BOSE-EINSTEIN CONDENSATE (BEC) is a unique state of matter that forms below a critical temperature in which all bosons that comprise the matter fall into the same quantum state. Also called superatom.
(Note: definition of boson is given further down in explanation).
In an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate, several thousand atoms essentially become a single atom, a "superatom" as it were, and this effect has been observed experimentally with atoms of rubidium and lithium, where the atoms are trapped and cooled by special methods. This uniformity is analogous to the coherence of light in a laser. In a laser, the beam is produced by boosting the majority of the electrons in a medium that contains specific radiation-absorbing atoms into a higher energy level, from which they are stimulated by their own emitted radiation to drop back synchronously to their lower energy level, and emit light which is in phase (coherent).
Similarly this coherency represents itself within the atoms of a Bose Einstein Condensate where the wave packets of the atoms coalesce into a single, macroscopic packet. The atoms undergo a quantum identity crisis (as it were) and they then become indistinguishable from from one another. At very low temperatures Einstein's theory predicted that a significant proportion of the atom's in the gas would collapse into their lowest energy level. This would lead to the formation of what has become known as the Bose-Einstein Condensate, or BEC. The BEC is essentially a new state of matter where it is no longer possible to distinguish between atoms. In this new state of matter the particles have overlapping quantum states and are attractively interactive. This condition appears when the relative motion of individual particles approaches zero or when their common de Broglie wavelengths are greater than the interparticle distances. (The de Broglie wavelength is the quantum mechanical "wavelength" associated with a particle, named after the scientist who discovered it. In quantum mechanics, all particles also have wave characteristics, where the wavelength of a particle is inversely proportional to its momentum. The constant of proportionality in this relationship is the Planck's constant )
When the temperature of the atoms decreases towards absolute zero then their de Broglie wavelengths get very large when compared to the atomic separation between them. Hence, the atoms can no longer be thought of as particles, but rather must be treated as waves. The closer we approach the BEC temperatures the more the wavelengths of neighboring atoms begin to overlap each other, much like as if they are covered with a 'wave-blanket.' Finally, if the atomic gas is cooled enough, what results is a kind of fuzzy blob where the atoms all have the same wavefunction.
Such a group of atoms consequently behaves, in some ways, as a single atom.
Superconductors are a form of BECs and so are superfluids. However the Bose-Einstein Condensate does not apply to all atoms. This unique quantum state only applies to particles which can be treated as BOSONS. A boson is defined as any CLASS of elementary particles that are not subject to the (Pauli) exclusion principle and which have spin values of zero or of an integral number (Integral numbers are WHOLE numbers that do not have decimal parts).
(Note: the Pauli exclusion principle states that two identical FERMIONS (electrons, protons or neutrons) in a given system CANNOT be in states characterized by the same set of quantum numbers. A fermion is a particle, such as an electron, proton, or neutron, which has a HALF-integral spin and obeys statistical rules requiring that not more than one in a set of identical particles may occupy a particular quantum state. For this reason the Bose-Einstein Condensate only applies to bosons with spins that are whole integers)
Bosons which are particles that have have integral spin are shown to behave differently than the fermions with half-integral spin (Note: spin refers to angular momentum). Statistical mechanics can be used to describe the particles. The statistical rules which express how bosons interact are called Bose-Einstein statistics. The fundamental bosons which are found in nature are gauge bosons.
An example of bosons are photons or mesons, both of which have spins of 1. As stated earlier fermions such as electrons, protons and neutrons are excluded from the BEC because, unlike bosons, these subatomic particles are subject to the Pauli Exclusion principle which governs their statistical behavior.
However, a COMPOSITE atom is not necessarily excluded from the Bose-Einstein Condensate state because a composite atom, taken as a WHOLE unit, can also be referred to as a boson or 'bosonic atom' if the sum of the spin states of all of its subcomponents are 0 or an integral number.
Any atom that is made up of an EVEN number of fermions (particles with half integer spin e.g. electrons, protons and neutrons to name a few), can be considered to be a boson. Rubidium-87 is an example of such an atom.
The BEC state is also closely related to superconductivity as stated in the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001:
"In 1995 Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman led a team that isolated a rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate under laboratory conditions; two experiments by different teams involving molecules were successful in 2003. It is believed that this state of matter could never have existed naturally anywhere in the universe, since the low temperatures required for its existence cannot be found, even in outer space. The condensate may be useful in the study of superconductivity (the ability of some materials to conduct electrical current without any resistance) and superfluidity (the ability of some materials to flow without resistance) and in refining measurements of time and distance".
The following description is given by made Mr Cornell and Mr Wieman :
By Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman
"In June 1995 our research group at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (now called JILA) in Boulder, Colo., succeeded in creating a minuscule but marvellous droplet. By cooling 2,000 rubidium atoms to a temperature less than 100 billionths of a degree above absolute zero (100 billionths of a degree kelvin), we caused the atoms to lose for a full 10 seconds their individual identities and behave as though they were a single "superatom." The atoms' physical properties, such as their motions, became identical to one another.This Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), the first observed in a gas, can be thought of as the matter counterpart of the laser-except that in the condensate it is atoms, rather than photons, that dance in perfect unison.
"Our short-lived, gelid sample was the experimental realisation of a theoretical construct that has intrigued scientists ever since it was predicted some 73 years ago by the work of physicists Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose. At ordinary temperatures, the atoms of a gas are scattered throughout the container holding them. Some have high energies (high speeds); others have low ones. Expanding on Bose's work, Einstein showed that if a sample of atoms were cooled sufficiently, a large fraction of them would settle into the single lowest possible energy state in the container. In mathematical terms, their individual wave equations-which describe such physical characteristics of an atom as its position and velocity-would in effect merge, and each atom would become indistinguishable from any other.
"Progress in creating Bose-Einstein condensates has sparked great interest in the physics community and has even generated coverage in the mainstream press. At first, some of the attention derived from the drama inherent in the decades- long quest to prove Einstein's theory. But most of the fascination now stems from the fact that the condensate offers a macroscopic window into the strange world of quantum mechanics, the theory of matter based on the observation that elementary particles, such as electrons, have wave properties. Quantum mechanics, which encompasses the famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle, uses these wavelike properties to describe the structure and interactions of matter.
"We can rarely observe the effects of quantum mechanics in the behaviour of a macroscopic amount of material. In ordinary, so-called bulk matter, the incoherent contributions of the uncountably large number of constituent particles obscure the wave nature of quantum mechanics, and we can only infer its effects. But in Bose condensation, the wave nature of each atom is precisely in phase with that of every other. Quantum-mechanical waves extend across the sample of condensate and can be observed with the naked eye. The sub- microscopic thus becomes macroscopic.
"At extremely low temperatures or at small size scales, on the other hand, the usefulness of classical mechanics begins to wane. The crisp analogy of atoms as Ping-Pong balls begins to blur. We cannot know the exact position of each atom, which is better thought of as a blurry spot. This spot-known as a wave packet-is the region of space in which we can expect to find the atom. As a collection of atoms becomes colder, the size of each wave packet grows. As long as each wave packet is spatially separated from the others, it is possible, at least in principle, to tell atoms apart. When the temperature becomes sufficiently low, however, each atom's wave packet begins to overlap with those of neighbouring atoms. When this happens, the atoms "Bose - condense" into the lowest possible energy state, and the wave packets coalesce into a single, macroscopic packet. The atoms undergo a quantum identity crisis: we can no longer distinguish one atom from another.
"The current excitement over these condensates contrasts sharply with the reaction to Einstein's discovery in 1925 that they could exist. Perhaps because of the impossibility then of reaching the required temperatures-less than a millionth of a degree kelvin-the hypothesised gaseous condensate was considered a curiosity of questionable validity and little physical significance. For perspective, even the coldest depths of intergalactic space are millions of times too hot for Bose condensation.
"In the intervening decades, however, Bose, condensation came back into fashion. Physicists realised that the concept could explain superfluidity in liquid helium, which occurs at much higher temperatures than gaseous Bose condensation. Below 2.2 kelvins, the viscosity of liquid helium completely disappears - putting the "super" in superfluidity".
H.J. Sharp also speaks of the Bose Einstein Condensate and its relationship to the first interval in the Gurdjieffian octave. Gurdjieff calls this first interval the 'Mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-ln' in his book Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson.
This Mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-ln relates to the THIRD and FOURTH notes of the octave which is between the Mi-Fa interval. This interval is where the progression of the vibrations slow down and if it does not recieve a shock from the outside it will deviate from it's original direction. This interval or 'shock point' corresponds to the missing semi-tones of the musical octave between mi-fa (and there is another one at si-do). This mi-fa interval is what Gurdjieff called the 'Mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-ln' It is at this interval (note: Gurdjieff calls these intervals 'stopinders' in his book Beelzebub) that a retardation of vibrations occurs and a deviation or deflection from the original direction takes place. It is at this point that an external or mechanical shock is needed in order to keep the octave progressing to its completion into the next higher cycle. (See Law Of Seven).
There is also another retardation point in the octave that is between the si-do interval. just before its progression into the next higher octave, that Gurdjieff call the 'intentionally-actualized-Mdnel-In' where the shock must be internal, that is, it comes from within instead of without. This is where the completed octave has sufficient energy within itself to begin a new octave.
Gurdjieff says in Beelzebub: (Note the Law of Heptaparaparshinokh is another name for Gurdjieff's 'Law Of Seven.'
"Our COMMON FATHER OMNI-BEING-ENDLESSNESS, having decided to change the principle of the maintenance of the existence of this then still unique cosmic concentration and sole place of HIS most glorious Being, first of all altered the process itself of the functioning of these two primordial fundamental sacred laws, and HE actualized the greater change in the law of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh.
"These changes in the functioning of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh consisted in this, that in three of its Stopinders (intervals) HE altered the, what are called 'subjective actions' which had been until then in the Stopinders, in this respect, that in one HE lengthened the law conformable successiveness; shortened it in another; and in a third, disharmonized it.
"And, namely, with the purpose of providing the 'requisite inherency' for receiving, for its functioning, the automatic affluence of all forces which were near, HE lengthened the Stopinder between its third and fourth deflections.
"This same Stopinder of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh is just that one, which is still called the 'mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-In.'
"And the Stopinder which HE shortened, is between its last deflection and the beginning of a new cycle of its completing process; by this same shortening, for the purpose of facilitating the commencement of a new cycle of its completing process, HE predetermined the functioning of the given Stopinder to be dependent only upon the affluence of forces, obtained from outside through that Stopinder from the results of the action of that cosmic concentration itself in which the completing process of this primordial fundamental sacred law flows.
"And this Stopinder of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh is just that one, which is still called the 'intentionally-actualized-Mdnel-ln.' "
Concerning this first first shock point at the mi-fa interval called the Mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-ln, Harry Sharp relates this to what Professor Frolich proposed concerning another form of resonance that relates to biological structures which often consist of electric dipoles that are capable of vibratory motion, such as the hydrogen bonds in DNA and proteins. Long-range coulomb interactions between the oscillatory units produce a narrow band of frequencies corresponding to the normal modes of electromagnetic oscillations. Frolich showed that when energy is supplied to such a system-- either from metabolism or from external sources-above a critical rate, it is automatically channeled into the lowest frequency mode, thereby resulting in coherent excitation of the vibratory components (a phenomenon known as Bose-Einstein condensation).
In reference to this Harry Sharp says in his website 'The Adventures of a Solitary Soul ' :
"This brings us to the first special interval, a Mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-ln between Mi and Fa. Once this special interval is bridged by energy from other Laws of Seven, we are able to apply quantum mechanics to our explanations.
"It was over 25 years ago at Liverpool University that Prof Frolich found that in a protocell in the form of a micelle the long chain molecules making up its wall vibrated at the same frequency at a given temperature but independently. If further energy was available, by a small rise in temperature of the medium, what is called a Bose-Einstein Condensation occurs. All these molecules come into synchronicity, vibrating together, allowing for more energy to be contained. The assembly then becomes a living cell and emits biophotons. Further work by German and Japanese scientists has confirmed that all living tissue emits light to a degree relating to its vivifyingness. So here we have in effect the results of the interaction producing radiation. Surprisingly no one has connected this with Auras. It is also significant that such living material is able to create higher energies from lower energies, to make energy go against the second law of thermodynamics".