• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Quantum Phenomena Observed During Near Absolute Zero Conditions

Extracts from this document...


Quantum Phenomena Observed During Near Absolute Zero Conditions

Quantum theory (including subfields such as quantum mechanics and quantum electro and thermo dynamics) is at least to say, is a relatively new field of physics, having been born just over a century ago. It can be described as one of the most powerful theory ever to be proposed in the history of physics, even today our knowledge on this subject is regularly updated with new ideas and as we progress further into this subject we begin to discover basically, the many secrets of our universe. In the early 1900s, mankind had basically been able to answer nearly all of the questions concerning physics with the knowledge gained from giants such as Newton. However 10% were unanswerable, they simply could not figure out what was going on and why certain things did not obey rules set down by classical physics. In order to overcome this problem, scientists had to propose some new radical ideas regarding the relationship between matter and energy. Surprisingly a selection of these many dreamt up ideas worked and so quantum theory was born. As said by one of the forefathers of this theory, Erwin Schrödinger (famous for his thought experiment),

“I do not like it, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it.”

...read more.


oC. Also it should be noted that BEC can only be called a ‘true’ BEC when bosons, particles that carry a force, are supercooled, otherwise when other particles are used, the BEC can also be called a super atom (due to the fact that all the atoms are identical thus losing their individuality, all forming a single ‘blob’).

As I have mentioned earlier, BEC can be considered as a superfluid. One very special example of a superfluid is helium II. The boiling point of helium gas was found out to be 4K, therefore when cooled, helium I (normal liquid helium) can be seen boiling and bubbling away. However as the temperaure moves towards absolute zero, 0K, we notice a change in properties. As it nearly approaches 2K, all movement stops, and the helium becomes very still.

At approximately 2.17K, helium I becomes helium II, a superfluid. This point is known as the lambda point due to the shape of the above graph, which looks similar to the greek letter lambda (λ). Here the helium I show some remarkable properties, such as at this point, the viscosity or ‘treacliness’ of helium duudenly drops by a factor of a million, soon becoming zero. It also has zero entrophy, the measure of randomness of molecules in a system, and  infinite thermoconductivity.

...read more.


other interpretations to be proposed, ranging from the mind boggling existence parallel universes to the controversial theory of the involvement of human consciousness as I have mentioned earlier. Apart from the demonstrations I have already described, there are other cases in which we can actually see quantum theory in action. One of the most famous experiments is the proof for wave-particle duality of light. However, this experiment actually demonstrates some support of the observer effect, in other words, the effect of human consciousness. If we make an experiment which proves that light is a wave, then the light particles will behave as a wave and only that. However, if we make an experiment that supports that idea that it follows the behaviour of particles, then the light would abandon its wavelike properties and act as a particle. Perhaps the wise words of Richard Feynman as mentioned earlier are able to sum up quantum theory for us; simply no one can understand it.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern Physics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Albert Einstein - The father of modern physics

    4 star(s)

    my understanding, and I don?t really get it at all, so I could be wrong there), Einstein?s paper also provided empirical evidence for the existence of the atom, which had just been a ?nice way to think about particles? when trying to explain scientific problems before his explanation.

  2. How temperature affects the viscosity of honey

    Temperature (�C) Time taken (s) 5 11 167 153 117 20 50 52 49 42 1.7 2.2 2.7 It was found that 5�C was too cold for the ball to move at any timeable rate and would have taken hours to reach the 10cm point and so no readings could be taken.

  1. A2 OCR B (Advancing Physics) - Research and Report: Nuclear Fusion as an Energy ...

    However if it gets too hot then the nuclei have too much energy and they zoom straight past each other. Around 100 million degrees Kelvin is the most optimal temperature. Density is important, the denser it is the more fusion reaction will occur; there is more to react with.

  2. A2 OCR B Advancing Physics Coursework - Research and Report - The development of ...

    3.2.2 Precession of the Perihelion of Mercury A long-standing problem in the study of the Solar System was that the orbit of Mercury did not behave as required by Newton's equations. As Mercury orbits the Sun, the planet follows an ellipse - but only approximately: it is found that the

  1. Free essay

    The development of the modern concept of the atom, the size and nature of ...

    Neils Bohr was the next physicist to advance the atomic theory. He explained what Rutherford could not about how the electron could stay in orbit around the nucleus. When the electron has little energy it is closer to the nucleus, when it absorbs more energy it travels farther from the nucleus.

  2. Wave-particle Duality

    (This is the interference pattern) So to summarise, is light really a wave or a particle? The fact is that the true nature of light defies imagination, because it's not quite like anything we can see. Under certain conditions, such as when we shine it through narrow slits and look at the result, it behaves as only a wave can.

  1. Modern Physics - AQA GCE Physics B - Revision Notes

    are formed from the superposition of 2 identical waves travelling in opposite direction. In string instrument, travelling waves travels to the ends of the string where they reflect and undergo a complete phase change of 180o. They then travel in opposite directions again and are constantly out of phase -

  2. There are many ways in which scientists from all around the world discuss and ...

    This is because I was not expected to write in column however, most scientist papers that are published in columns as it is the standard presentation. At the bottom of the other report, there is a section called acknowledgements. This is where the authors display their gratitude to colleagues or other people who helped them during the experiment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work