- QUANTUS Team
- 0.000000000038 degree(s) Kelvin
- Germany ()
The lowest temperature that matter has been cooled to is 38 picoKelvin (-273.149999999962 C, or -459.6699999999316 F), just 38 trillionths of a degree above absolute zero (0 Kelvin; -272.15 C; −459.67 F). This temperature was achieved by a group of researchers from the QUANTUS Team (DEU) in Bremen, Germany, in August 2018. The results were published in Physical Review Letters 30 August 2021.
The scientists achieved this low temperature by cooling rubidium atoms into a state called a Bose-Einstein Condensate. They did this using a technology called a time-domain matter-wave lens system, which uses magnetic lenses to hold the atoms still and thus reduce their total energy. The whole system was encased in a shock-proof cylinder and then launched up the Bremen Drop Tower, providing 4.74 seconds of free-fall. This last aspect enabled them to replicate the conditions of space and sap a tiny bit more energy from the atoms.