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Physics in the News
Title: Physics: Best Served Chilled
URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v447/n7144/full/447510a.html
Date: 05/31/2007
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A device that can map tiny magnetic fields more precisely than existing techniques has been created from a quantum form of matter known as a Bose–Einstein condensate.

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, made a Bose–Einstein condensate by chilling a gas of rubidium atoms, held in place by laser light, to close to absolute zero. By imaging its response to magnetic fields, they could measure and map low-frequency fields with much greater sensitivity than today's best magnetometers. The device could be used to study inert materials or the magnetic fields produced by living tissues.