There was this news a few days ago about NASA attempting to create the Coldest Spot in the Universe1 aboard ISS, to study further the properties of Bose-Einstein Condensate.

I can understand that at temperatures close to absolute zero, and in the absence of gravity, the wave nature of atoms will persist longer and thus provide for an opportunity to study the shared waveforms better. However, I feel a bit confused by the following conjecture in the article (assuming the source and contents to be reliable):

The atoms inside the box will be cooled to the point where the atoms change their behavior in ways that could give scientists an even finer understanding of matter, gravity, even dark matter and dark energy.


  • How does Dark Matter have something to do with Bose-Einstein Condensate? Since the Dark Matter is believed to be dominant in the inter-galactic space, shouldn't the temperature at which it exists (and works) be relatively hotter than absolute zero?
  • Even more perplexingly, how is Dark Energy even relevant when the experiment is limited to atomic scale?

(1) As the article states, "Billionth of a degree above absolute zero" or "100 million times colder than the temperature of space".

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    $\begingroup$ If a scientific organisation needs attention - then more from officials to get money - the best way is to mention dark energy, climate change or danger of terrorism. :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ @HolgerFiedler Think it's fine if some attention is desired for an experiment such as this being carried out in space. :) On a serious note though, please may I ask if you think that the quote from the article is somewhat exaggerated? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 15:40


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