Technological advancements, as well as people's interest, are remarkable by the Nobel Prize in physics from Professor Wolfgang Ketter's Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But that is not enough. Talking to IQ Reviewer Coutry Tamkute, he said that it needed synergy between science, politics and business to change people's lives.
– 2001 You and your colleagues Eric A. Cornell and Carl Vainans have won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of atomic states – Bose-Einstein's condensate and study of its physical properties. How do you evaluate the importance of this study?
– The Nobel Prize for Physics was devoted to the first concepts of Bose-Einstein's condensation that laid the foundations for further research. The lowest temperature we achieved in the laboratory – we let the atoms cool down to zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius) and we made an environmentally friendly refrigerator. During the study, we were able to discover new materials and explore existing materials. In my opinion, this has led to the proliferation of technology. Today, scientists do not look at condensation themselves, but even use the same technology to achieve low temperatures.
This allows us to control the basic laws of nature in our hands. High-temperature atoms move fast and accidentally. They are calm in peace. Let's turn them into leggings – to create new, no materials. This is the driving force of the study area.
I give you an example. Imagine being in a very hot world, you never saw snow and ice. You can only see them when the country's scientists build a refrigerator. Suddenly you open the door, and you will see things that you never dreamed: snowflakes that appear at low temperatures with drops of water.
Using this metaphor, we can explain how cooling the atoms is to absolute zero technologies – we have discovered only snow that is only at the temperature of the nanoclase. It has caused people's interest. That Albert Einstein wanted to find the same snow.
– At the beginning of this year, the US National Aerospace and Space Research Agency (NASA) announced a space laboratory testing materials for absolute zero. How do they differ from ground research?
– When we examine the materials on the ground, we must always think of gravitational force. It prevents the collection of non-destructive information about a particular item. As you know, kinetic energy is reduced at low temperatures, and gravity is not present in space. For this reason, the NASA research goes to space.
Let me give you an example: Think of a glass of water frozen. The liquid on the surface of the food placed on the camera closes the ice. However, if you repeat the same thing in space, the ice will cover all the water, not the surface. The basic principles of interaction between these substances are a small example of how the gravity does not change when it does not work.
On the other hand, studies in such an environment are more accurate. In the absence of gravitational forces, atoms are in constant state of free fall. This allows them to measure their behavior more accurately and accurately, to act with other forces, to get test theories and gravity.
In 1999, the creation of a large, equipped lab could be very difficult, and nowadays it can take place at a small space station that controls everything at a distance.
Indeed, in the space absolutely no chance of cooling the atoms up to zero. Think of why you are suffering from a huge, well-equipped lab in 1999, and today you can go to a small space station with all your observations. It's amazing how many technologies have developed.
– If today's technology allows space exploration, what is the future of discoveries in the field of applied physics?
– Today we have much more tools and much more knowledge to make new research than before. Of course, as a scientist, I only look for scientific research and inventions. We have mastered the technology of freezing atoms and monitored their movement. This is important for quantum technologies and quantum computers. We are interested in them both from the state and from private companies, so I think that this sphere will expand in the future and interest will grow.
If you allow speculation, then I can say that the conductors are making a technological revolution in the future. If we are able to transport energy from one country to another, we will learn to use the conductors on computers, which will allow us to create even the latest technology.
But I try to talk very carefully. If there are many "if". We do not know all about the cooling of atoms, we can not say that the temperature required for the transfer of energy, and that the conductors can operate at high temperatures in normal conditions. On the other hand, we have not found any physical barriers to doing so. Today, researchers try to clarify all possible results, but only one of them has a real and significant significance for society.
– All this – research, invention, ideas, their implementation in the hands of scientists and their responsibility?
– Indeed, our work, scientists and researchers are finding new things. Later, all of them are in the hands of politicians. After all, at labs, universities, we make our products, just their prototype. Quantum technology is the subject of major European scholars and politicians in Europe today. Leading parties believe that investment in billions of euros in this area will bring real changes.
The society needs at least several scientists who want to learn new ideas – not just the development of ideas, but also an unscheduled course.
On the other hand, for example, there is no change without teachers. The evolution of the society requires three columns. The first is knowledge acquired through research and analysis. The second is known people. They grow in schools. I can not imagine a study going without the smart students who graduated from good schools. To stop it, we develop products that change people's lives and usually require government-financed technology applications. When our product begins to mature, we can expect to get it done by the business. But often there is a big difference in university education and product profits, which can be used in business.
– What is the incentive for scientists to conduct various researches, experiments? They seem to have moved forward to make people's lives easier. However, the ability to explain the laws of the universe and its origin is the result of their ultimate goal and work.
"It is remarkable that both of these aspects are often related. We try to understand how nature works. It inspires various technologies. For example, atomic watches. They can calculate the vibrations of light in the atoms. This is a technology that excludes the purpose of inventors. In the early 50's, such clocks were made with people who wanted to explain relativity. They did not then think that their invention would be used for navigating the synchronization of the GPS system. Today 's atomic clock is so sensitive that they can be used to detect gravity – geological anomalies.
So, we give scientists a chance to find new things. At the same time, we want to make the world a good place to live. Previously, we saw the following: if there is a great deal of good things for mankind, there is a barrier to finding something new.
The society needs at least several scientists who want to learn new ideas – not just the development of ideas, but also an unscheduled course. And, of course, this requires only one step, so we can not predict that this will be over.
Study of German physicist, laser spectroscopy, specializing in the field of cold atoms.
1995 Bose-Einstein condensate was one of the first scientists to observe the state of the atoms.
In 1997, he created the first atomic laser.
In 2001, he and his colleagues won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Education Development Center (CEE).
At the invitation of the Vilnius University of Vilnius and the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation in Vilnius, an open lecture entitled "Finding a Recipe: Absolute Zero Temperature" was held.