The coldest objects in the universe are gases of atoms that are trapped and cooled using lasers in labs located on Earth. I will talk about how we achieve these ultra-low temperatures, just trillionths of a degree above absolute zero. In this ultra-cold regime, the quantum nature of matter is inescapable, and the atoms behave like waves. I will discuss how we use these quantum matter waves to study one of the most important outstanding questions in physics: how new phenomena like superfluidity emerge from collections of interacting quantum particles.
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