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Wolfgang Ketterle

Ketterle, Wolfgang, 1957–, German physicist, Ph.D. Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany, 1986. He has been a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1990. Ketterle shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics with Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman for creating the first Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC; see condensate) in the laboratory and characterizing its properties. Shortly after Cornell and Wieman produced the condensate in 1995 in their lab in Boulder, Colo., Ketterle achieved condensation using a different approach, a gas of sodium atoms, and was able to investigate further the properties of a BEC. Predicted by Albert Einstein in 1924, the creation of BECs provided scientists with a new window into the world of quantum physics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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