After Bosons, Physicists Tame the Rest of the Particle Kingdom

Science  10 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5434, pp. 1646-1647
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5434.1646

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All the particles of nature fall into one of two categories, bosons and fermions, and in 1995, physicists chilled bosons to such a low temperature that they became locked into a single quantum state (Science, 14 July 1995, pp. 152, 182, and 198). Now on page 1703, physicists report coaxing a vapor of reluctant fermions into a low-temperature quantum state of its own. With luck, it will be the first step toward an even stranger state of matter--a collection of fermions so cold that they seek each other out as partners, forming pairs that resemble the pairs of particles that are key to superconductors and superfluids.