I watched a movie the other day that was based on this theory so I had to look it up.
The wiki entry was not very clear to me and so I asked a fellow blogger if he could explain it in layman’s terms.
He was gracious enough to do so and so I’m posting it here so I can have a note to be able to refer to in the future:
“These weren’t discovered till the 90s and that too in the laboratory. A Bose-Einstein condensate is a group of atoms cooled to within a hair of absolute zero. When they reach that temperature the atoms are hardly moving relative to each other; they have almost no free energy to do so. At that point, the atoms begin to clump together, and enter the same energy states. They become identical, from a physical point of view, and the whole group starts behaving as though it were a single atom. The atoms fall into the same quantum states, and can’t be distinguished from one another. At that point the atoms start obeying what are called Bose-Einstein statistics, which are usually applied to particles you can’t tell apart, such as photons. What the two found was that ordinarily, atoms have to have certain energies — in fact one of the fundamentals of quantum mechanics is that the energy of an atom or other subatomic particle can’t be arbitrary. This is why electrons, for example, have discrete “orbitals” that they have to occupy, and why they give off photons of specific wavelengths when they drop from one orbital, or energy level, to another. But cool the atoms to within billionths of a degree of absolute zero and some atoms begin to fall into the same energy level, becoming indistinguishable. These superstorms are termed ‘new’ kind of matter. “