The coolest place in the universe, studying physics at Auckland university
If you are interested in the study of physics at Auckland University information from the handbook can be found here.
Stage 1 courses at Auckland University assume an entry standard equivalent to above average achievement in Level 3 NCEA physics and mathematics with calculus.
You can’t expect to seriously study science beyond NCEA level three if you haven’t been doing the hard yards in science and mathematics at level 1, 2 and then level 3.
The Physics department at Auckland university does some excellent front line research on a relatively small budget. To this extent the physics department can claim to have the coolest spot in the universe as professor Maarten Hoogerland investigates Bose Einstein condenstates 50 nanadegrees above the coolest temperatures possible (about -273 degrees celsius).
How do scientists cool matter to such low temperatures?
The temperature in deep space never rises 2.7 degrees above absolute zero. This is still far too hot for the experiments carried out by professor Hoogerland.
The trick to making atoms extremely cold is to corral them in a vacuum intersected by a series of criss-crossing lasers (just like mission impossible). A whiff of rubidium gas is introduced into the laser field which cools the atoms. Its a little like firing table tennis balls at at a soccer ball, if you hit the target often enough you will slow the large ball down. The photons of laser light are the table tennis balls.