Her approach has proved influential: "Frankly, most of the interesting science is coming out of groups following in her footsteps," says Nobel laureate Eric A. Cornell, who had the foresight to hire Jin for his JILA lab.
DEBORAH S. JIN: USING A COOL HAND
The small room is dominated by a long metal table littered with lasers, mirrors, metal coils, glass cells and hundreds of tubes. A video screen captures the demonstration of the moment: a white blob in a halo of gray on black. This fuzzy image represents chilled potassium atoms, and although it doesn't look like much, it is the heart of Deborah S. Jin's remarkable work in quantum physics.
Jin, a fellow at JILA (a collaboration between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder), has pushed potassium atoms into behaving strangely. She has cooled them just shy of absolute zero (¿459 degrees Fahrenheit) and observed their funky quantum doings, leading the way into an unexplored realm that holds implications for superconductivity--the creation of resistance-less electrical flow.
This article was originally published with the title Superhot among the Ultracool.