Bloody Bosons

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Bosons use Bose-Einstein statistics to avoid paying at the movies

 

Bosons and fermions behave quite differently. It is impossible for two fermions to ever be in the same sate: that’s why electrons in atom must have different orbits and not stay all in the lower-energy one which, in turn, is why we have Chemistry. However, bosons have no problem occupying the same state: you can fit as many as you like in a crowded room. In the comic above, the guy with the little laces in his head is a photon, which is a type of boson. The guy with the crazy hair is a strange quark, which is a type of fermion.

At normal temperatures, bosons and fermions behave very similarly. However, at lower temperatures most particles want to be in the lowest energy state. Fermions don’t have a choice: only one of them can be fortunate enough to chill in low-energy paradise. But bosons don’t have to compromise: each and every one of them can have that lowest energy. This is what allows phenomena such as superconductivity, where all electrons form pairs that behave just like bosons, allowing electric current to flow without resistance. This is the principle behind technological feats like the Maglev train. It is also the physical principle that allows the existence of Bose-Einstein condensates, a state of matter different from solids, gases, liquids or plasmas. In Bose-Einstein condensates, all bosons occupy the lower energy state and therefore behave as if they were only one particle. This allows them to perform seemingly illogical feats, like escaping out of a recipient by climbing its walls.

Would you like to know more about the way bosons behave? Let us know in the comment section and we will answer as fast as we can.

One Response

  1. […] particles, something very similar happens. An electron will give off a photon, a type of boson, which will be caught by another electron. The momentum of that photon will propel both particles […]

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