We are still producing and delivering for our clients read about our COVID-19 response   |  Learn More

Cold Atoms

Cold Atom Laboratory October 4, 2018

One of the most exciting aspects of what we do here at MuShield, is getting to see some of the amazing places that are products go into usage. One fascinating example of this, is our involvement with NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory, part of the International Space Station.

The Cold Atom Laboratory was created to enable scientists to study atoms in a way never before achievable in scientific experimentation. To provide just a quick background, researchers in the realm of quantum physics have been interested in observing a phenomenon in which temperature affects the behavior of atoms. At high temperatures, atoms present themselves as particles, or in other words, as pieces of matter that for the most part, are able to be counted and that occupy some particular area of space. At cold temperatures, atoms become waves, a frequency or pattern of energy that can spread-out over space. A thorough explanation of quantum physics is a lengthy and hefty undertaking, so for the purposes of this article, we’ll keep it simple. But if you’re interested in diving deeper, check this out: https://www.britannica.com/science/quantum-mechanics-physics

Sticking to simple terms, what makes the Cold Atom Laboratory so interesting and valuable to science, is that the microgravity environment of the International Space Station, combined with advanced laser cooling technology, enables the laboratory to produce temperatures colder than ever possible on Earth, thereby allowing researchers to view and analyze atom wave functions never before observed.


Pretty serious stuff…


So, you may be asking, “what does this have to do with MuShield?” Electromagnetic interference dear Watson… electromagnetic interference.

You see, at the temperatures being produced at the Cold Atom Laboratory, (one ten-billionth of a degree above absolute zero to be exact) atoms have almost no motion. It is this relative stillness that allows scientists to study fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics of atoms that are difficult or impossible to probe at higher temperatures. But to ensure this stillness, the laboratory has to protect itself from any outside electromagnetic interference that could disturb this stillness, therefore altering the results of their studies. To do this, they enlisted MuShield.

We built a custom mumetal magnetic shield that represents the culmination of our decades of experience working with the highest precision manufacturing in the world. This shield blocks the electromagnetic radiation present in space from penetrating the Cold Atom Laboratory. Scientists ensure the accuracy of their findings, we get to brag about having one of our products in outer space.

But seriously, building something that we know will be put to the test 250+ miles above planet Earth, is no small feat. It takes extreme attention to detail, passion, and a lot of hard work. But at the end of the day, that’s what makes our job so rewarding. And, we’d like to think it’s the reason why MuShield has become the industry leader in custom magnetic shields.

So, the next time you find yourself stargazing, take a deep look up into space and say hello to our friends up on the space station. They are our customers, and our inspiration too.

Are you interested in learning more about our custom and revolutionary manufactiring processes and capabilities? Give us a shout today. We’d love to learn more about what you’re up to, and what we can do to help!




< Return To Updates