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Ultracold atomic gases offer a route to creating quantum simulators that could solve quantum physics problems too complex for supercomputers. Reliable simulation requires the precise control of gas temperature. However, state-of-the-art techniques for measuring temperature either destroy the gas or work inefficiently at the 1-nK temperatures needed for simulations. Now, Mohammad Mehboudi of the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain and colleagues have developed a better scheme for taking the temperature of a 1D Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) without perturbing the condensate.

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