On its way to 5mK

This is a picture of the Orion chip’s sample holder attached to one of our dilution fridges, ready to begin a cooldown.

The base temperature at which we operate (5mK, or 0.005 degrees above absolute zero) is about 500 times colder than interstellar space. In other words the difference between interstellar space and the base temperature of our fridges is about 5 times greater than the difference between room temperature (about 300K) and interstellar space (about 2.7K).

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This is a Leiden Cryogenics dilution fridge. These are beautiful, dependable machines that come highly recommended. We have three of these operational and haven’t had any problems with them in over 2 years of operation.

15 thoughts on “On its way to 5mK

  1. In other words the difference between interstellar space and the base temperature of our fridges is about 5 times greater than the difference between room temperature (about 300K) and interstellar space (about 2.7K).

    I guess it should be “the ratio of the interstellar space and base temperatures … is 5 times greater than the ratio of …”, right? Cool, anyway! :))

  2. This is Beautiful. Images like this, the ATLAS detector, the ITER plans and all the recent private space flight ventures make me so happy to be a human. People like you make the world go round.

    But I have a question: Unfortunatly, I don’t have a very good background in CS, and I can’t fathom the NP-complete requirement for solveable problems on QCs. However, I do have experiance with one very demanding (and in demand) sector of computing: Comutational fluid dynamics.
    Is there any way that QCs could be used to solve the Navier-stokes equations? or, if not, run the PDEs of an Euler or Lagrange solver far faster than traditional Turing computation? Or is there a way to restate PDEs such that they can become NP-compliant?
    Serioulsy, running a fluid sim on a quantum computer in real time would make life easier for everyone from engineers in India to special effects dudes here in L.A.
    Unfortunatly, I doubt that it can be done :(

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  5. Because you want to minimize the thermal noise generated by the equipment, you want to lower your chip temperature as much as possible. For instance using high temperature superconductors and running at higher temps in this chip wouldn’t be that beneficial. They want to minimize all types of possible noise.

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