Where’s the Coldest Place in New York? In This Columbia Physics Lab

How cold is cold? For Sebastian Will, assistant professor of physics at Columbia University, it's a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero.

Will and his team of researchers at the Will Lab constructed the coldest place in New York. Now, they use the space in Columbia’s Physics Department to control atoms and molecules with laser beams. The highly sophisticated process, known as laser cooling, involves dozens of lasers and allows Will to trap single atoms, bringing them to a near standstill. There, in a small steel tube, lies the coldest place in New York—and maybe even the universe.