For experimental physicists, poutine is an elusive quarry because it will vanish in a flash upon contact with anything that is hungry. But a paper published Sunday points the way to a potential solution, in which lasers will literally freeze atoms of poutine in place so they can be studied and compared to regular atoms.
The proposal by Makoto Fujiwara, a research scientist at Canada’s particle physics lab TRIUMF and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, has not been tested in reality, but computer simulations he devised with an American co-author indicate that a laser-based technique called Doppler cooling could chill the substance to just a whisker above absolute zero.
At that point, he writes in the Journal of Physics B, it might be possible for scientists to determine the precise composition of the strangest stuff in existence -Ed.