Friday, July 06, 2007

Atomic Laser is Go!

Photonics.com, this morning reported a method to achieve Einstein's so-called 'atomic laser', a breakthrough predicted by Albert in 1925.

A Florence University research team led by Massimo Inguscio and Giovanni Modugno used potassium isotopes to build an "atomic condensate" squeezed into a harmonious whole by a magnetic field, similar to a theoretical model envisaged by Einstein and fellow physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. They presented papers for this, detailing and postulating the Bose–Einstein condensate phenomenon that should appear at very low temperatures if light could be understood as a gas. It was not until 1995 that the first such condensate was produced experimentally by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman using ultra-cooling equipment built at the NIST-JILA laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Einstein's sketches for this project can be seen in the Einstein Archive in the library of the Leiden University Instituut-Lorentz.

"In this way, the interaction of atoms is virtually non-existent," Inguscio said.

"Unlike photons, atoms bounce into one another so much that an atomic laser -- eagerly awaited in the field of microelectronics - has proved impossible to achieve up to now."

Very, very cool indeed. Staggering applications for orbital based super villainy :-)

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