Research NewsChaos

Astronomers Tame a Workhorse Laser

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Science  29 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5292, pp. 1470
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5292.1470


Techniques for controlling chaos—a hair-trigger sensitivity to initial conditions—have enabled a group of researchers to stabilize a tunable infrared laser. The feat, reported onp page 1498, may be the first example of chaos control to move to practical application, because the laser is widely used in laboratory studies of cold gases resembling the atmospheres of the outer planets.