News of the WeekATOM OPTICS

Attractive Wire Guides Atoms Out of Trap

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1614
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1614a

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Researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria have gained a new mastery of atoms with current-carrying wires that can guide atoms just as optical fibers guide light. The technique, described in the 8 March issue of Physical Review Letters, could be used in small nanostructures that would manipulate atoms as handily as integrated circuits guide electrons. Ultimately such "atom optics" might even provide components for quantum computers.