PerspectiveATOM OPTICS

Continuous Progress on Atom Lasers

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2155-2156
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073984

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Summary

Since the first experiments on Bose-Einstein condensates, researchers have tried to use them to make atom lasers. But although pulsed lasers have been demonstrated, continuous atom laser operation has been elusive. In his Perspective, Pfau highlights the report by Chikkatur et al., who have overcome the problem with a conceptually simple but technically challenging apparatus. The challenge now is to develop "high power" atom lasers.