Physicists report key step toward developing a new class of devices
Forget about wires, silicon and electricity. Physicists have developed a new type of circuit that is little more than a puff of gas dancing in laser beams. By choreographing the atoms of this ultracold gas to flow as a current that can be controlled and switched on and off, the scientists have taken a step toward building the world’s first “atomtronic” device.
Atomtronics is a young, small and mostly theoretical field based on the idea that atoms in unusual quantum states of matter may provide an alternative to the tried-and-true electron for making useful devices. The field’s proponents have drawn up blueprints for atomic versions of many traditional