'Atomtronics' may be the new 'electronics' | Science News


Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


'Atomtronics' may be the new 'electronics'

Physicists report key step toward developing a new class of devices

3:13pm, February 11, 2011

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

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content