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

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'Atomtronics' may be the new 'electronics'

Physicists report key step toward developing a new class of devices

By
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

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