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News briefs from 2011 AAAS meeting

Collected shorts from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held February 17-21 in Washington, D.C.

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10:32am, February 24, 2011

You spin me right round
WASHINGTON —For the first time in a laboratory setting, physicists have linked the motion of an atom in a gas with its spin. Such “spin-orbit coupling” could help researchers build futuristic versions of devices such as transistors. Ian Spielman, of the Joint Quantum Institute in Gaithersburg, Md., cooled rubidium atoms to ultrachilly temperatures until they formed a quantum liquid, then watched as the atoms underwent spin-orbit coupling. Spielman reported the findings on February 18. —Alexandra Witze

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