Talk about miniaturization! California researchers have coaxed laser light from a single cesium atom.
"We've pushed [the laser] to its conceptual limit," says Jason McKeever of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He and his colleagues describe the new device in the Sept. 18 Nature.
For brief intervals, the itsy emitter produces the steadiest stream of laser light ever, Howard Carmichael of the University of Auckland, New Zealand and Luis A. Orozco of the University of Maryland at College Park remark in a commentary that accompanies the Nature article.
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