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Proposed quantum motor runs with a kick

Scientists suggest a way to put ultracold atoms to work

11:04am, June 17, 2009

Physicists have proposed a way to get their quantum motor running. An electric motor could be built from just two atoms held in a ring by lasers, a theoretical study published online June 8 in Physical Review Letters contends.

The new motor proposal “might be hard to implement, but it has the core of a good idea,” comments Ian Spielman, a physicist at the Joint Quantum Institute in College Park, Md.

Electrical motors, like the ones in fans, convert electric current into mechanical motion, such as spinning blades. “The idea of a quantum motor is exactly the same as a mechanical moto

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