Latest Issue of Science News


Quantum queerness gets quick, compact

The bizarre form of matter called the Bose-Einstein condensate affords physicists an extraordinary way to study the quantum world. Scientists hope also to make practical use of these clouds of frigid atoms that share the same quantum state. Among the technologies they have in mind are quantum computers and accelerometers for measuring gravity with unmatched precision.

So far, however, the cumbersome equipment needed to make these condensates has hindered the development of such gadgetry. Researchers typically use magnetic traps that cover whole tables. These devices take as long as a minute to produce a condensate, too long for such uses as quantum computing.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.