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Single Atoms Chilled with Microwaves

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:40AM

For quantum technologies to be realized, we need means to bring out quantum phenomena, which usually requires very extreme circumstances, like ultra-low temperatures. Typically those temperatures are acquired with lasers that will trap and pull away vibrational energy from a particle. Now researchers at the University of Sussex have successfully brought an atom to within a millionth of a degree above absolute zero, using microwaves.

Microwave radiation is already very well understood, as we use it to heat food and wirelessly transmit data every day. Compared to lasers, it is also much simpler to work with, so by using it instead of lasers, the designs for quantum technologies could become much simpler, and easier to build. Therefore, this discovery could bring us much closer to realizing quantum technologies, such as quantum computers, sensors, and clocks.

Source: University of Sussex

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