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March 5th, 2004

Making atoms cooler

Abstract:
Physicists in Germany have developed a new technique to cool atoms with lasers. The method is applied to single atoms trapped in an optical cavity and is five times faster than conventional laser cooling techniques. Moreover, unlike existing techniques, it preserves the quantum state of the atoms. The new approach could be used to cool molecules and other systems that cannot be laser-cooled by conventional methods, and could also have applications in quantum information.

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