Physicists successfully develop atomic lasers that can last forever

A team of physicists from the University of Amsterdam recently developed an atomic laser that can last forever. Inside a laser commonly used as in measuring instruments and CD players, all the light vibrates in sync. When it comes to atom lasers, it works on the concept of a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). The condensate was created in the lab about 25 years ago and allowed scientists to create atomic lasers that can emit beams of matter. However, lasers can only work for a short time because the laser requires a new BEC after emitting a pulse of matter.

But now, in new research published in Nature, physicists have devised a way to create eternal matter waves. There are two types of elementary particles in nature: bosons and fermions. While fermions are hard in nature, bosons are soft and can pass through each other easily. Photon, the smallest possible amount of light, is one of the examples of bosons. Bosons have a special property whereby they can condense in a consistent wave. The resulting condensation of matter particles is known as a Bose-Einstein Condensate.

Using the BEC, the scientists were able to generate the pulse variation of an atom laser, but not for 25 years of continuous variation.

BECs are fragile in nature and are destroyed when light hits them. However, light is also required during condensate formation. Therefore, BECs can only be generated during transient bursts. This age-old problem has been addressed in new research. “In previous experiments, the cooling of the atoms was all done in one place. During our setup, we decided to distribute the cooling steps, not in time but in space: we made the atoms move as they progressed through successive cooling steps. next, ” explain Team leader Florian Schreck.

Schreck added that the ultracold atoms arrive at the center of the experiment at the end where they can be used to generate waves of sticky matter in the BEC. He emphasized that while atoms are used, new atoms will replace and supplement the BEC. “This way we can keep the process going – basically forever,” says Schreck.

Now, researchers are aiming to create not only a continuous but also a stable beam of atoms so that it can be used in different applications.

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