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Italians Build Atomic Laser

Photonics.com
Jul 2007
FLORENCE, Italy, July 6, 2007 -- Scientists have reported a way to achieve the so-called atomic laser, a breakthrough predicted by Albert Einstein in 1925, the Italian news agency ANSA reported today.

A Florence University research team led by Massimo Inguscio and Giovanni Modugno used potassium isotopes to build an "atomic condensate" squeezed into a harmonious whole by a magnetic field, similar to a theoretical model envisaged by Einstein and fellow physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, ANSA said.

"In this way, the interaction of atoms is virtually nonexistent," Inguscio said.

Lasers are highly concentrated streams of light particles, or photons, with multiple uses in industry and medicine.

"Unlike photons, atoms bounce into one another so much that an atomic laser -- eagerly awaited in the field of microelectronics - has proved impossible to achieve up to now," ANSA reported.


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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