Scientists Have Built an Atom Laser That Produces Eternal Matter Waves and Lasts Forever

Image Credit: University of Amsterdam

These days, thinking about our daily lives without lasers is hard. Lasers are used on printers, CD players, measuring devices, indicators, etc.

Lasers are unique because they use compatible light waves: all the light inside the laser vibrates perfectly in sync. At the same time, quantum mechanics tells us that particles like atoms should also be considered waves. As a result, we can create ‘atom lasers’ that contain compound waves. But can we keep these waves of news alive to be used in practice?

It gets bosons that will march in sync.
The basic concept of an atomic laser is the so-called Bose-Einstein Condensate or BEC for short.

The fundamental particles in Nature occur in two forms: fermions and bosons. Fermions are particles such as electrons and quarks – the building layers of the material we are made of. Bosons are very different: they are not as hard as fermions, but soft: for example, they can move without a problem. A well-known example of a boson is the photon, the smallest possible amount of light.

But material particles can also combine to form bosons; whole atoms can behave like light particles. What makes bosses so unique is that they can be in the same position at the same time or labeled with more technical terms: they can ‘reach’ into a cohesive wave. When this type of summary occurs in particles, physicists call the resulting substance Bose-Einstein Condensate.

In everyday life, we do not know these condensates at all. Reason: It isn’t easy to find atoms for all to act as one. A destructive charge for temperature alignment: when an object is hot, particles begin to move, making it difficult to make them behave as one. Only at shallow temperatures, about half a million degrees above zero (approximately 273 degrees below zero on the Celsius scale), where there is an opportunity to form BEC compounds.

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