The Nobel Prize in Physics 2001

Left: Ketterle’s first atom laser. Centre and right: later results from other laboratories.

  The Nobel Prize in Physics 2001     


The atomic laser

When the laser was invented some forty years ago, no-one envisaged its many areas of application today. A laser emits coherent light; could coherent matter be utilised in similar ways? Can a laser be built to emit matter instead of light?
    Ketterle’s group was first to produce pulses of coherent matter – the equivalent of a pulsed laser beam but for matter: an atom laser beam.


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