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Atomic "transistor" proposed using quantum cloud material

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
January 31, 2007
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Intel might be oh-so-smug about its fancy new insulators and 45nm process, but doesn't have nothing on these upcoming atomic transistor dealios -- other than that whole "shipping" thing, of course. Scientists working at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and compadres at the University of Colorado Boulder have proposed implementing a "Bose-Einstein condensate" to pull this off -- a super-cold gas cloud of atoms all in the same quantum state -- which is manipulated with three adjacent chambers that are created by trapping atoms with magnets or laz0rs. By swapping atoms between the two side chambers, and controlling that action with the center chamber, a behavior is created similar to that of an electronic field-effect transistor. Which is apparently a good thing. So yeah, the tech definitely flies over our heads, but if this works it sounds like it's a pretty big breakthrough in building atomic "circuits" some day by connecting basic atom elements and should hopefully keep Moore's law alive and well a few decades down the road.

[Thanks, Jeremy]



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