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New Cold Atom Source Research at Oxford University Lays Foundation for Portable Quantum Devices

By IQT News posted 22 Jun 2021

(FloridaTimes) Researchers from Oxford University have designed a cold atom source that uses four mirrors that are arranged like pyramids and pass each other like petals. This creates an adjustable hole at the top of the pyramid, from which cold atoms are pushed out.
“Use of quantum technology based on laser cooling atom “Accurate watches have many uses for synchronizing electronic communications such as GPS and navigation systems,” said Christopher Foot, a research team leader at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. .. Wider deployable compact atomic clocks, including space, provide resoring power to telecommunications networks as local clocks can maintain accurate timekeeping in the event of network interruptions.”
“For this project, we adopted a design created for research purposes and developed it into a compact device,” says Foot. “In addition to timekeeping applications, compact cold atom devices can also be used to study physical phenomena in gravity mapping, inertial navigation, communication equipment, and research applications such as dark matter and gravitational waves.”
Researchers say the new source is suitable for commercial applications. With fewer components and fewer assembly steps, it’s easy to scale up production to make multiple copies.

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