Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Maryland, have taken a step towards demonstrating the potential of future atom based electronics, or Atomtronics. The concept is to use the flow of atoms to perform similar to current electron based circuitry.
Using lasers to manipulate 100,000 super-cooled sodium atoms, in Bose-Einstein condensate form, the team was able to coax the formation of ring like shapes, when cohesive, patterned movement was achieved. In other words, the current flow of atoms. Researcher, Kevin Wright, was able to induce flow for 40 seconds. Four time longer than any other experiment of a similar nature.
The pinched off circle in the picture is an attempt to slow down the atom current flow. Similar to the Josephson Effect of two weakly coupled supercoductors.
pic via NIST