Atom laser that can run forever

Researchers from the Netherlands created a beam of atoms that behaves like a laser and can theoretically run forever.  

The atom laser is a beam of atoms marching as a single wave.  At the root of the atom laser is a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC.  Unlike current atom lasers that fire off just one pulse before a new BEC is generated, this innovation creates continuous BEC by spreading the atoms’ cooling steps.  The ultracold atoms are then trapped in a reservoir to keep the BEC shielded from light and get replenished continuously.

With the development of the continuous atom laser, the next step is working on maintaining a stable beam.  While there are limitations, this new breakthrough might finally mean the technology is on its way to practical applications in physics and engineering.

What do you think about this innovation? 

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