Atoms guided by light

Discover Laura Corman, one of the 2015 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellows, and doctoral researcher at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, at the ENS in Paris.

What if the future of electronics was in atomtronics? Preparing a thesis in experimental physics (atom optics) at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, at the ENS in Paris, Polytechnique graduate Laura Corman is involved in a highly dynamic area: atom cooling, a domain where two Nobel prizes were awarded in 1997 and 2001. By cooling atoms several billionths of a degree above absolute zero, quantum effects are observed. And, instead of an electronic circuit we could imagine a circuit of atoms that uses the quantum properties of the atomic radii. 


Laura Corman has risen to this challenge and is involved in the construction of an ambitious experiment, where she is trying to devise arbitrary light circuits to guide atoms using gas. “Using walls of light, we hope to guide atoms across channels and reservoirs with the aim of constructing atomic equivalents to electronic circuits”, explains Laura Corman. Her work fits within the ultra-cold atomic field of research.


My objective is to try to understand what happens when atoms interact. This is simple with just one atom, but rather more complex when one wishes to observe more. Actually, I observe almost 100,000! Using walls of light, we hope to guide atoms across channels and reservoirs, with the aim of constructing atomic equivalents to electronic circuits.




@womeninscience

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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