FUTURE COMPUTER: ATOMS PACKED IN AN “EGG CARTON” OF LIGHT?

These images depict an experiment underway at Ohio State University, where physicists are attempting to develop a quantum chip -- a computer chip that uses the quantum mechanical properties of atoms to perform calculations.

In the first part of the experiment, lasers and magnetic fields capture vaporized rubidium atoms and form them into a pea-sized cloud.
The device holding the cloud then slides down a track to move the atoms into position above a glass chip.
Then the magnetic fields are then shut off, releasing the atoms, which fall onto a surface of laser light.
Animation produced by the Ohio Supercomputer Center under agreement with the Department of University Relations, courtesy of Ohio State University .

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