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What the heck is an atom transistor?

Being applied physicists, we think of an atom transistor as a device that would allow one to control a strong atom flux with a weak atom flux or atom “potential”. It turns out that one can fashion an atomic device that is a close analog to the electronic version. 

There are more than a few interesting reasons to pursue an atom transistor.  For one, if one knows how to make an atom transistor, then one knows how to construct a very large variety of atomtronic circuits such as amplifiers, oscillators, flip-flops, logic gates, and so on.  An atom amplifier would be terribly useful to have at the output of an atom based sensor, for example, to increase a weak atom signal where it would be otherwise difficult to detect. Yet to provide atomic gain is a motivation for atom circuits based purely on classical notions. In fact the quantum nature of atom has no analog in ordinary electronics.  In principle, atom transistors and similar devices are sensitive to the phase of the quantum mechanical wavefunction(s) associated with the atomic current. This makes atomtronic circuits considerably more interesting than their electronic counterparts.  

Anderson Group



  1. Graduate Students

  2. Evan Salim

  3. Ron Pepino (theory)

  4. Jian Wang (Mech E)

  5. Undergraduates

  6. Marika Meertens

  1. Collaborators

  2. Murray Holland

  3. Daniel Farkas (Postdoc)

  4. Leslie Czaia (PRA)

  5. External Collaborators

  6. Alex Zozulya (WPI)

  7. Teledyne Scientific & Imaging


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Atom Chip Interferometry
Ultracold Technology
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