Cold lithium atoms, held in a magneto-optic trap, can be directed toward a charged or current-carrying wire. There the atoms can be guided in orbits that carry them around and along, or in a path parallel with, the wire.
Images of the cold atoms in the atom trap surrounding the wire, with both end views and side views shown.
Schematic view of the apparatus. Atoms are cooled in a magneto-optic trap (MOT). The atom cloud is monitored with a charge coupled device (CCD) camera, and the atoms' fluorescence is recorded with a photodiode (PD).
This research is reported by Denschlag et al., in the 29 March 1999 issue of Physical Review Letters.