Donut-shaped BEC might be key to fault-protected quantum logic

Enlarge (credit: Vesna Jovanovic / EyeEm)

I know I have a reputation for liking lasers. But I’m a bit of a philanderer—I have a secret and unrequited love for Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). BECs are to physicists what lasers were in 1970: an amazing new tool that we are only now coming to grips with.

BECs are not formless clouds of atoms. They are carefully sculpted into pretty shapes that aren’t just beautiful; a BEC’s shape, in a sense, defines its quantum properties. New shapes mean new properties and maybe new applications. A recipe created by a group of theoreticians for creating BEC donuts should have physicists licking their chops.

Bose-Einstein condensate: What is it good for?    

Absolutely everything, and you don’t need to say that again.

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