MAGNETIC TRAP CAPTURES ATOMS
FIRST, LASERS COOL ATOMS
1 Laser beams coming from six directions slow down a cloud of millions of atoms. A magnetic trap captures the atoms, cooling them to 100 millionths of a degree above absolute zero.
ATOM CLOUD TRANSFERRED TO CHIP
2 After the introductory cooling in the vacuum chamber, the atom cloud moves to the centre of an atom chip. The magnetized atom chip maintains the atom cloud in a magnetic field.
RADIO WAVES REMOVE WARM ATOMS.
3 Radio waves deflect hot atoms out of the cloud, just like hot tea is cooled, when you blow on it. The cloud becomes so cold that the atoms produce a Bose-Einstein condensate at a few billionths of a degree above zero.
EXPANSION COOLS ATOM CLOUD ONCE AGAIN
4 The trap weakens, and weightlessness ensures a life time of 10-20 seconds, so the cloud expands, and the atoms are cooled even more, to a record of 50 billionths of a degree above zero.