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Cold atom realizations of Brownian motors

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Brownian motors are devices which ‘rectify' Brownian motion, i.e. they can generate a current of particles out of unbiased fluctuations. Brownian motors are important for the understanding of molecular motors, and are also promising for the realization of new nano-electronic devices. Among the different systems that can be used to study Brownian motors, cold atoms in optical lattices are quite an unusual one: there is no thermal bath and both the potential and the fluctuations are determined by laser fields. In this article recent experimental implementations of Brownian motors using cold atoms in optical lattices are reviewed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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