from the keeping-the-little-ones-in-line dept.
alison writes "Scientists at the University of Bielefeld in Germany have come up with a new electromagnetic method of controlling the motion and orientation of polar molecules simultaneously. Control of the motion of Bose-Einstein condensates along wires had already been demonstrated by a group in Austria. Ewan Wright of the University of Arizona tells me that arbitrary hard-to-condense atoms can now be B-E condensed by placing them in a trap with an easy-condensing species to which they transfer energy. This is not unlike a common scheme in lasers where an easy-to-pump molecule transfers energy to another molecule with a desirable transition, e.g. N2 gas in with CO2 in a CO2 laser.
I'm convinced now more than ever that a potential 'assembler' will be a vacuum system with interwoven laser beams, electric and magnetic fields that energy-select species, orient them and transport them to a surface."