An anonymous reader writes "A new phenomenon discovered in ultracold atoms of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) could offer new insight into the quantum mechanical world and be a step toward applications in 'atomtronics'—the use of ultracold atoms as circuit components. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have reported the first observation of the 'spin Hall effect' in a cloud of ultracold atoms, acting as a single quantum object and then called BEC, the lowest state of matter, with solid and liquid coming next. As one consequence, the researchers made the atoms, which spin like a child's top, skew to one side or the other, by an amount dependent on the spin direction."
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