Re: More than a curio?
"Personally, I don't see any direct application of laser-cooling but the underlying principle of energy extraction may have legs."
Laser cooling can be used in situations where your standard cryogenic freezer or liquid helium just won't cut it i.e. to get materials down to temperatures below 4 Kelvin when you're investigating things like superconductivity and other quantum effects at fractions of a degree above absolute zero.
All sorts of weird and wonderful things happen at these temperatures, like atoms moving upwards in a gravitational field rather than downwards, or quantum gas temperature dipping just below absolute zero - yes, sounds impossible but that's quantum uncertainty for you...