Oh I think I get it! OK, here we go: take Mr. Atom of whatever element, and he's vibrating like crazy, right? Vibrations are kinetic energy, and thats related to temperature. So, you pound said atom with a laser, and the goal is get it to vibrate less, which means less energy, which means temperature goes down. And like Greg said, it would be like grabbing something thats vibrating, grab it real tight, and YOU will vibrate a little bit but eventually the thing you're grabbing will stop shaking. As far as HOW you would pick the right laser and actually hit a tiny itty bitty atom, thats beyond me. I'm thinking maybe whatever atom they're using is isolated by a magnetic field. I remember reading about some scientists who made a bose-einstein condensate hover in midair with a magnetic field as they pounded it with lasers.