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BEC (down) under a chip

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First observation: BEC!

Group: Vale/Rubinsztein-Dunlop

Authors and contributors: Chris Vale, Ben Upcroft, Adrian Ratnapala, Stuart Holt, Tom Campey, Otto Vainio, Matt Davis, Norman Heckenberg and Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop

On 20th February 2004 the atom optics group at the University of Queensland produced a Bose-Einstein condensate on their home made atom chip (see figure and J Phys B 37,2959, 2004). Our first condensates contained a modest 20,000 rubidium 87 atoms in the |F=2,mF=+2> state. Since then (and after a fire forced us to move our lab) we have managed to produce larger condensates of up to 200,000 atoms in both the |2,2> and |1,-1> ground states of Rb. Typical magnetic trapping frequencies are 500Hz radially and 10Hz axially. The images (taken after 18ms time of flight) show the transition from a thermal cloud of 260,000 atoms to a near pure BEC of 100,000 atoms.

Posted: 07 Sep 2005     Date: 20 Feb 2004

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