I'm happy to say we now have a BEC at UVA! We saw the transition with about 10000 87Rb atoms at around 60 nK temperature. The atoms were in the F=2, m=2 state and trapped in a TOP trap. The apparatus uses a single vapor-loaded MOT and a translatting-coil quadrupole trap that carries the atoms into the UHV region. (The number of atoms is a bit low, we think because the transfer from the quadrupole trap to the TOP trap is inefficient.)
The BEC was formed inside a waveguide designed for condensate interferometry. We'll be pursuing interferometry immediately, and hope to have some good results soon!
BEC in waveguide
Updated: 28 Sep 2005
We were subsequently able to load our atoms into just the waveguide, which worked as expected. You can read about it at cond-mat/0509691.