Atomic gas mixtures at absolute zero
Over the last decade, the field of cold degenerate gases has been one of the most active areas in physics. From the production of Bose-Einstein Condensates (BEC) in 1995, to the recent demonstration of superfluidity in a strongly interacting mixture of Degenerate Fermi Gases (DFG), the research has progressed to increasingly sophisticated and complex systems. This interest is driven by the desire to understand strongly interacting and strongly correlated systems, with applications in solid-state physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, quantum computing, and nanotechnologies.
This project investigates the properties of several mixtueres and their dynamics.
One part of the project is the investigation of a mixed sample of rubidium and potassium atoms. It will contribute to the understanding of a large family of atomic and molecular systems, with exciting prospects for future experiments. It paves a path towards ultra-cold chemistry and, one can envision the use of cold molecules for molecular optics, molecular interferometry and a molecular quantum computer.
The part of the project that we are currently pursuing are the studies on mixtures of different spin states of an atom type and its dynamics. The interaction of the atoms can cause non-classical states that can only be explained with the help of quantum mechanics. These are the starting point for a variety of advanced studies, such as enhanced vacuum fluctuations or spontaneous symmetry breaking. Both points have a relevance to contribute to the understanding of the origin of the universe.
Moreover, these non-classical states serve as input to an interferometer to make accurate measurements.
Within the procjet a number of new experimental techniques were implemented and investigated. More details on the experimental apparatus can befound within the section Experiment.
Recent experimental investigations performed within the project:
Research on spinor gases:
Research on Potassium-Rubidium mixtures:
- Observation of 40K 87Rb Feshbach Resonances
- Radio frequency association of heteronuclear Feshbach molecules
Research on experimental techniques:
- Light-induced atom desorption (LIAD) for large rubidium and potassium ensembles
- Transport of a quantum degenerate heteronuclear mixture