Title: Creating arbitrary landscape potentials to study and manipulate Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs)

 

Sérgio R. Muniz, Kristian Helmerson, William D. Phillips

Atomic Physics Division, NIST Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8424.

 

 

There has been considerable interest in studying degenerate quantum gases (bosons/fermions) in various types of confining potentials, used to create a tuneable interacting quantum system, and study effects as diverse as quantum transport through periodic/disordered potentials and quantum information. The underlying idea is that new geometries represent an opportunity to explore new physics. Among the several approaches currently under investigation are the use of optical lattices, coherent light speckle and some simple magnetic and/or optical waveguides. Recently, a more general approach has been proposed to use spatial light modulators to create optical potentials by designing light intensity patterns.

 

Here we will present a particular kind of spatial-light modulation technique, based on acousto-optical devices, to produce arbitrary time-averaged optical potentials in 2D. This approach can be combined with other magnetic or optical confinement to create various trapping potentials in 3D as well. In particular, we will discuss the interesting case of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a toroidal trap in two different regimes: the quasi-2D and 3D limits. The approach proposed here has the advantage of being a very interesting method to create dynamically varying potentials, and offers the possibility to do in-situ 'tweaking' of the desired potential, after diagnosing the aberrations caused by the propagation of the beams through the optical system. The potential application of this method to create and study macroscopic persistent currents in these systems will also be discussed.

 

 


 

CATEGORY: Physics

 

 

Mentors Name: Kristian Helmerson

Division 842, Laser Cooling and Trapping Group

Room B237, Building 216 Mail stop 8424

Tel: 301-975-4156

Fax: 301-975-8272

Email: sergio.muniz@nist.gov

 

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