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Quantum Encounters of the Cold Kind

Published

Author(s)

K Burnett, Paul S. Julienne, Paul D. Lett, Eite Tiesinga, Carl J. Williams

Abstract

Ultra cold atomic collisions have a broad impact in experimental and theoretical atomic physics. These encounters occur in a domain where the quantum mechanical aspects of the interacting particles are manifest, since the de Broglie wavelength is enormous by any normal scale of atomic interactions. Cold collisions permit new types of precision measurements and exquisite control over the quantum dynamics of the cold atomic gas. The properties of Bose-Einstein condensates are determined by a single parameter, which characterized ultra cold collisions, the scattering length. New kinds of high precision spectroscopes using experimentally tunable scattering resonances enable the determination of scattering lengths to high accuracy. Thus, the many-body properties of cold quantum degenerate gases can be modeled without adjustable parameters. One example of such spectroscopy is photoassociation, by which two colliding atoms are optically driven to a dimer molecule state. Photoassociation is also one way to make translationally cold molecules. Some promising uses of quantum control of ultracold atoms interactions may lie in quantum information processing or quantum computing.
Citation
Nature
Volume
416
Issue
No. 6877

Keywords

Bose-Einstein Condensation, cold molecules, photoassociation, precision measurement, scattering length, ultra cold collisions

Citation

Burnett, K. , Julienne, P. , Lett, P. , Tiesinga, E. and Williams, C. (2002), Quantum Encounters of the Cold Kind, Nature (Accessed November 28, 2023)
Created March 1, 2002, Updated February 17, 2017