These notes are devoted to a discussion of the results we obtained during the last two years in experiments of confinement and cooling of bosonic and fermionic potassium atoms towards quantum degeneracy. Further details on these experiments can be found in Refs. [1-3]. After observation of Bose-Enistein condensation (BEC) in 87Rb, 23Na, and 7Li, important prospects are now the extension of the investigation of quantum degeneracy effects to other bosonic species (during this School, we had the opportunity of listening to D. Kleppner presenting the first evidence of the long sought BEC in H) and to fermionic atoms. Ordinary potassium is composed of three isotopes: 39K (93.26%), 41K(6.73%), and 40K (0.012%). 39K and 41K are bosons. 40K, which is weakly radioactive with a half-life of 1.28x109 years, is a fermion. Therefore potassium offers the opportunity of investigating the properties of different bosonic isotopes, for which different values of the scattering length and the possibility of observing Feshbach resonances were predicted [5.6], and eventually will allow the comparison of a Bose condensate with a degenerate Fermi gas.
Citation: Bose-Einstein Condensation in Atomic Gases
Publisher Info: IOS Press, Fairfax, VA
Pub Type: Books
Bose-Einstein condensation, degenerate Fermi, laser cooling, sea potassium