Bose-Einstein Condensation in a Dilute Atomic Vapor
Manne Siegbahn Memorial Lectures
Tuesday 19 March 1996
Eric Cornell (J.I.L.A., University of Colorado and the National Institute for Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. )
Advances in optical and magnetic cooling and trapping of atoms have made possible the creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate in dilute atomic vapors at temperatures around 100 nK.
The range of experimental techniques available for making sensitive measurements in atomic gases is quite distinct from (and complementary to) those currently used in superfluid liquid helium. From a theoretical point of view, the interactions between the atoms are weak enough that calculations can be performed in the framework of perturbation theory.
Thus Bose condensed atomic vapors are an ideal environment for studying many novel aspects of quantum degeneracy.
The lecture will review previous efforts to reach Bose condensation, describe the techniques which have recently been successful, and discuss some of the possible directions for future scientific exploration in this area.