A kiwi from the atom lab to brighten your day. All kiwis are made from atoms – the only difference is that the one on the right was made today from rubidium atoms.
The image is made with 20000 atoms expanding from a Bose-Einstein Condensate of rubidium atoms in a plane (the plane is made by interfering two 1064 nm laser beams, having a lower frequency that the main resonance in rubidium).
The image on the left is this is made with the spatial light modulator, which lets us make any image that we like. 532 nm light has a higher frequency than the main resonance, and is hence repulsive for rubidium, so by making the outline of the shape with 532 nm light, the atoms expand until they “hit the wall”, which in this case is in the shape of a kiwi.
- The kiwi is 150 micrometres in length.
- The atoms have a temperature of 10 nK.
- The height of the barrier made by the green laser is 2 microkelvin.
Nobel prize winner Bill Phillips was in Auckland. We had an excellent discussion at a poster session!
We have published an experimental study into the specific heat of a harmonically trapped Bose gas. Our experiment was sensitive enough to measure the correction to the specific heat caused by atom-atom interactions. Link to the article here: http://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.92.063622 or to the preprint here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.5494
Our paper entitled
is now published in New Journal of Physics. This is an open access journal, so anyone can read it. It has a nice video that explains some of the basic concepts.
We submitted a new paper on phase noise in the delta kicked rotor. It can be found on the archive here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.1921
A new Centre of Research Excellence has been funded, the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies. See a newspaper article here. The CoRE will bring significant new funding to the lab.
The Anderson localisation proposal was funded with room for a postdoc! Watch this space for news
By adding an adjustable phase to the delta-kicked rotor experiment we were able to generate a “flying island” of stability in this classically chaotic system. The results were published here:
D. H. White, S. K. Ruddell, and M. D. Hoogerland
Phys. Rev. A 88, 063603 – Published 3 December 2013
Our all-optical BEC has been back for a little while, no real problems. We had some standard issues of shutters not shutting at the appropriate time, and magnetic fields not being what they should be, but everything is up and running. Atom numbers are comparable to previously, and we’re working on improving this.