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Team Moves Bose-Einstein Condensates 44 cm

Photonics Spectra
May 2002
A team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge has moved gaseous Bose-Einstein condensates as far as 44 cm using an optical tweezer method.

As described in the Jan. 14 issue of Physical Review Letters, the researchers used a 5-W, 1064-nm laser from Spectra-Physics of Mountain View, Calif., to induce an optical dipole trap within the center of a magnetic trap containing the condensate. They transferred the condensate to the dipole trap by shutting off the magnetic trap and redirecting the laser.

This method is predicted to be a boon to research of Bose-Einstein condensates that would otherwise require formation of the condensate on different test platforms. In particular, the researchers pointed out that the transport of the condensates onto microfabricated magnetic waveguides may enable construction of sensitive-atom interferometers.

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