Bose–Einstein condensates (BECs) were formed five years ago from rubidium‐87 and sodium atoms, whose interactions are repulsive. BECs were also formed from lithium‐7 atoms, which attract one another. (See the article by Wolfgang Ketterle in PHYSICS TODAY, December 1999, page 30.) Now researchers in Boulder, Colorado, have created a single condensate of rubidium‐85 atoms, which can be taken continuously from the repulsive to the attractive regimes. The experimenters can vary the strength of the interaction between the atoms in their condensate by a factor of 100 or more—and even flip its sign—by changing the external magnetic field. The ability to tune the interactions of a condensate opens the door to systematic explorations of atomic behavior in new regimes.
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August 01 2000
Researchers Can Now Vary the Atomic Interactions in a Bose–Einstein Condensate
Like a couple in a love‐hate relationship, atoms in a condensate can shift from attracting to repelling one another—just by the turn of an experimental knob.
Physics Today 53 (8), 17–18 (2000);
Barbara Goss Levi; Researchers Can Now Vary the Atomic Interactions in a Bose–Einstein Condensate. Physics Today 1 August 2000; 53 (8): 17–18. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1310115
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