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10 december 2018

Closed FOM programme

Number 87.
Title Quantum gases (QG)
Executive organisational unit BUW
Programme management Prof.dr. J.T.M. Walraven
Duration 2004‑2012
Cost estimate M€ 2.8


The objective of this programme is to investigate properties of dilute quantum gases both experimentally and theoretically and to develop new methods for the manipulation and control of these gases using externally applied fields.

Background, relevance and implementation

The physics of quantum gases has been soaring since the discovery of Bose‑Einstein conden­sation (BEC) in trapped gases of alkali atoms and has rapidly become a mature field with a rich output and which is still expanding into new directions. The quantum gases display the whole spectrum of interesting collective phenomena as interacting many-body systems which is so well known from condensed matter physics. Experimental and theoretical research has revealed that these systems behave as superfluids with non-trivial phase coherence properties and dynamics. Much of the interest and excitement about the quantum gases is derived from their accessibility for the precision methods of modern quantum optics. This has enabled the implementation of entirely new experimental approaches that tightly bind fundamental inte­rests to opportunities for future application. Among the directions being explored within this field is suitability for use in atom lasers, atomic clocks, interferometers and for quantum infor­mation processing.

This programme focuses on the experimental and theoretical exploration of the role of strong interactions in both bosonic and fermionic quantum gases. During the first phase of the pro­gramme the apparatus was developed to investigate mixtures of the fermionic quantum gases 40K and 6Li and of 1 D quantum gases of the bosonic quantum gas 87Rb. In the Fermi mixtures strong interactions can be induced by tuning to an interacomponent Feshbach resonance. In the bosonic gas the strong interactions appear – counter intuitively – by going to very low densities in 1D geometries, where strong correlated motion appears as the result of so-called fermionization of the system.