The Bose-Einstein Condensate Laboratory

The Bose-Einstein Condensate Laboratory explores the fundamental physics and applications of ultracold degenerate atomic systems.

Representing nearly the coldest physical systems ever observed, atomic Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) are among the cleanest, most flexible, precisely controllable, and isolated quantum many-body systems available. The Atom Optics Lab utilises optical trapping techniques to precisely configure the trapping potential (container) in which the condensate is held. This facilitates precise and dynamic control of these quantum many-body systems. We have two BEC machines in our lab:

  • Dual-species microscope apparatus: This machine is built around a small glass vacuum cell which allows arbitrary high-resolution patterning of confining potentials and imaging of resulting atom configurations. Currently, we are pursuing experiments with 87Rb, but the system is built to incorporate a second species, 41K.
  • Time averaged painted-potentials apparatus: This BEC apparatus utilises a rapidly scanning optical potential beam to "paint" potentials that trap atoms. With this, we can make a variety of trapping geometries for ultra-cold atoms

Our research focuses on studies of superfluid properties of BEC in ring traps and their applications for interferometry. We are also exploring two-dimensional quantum turbulence and superfluid transport for future atomtronic devices. In collaboration with theorists within EQuS and UQ, we are investigating the dynamics of non-equilibrium BECs in configured and time varying optical traps.

Our project is also part of the EQuS flagship research program in quantum thermodynamics. Utilising our developing model system of a two-component ultracold quantum gas, we aim for clear and convincing demonstrations and validation of the laws of quantum thermodynamics, and providing guiding principles for the continuing future miniaturisation of semiconductor electronics.

We are looking for honours, PhD and undergraduate students! Please contact Tyler Neely, Mark Baker, or Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop for more information, or visit the website.

Last updated 16 January 2018
Last reviewed 7 July 2015

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Major funding support

Australian Research Council