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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19030

Title: Fermions and Bosons on an Atom Chip
Authors: Extavour, Marcius H. T.
Advisor: Thywissen, Joseph H.
Department: Physics
Keywords: ultra-cold atoms
Bose-Einstein condensates
degenerate Fermi gases
quantum degenerate gases of neutral atoms
sympathetic cooling
radio-frequency double-well potentials
matter wave interference
atom chips
laser cooling
magnetic trapping
quantum atom optics
quantum statistics
Issue Date: 18-Feb-2010
Abstract: Ultra-cold dilute gases of neutral atoms are attractive candidates for creating controlled mesoscopic quantum systems. In particular, quantum degenerate gases of bosonic and fermionic atoms can be used to model the correlated many-body behaviour of Bose and Fermi condensed matter systems, and to study matter wave interference and coherence. This thesis describes the experimental realization and manipulation of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) of 87Rb and degenerate Fermi gases (DFGs) of 40K using static and dynamic magnetic atom chip traps. Atom chips are versatile modern tools used to manipulate atomic gases. The chips consist of micrometre-scale conductors supported by a planar insulating substrate, and can be used to create confining potentials for neutral atoms tens or hundreds of micrometres from the chip surface. We demonstrate for the first time that a DFG can be produced via sympathetic cooling with a BEC using a simple single-vacuum-chamber apparatus. The large 40K-87Rb collision rate afforded by the strongly confining atom chip potential permits rapid cooling of 40K to quantum degeneracy via sympathetic cooling with 87Rb. By studying 40K-87Rb cross-thermalization as a function of temperature, we observe the Ramsauer-Townsend reduction in the 40K-87Rb elastic scattering cross-section. We achieve DFG temperatures as low as T = 0.1TF , and observe Fermi pressure in the time-of-flight expansion of the gas. This thesis also describes the radio-frequency (RF) manipulation of trapped atoms to create dressed state double-well potentials for BEC and DFG.We demonstrate for the first time that RF-dressed potentials are species-selective, permitting the formation of simultaneous 87Rb double-well and 40K single-well potentials using a 40K-87Rb mixture. We also develop tools to measure fluctuations of the relative atom number and relative phase of a dynamically split 87Rb BEC. In particular, we observe atom number fluctuations at the shot-noise level using time-of-flight absorption imaging. These measurement tools lay the foundation for future investigations of number squeezing and matter wave coherence in BEC and DFG systems.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19030
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Physics - Doctoral theses

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