Bose-Einstein Condensation: Building the Testbeds to Study Superfluidity
Naik, Devang S.
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Since Feynman's realization of using quantum systems to investigate quantum dynamics, interest in creating controllable quantum systems to simulate condensed matter phenomenon has been high. With the realization of BECs in 1995, the realization of a relatively clean testbed for simulating some of these phenomenon became a reality. My PhD research has been an exploration of the production and use of Bose-Einstein Condensates for the study of superfluidity. The first 3 years have been spent in the actual building of a Na BEC apparatus. During this time, we’ve implemented a distinct technique to trap ultra cold Na atoms, i.e. the Optically Plugged Trap. In the process, we have shown how atoms in a linear trap can show spin metastability and thus maintain a nonequilibrium state for long periods of time. In studying the interaction of ultra-cold atoms with light, we have developed a technique to measure the velocity distribution of atoms using a standing optical wave (Bragg Spectroscopy). Alongside this, we have also created optical traps for atoms in which we can change to shape of the trap itself to probe different condensed matter systems. The eventual goal being the investigation of condensed matter physics, specifically superfluidity, using ultra-cold atoms.