Cold elastic collisions of sodium and rubidium
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In this thesis we numerically compute the scattering lengths and bound states for sodium-rubidium collisions at low energy. This work was motivated by experiments which aim to produce Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) mixtures of sodium-rubidium. Elastic collision properties are important for the rethermalization of the atoms during the evaporative cooling process. Inelastic processes, which we also discuss to some extent, cause trap losses in those experiments. In order to reach the required temperature and density the elastic collision rates should be sufficiently large compared to the inelastic rates. The scattering lengths, which completely specify the elastic collision parameters at low energy, determine the miscibility and phase diagram of the sodium-rubidium condensate mixture. We calculate the scattering lengths approximately and find agreement with previous calculations indicating that miscible phases of sodium and rubidium condensates do not appear to be feasible in the absence of external fields.