The 2007 Lectures in Physics: Bose-Einstein Condensation

What is Bose-Einstein Condensation?

Bose-Einstein condensation is quite possibly one of the most beautiful paradigms of the "strangeness" of quantum mechanics: millions of atoms loose their individual identities and start behaving like a single wave. At room temperature each molecule in a room has its own identity defined by its position and velocity. However, as we decrease the temperature this velocity becomes smaller and smaller. The uncertainty principle then tells us, that a better knowledge of the velocity implies greater uncertainty in the position. Since we know that the velocity of the atoms decreases with decreasing temperature, our knowledge of the velocity increases (that is we know that it is closer to zero). Therefore, the position of the atoms becomes ever more fuzzy and the individual atoms occupy an ever-larger space. If these atoms are bosons they then start to overlap. At this temperature quantum statistics forces more and more atoms into a single quantum state - the Bose-Einstein Condensate.

This strange behavior had been predicted by Albert Einstein already in 1924/25 [1] on the basis of Satyendranath Bose's work on photon statistics. Einstein had thought it impossible for experimentalist to ever be able to reach such low temperatures and indeed, it took 70 year for experimentalist to be able to demonstrate this for the first time. In 1995 the groups of Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT in Cambrige and of Wieman and Cornell in Boulder, Colorado used lasers and magnets to cool less than half a million atoms to the lowest temperatures that ever existed anywhere in the universe - and saw for the first time what we know today as a Bose-Einstein Condensate. This was rewarded with the 2001 Nobel Price.

Why Bose-Einstein Condensation?

Bose-Einstein Condensation in dilute vapors is a hugely interesting phenomenon in itself: The great control over all experimental parameters allows a very close comparison with and thus a stringent test of the theoretical predictions. Soon after its first demonstration it became clear that BECs are ideal research tools to examine a wide range of problems such as the Mott Insulator transition, non-linear Josephson oscillations, superfluidity, vortices and solitons. They are now even starting to be used to create the most sensitive accelerometers.

Wolfgang Ketterle
Prof., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nobel Prize (2001) in Physics

Alain Aspect
Prof., Head of Atom Optics Group, Laboratoire Charles Fabry,
Institut d'Optique, University of Paris (Sud)

Massimo Inguscio
Prof., Head of the Quantum Degenerate Gases Group, European Laboratory
for non-Linear Spectroscopy LENS), University of Florence

Wolf von Klitzing
Researcher, Group Leader,
Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, FORTH

Thorsten Köhler
Royal Society Research Fellow, Atomic and Laser Physics,
Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford

Tilman Pfau
Prof., Head of the 5th Institute of Physics,
University of Stuttgart

Christophe Salomon
Research Director at C.N.R.S, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel,
Ecole Normale Superieure

Sandro Stringari
Prof., Director of the CNR-INFM Research and Development Center on
Bose-Einstein Condensation, University of Trento
Monday 23 July 09:00 - 09:45 R e g i s t r a t i o n
 09:45 - 10:00Welcome speech by Costas Fotakis , Director of I E S L / FORTH
  10:00 - 11:15 "BEC and Superfluidity in Bosons and Fermions, an Introductory Overview "by Wolfgang Ketterle
 11:15 - 11:45B r e a k
 11:45 - 13:00 "Theory of Degenerate Bose and Fermi Gases" by Sandro Stringari
 13:00 - 14:30L u n c h  B r e a k
 14:30 - 15:45 "Cooling Chromium and Dipolar BECs" by Tilman Pfau reference:LECTUREs I & II
Tuesday 24 July09:30 - 10:45 "Trapping and Manipulating Neutral Atoms" by Wolf von Klitzing
  10:45 - 11:15 B r e a k
 11:15 - 12:30 "Hanbury Brown and Twiss and other Quantum Atom Optics Effects"  by Alain Aspect
 12:30 - 14:00L u n c h   B r e a k
 14:00 - 15:15"rydberg Excitation of a Bose Einstein Condensate"  by Tilman Pfau
Wednesday 25 July09:30 - 10:45 "Matter Wave Localization in random Potentials" by Alain Aspect
 10:45 - 11:15B r e a k
 11:15 - 12:30 "Dynamics and Collective Modes in both BEC and Fermi Gases" by  Sandro Stringari
 12:30 - 14:00L u n c h   B r e a k
  14:00 - 15:15 "Solitons in BEC" by  Christophe Salomon  
  20:00 "New Forms of Quantum Matter Near Absolute Zero Temperature" by  Wolfgang Ketterle - PUBLIC LECTURE 
Thursday 26 July 09:30 - 10:45 "Periodic Potentials from Superfluid to Mott Insulator" by  Wolfgang Ketterle
 10:45 - 11:15B r e a k
 11:15 - 12:30 "Quantum Degenerate Bose-Fermi and Bose-Bose Mixtures: Production and Manipulation" by  Massimo Inguscio  reference: LECTUREs I & II
  12:30 - 14:00 L u n c h   B r e a k
14:00 - 15:15 "An introduction into Ultra-Cold Collision Physics: Tuning Interactions in Ultracold Gases Using Magnetic Feshbach resonances" by Thorsten Koehler
Friday 27 July 09:30 - 10:45 "BEC in Disordered (Quasi Periodic) Optical Lattices/ Disorder Induced Quantum Phases"  by  Massimo Inguscio
  10:45 - 11:15 B r e a k
  11:15 - 12:30 "Dynamics of Pairing And Molecule Production in Ultracold Gases"  by  Thorsten Koehler
  12:30 - 14:00 L u n c h  B r e a k
  14:00 - 15:15 Superfluid Fermi Systems: Applications of the Tunability of Interactions in Cold Gases" by Christophe Salomon
  15:15 - 15:45 Closing remarks