Optical generation of coherent matter waves

D. Voigt, B.T. Wolschrijn, S.J.H. Petra, E.C. Schilder,
R.J.C. Spreeuw and H.B. van Linden van den Heuvell

Van der Waals-Zeeman Instituut, Universiteit van Amsterdam

N.B. clicking on a picture results in an enlarged version.

Analogy with a laser

Matter wave generator Laser
Atom trap (particle in a box) Optical cavity (Fabry-Perot)
Bound atomic state EM Field mode
Coherent matter wave Coherent light field
Stimulated emission of bosons into the same mode
Threshold behaviour
Mode competition
Non-thermal equilibrium

BEC vs Optically Driven Atom Laser (ODAL)

Stimulated collisions Optical stimulated transition
Collisions essential (evaporative cooling) Collisions not necessary
3D (so far) 1D, 2D (essential to reduce photon scattering)
Thermal equilibrium Non-thermal equilibrium
Populates trap ground state Potentially lasing in excited trap states

Experimental recipe for spatial compression into 2D