Opportunities and challenges with ultracold gases

Dr. N.J. van Druten, WZI-UvA

Over the past decades it has become possible to cool and trap atomic gases
to record low temperatures and high densities. The undisputed highlight of
these advances is the experimental realization in 1995 of Bose-Einstein
condensation in these gases, for which the 2001 Nobel Prize in
Physics was awarded. This achievement opened up a new field that
encompasses such diverse areas as atomic, optical, statistical and
 condensed-matter physics, and that attracts the attention of an
exceptionally wide audience.
 
In this presentation the key experimental techniques that are required to reach
Bose-Einstein condensation will be described, and some of the experiments done
over the past few years. Next, I will focus on some of the opportunities
and challenges that are currently being pursued.