Bose-Einstein condensation in hydrodynamic clouds of Rb-87

Prof.dr. J.T.M. Walraven, FOM institute AMOLF and University of Amsterdam

Almost a decade after the first observation of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in atomic gases much remains to be learned about the processes that transform a classical thermal gas into a coherent macroscopic quantum object, the condensate. In this colloquium emphasis is put on the Bose-condensation phenomenon in dense elongated clouds. This differs in several aspects from the familiar behavior of collisionless thermal clouds, affecting both static and dynamic properties. In particular temperature gradients play an important role.