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Bose-Einstein Condensates on a Magnetic Film Atom Chip

Shannon Whitlock

CAOUS, Swinburne University of Technology.

Friday 30th June 2006, 11.00AM, Seminar Room AR103, Graduate Research Centre.

Atom chips are robust and versatile tools for manipulating magnetically trapped ultracold atoms and Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) in close proximity to microstructured surfaces. At Swinburne University of Technology we have developed a novel atom chip which combines a permanently magnetised thin film with a current-carrying wire structure, which is used to trap neutral 87Rb atoms. A cloud of laser cooled atoms is transferred to t he on-chip magnetic potentials and then evaporatively cooled to the BEC transition. Small spatial variations of the magnetic field associated with the magnetic film are found to corrugate the trapping potential and cause fragmentation of the BEC. A new in-situ technique using radio frequency spectroscopy and high resolution absorption imaging of the atoms is employed to accurately map the magnetic field landscape and to identify its origin; highlighting the possible application of ultracold atoms for imaging small magnetic fields. Current experimental efforts focus on exploiting the unique magnetic potential to split a single Bose-Einstein condensate in a way that is extremely sensitive to the presence of small gravity or magnetic field gradients.

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