Bose-Einstein condensation: a window on the quantum world

Year: 2010

Authors: Fabbri N., Fattori M.

Autors Affiliation: INO-CNR and LENS

Abstract: Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) of dilute atomic gases is a fascinating quantum phenomenon, carrying out the far-seeing theoretical prediction of Albert Einstein in 1925. It essentially realizes the macroscopic coherent occupation of only one energy quantum state, that is for atoms the analogous of laser emission for light. Fifteen years having gone by its first experimental realization in 1995, BEC has demonstrated to be a powerful tool, as a coherent sporce of ultra-cold atoms, opening the investigation of a rich range of quantum processes, and constructing a bridge between many different fields of physics, such as atomics physics, condensed matter physics and optics. Moreover, it has demonstrated to play a crucial role in the ambitious project of an “universal quantum simulator”, according to the original idea of Richard P. Feynman, that is an “ideal” system which could be used as a test-bed to simulate other quantum mechanical systems and to test theoretical models. For these reason, it is worth attempting to outline the story of BEC, that is made up of a large mess of theoretical works preceding the experimental observation, and in the meanwhile a experimental pursuit up to its final successful fulfilling. Moreover we will try to summarize the main research field that BEC has allowed to explore.


Volume: 16      Pages from: 221  to: 254

KeyWords: Bose-Einstein condensate; quantum statistics;