The BEC and its Implications for Laser Technology | INFJ Forum

The BEC and its Implications for Laser Technology

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by NeverAmI, Aug 28, 2010.

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  1. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    Bored and thought I would post this that I was researching. Some of you may have heard about the Bose Einstein Condensate before. Essentially it slows down a group of atoms, held in an electromagnetic 'dish,' to almost a standstill in a supercooled environment.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnqAwtorUTE"]YouTube- As cold as it gets[/ame]



    There are primarily two different lasers that utilize the BEC, at least that I know of.

    One is a Gamma Ray Laser which still uses traditional photon technology but the photons are created from particle/antiparticle annihilation, in this case being positronium consisting of a positron and an electron.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100501013620.htm

    The other is an atomic laser that uses the actual atoms to form a beam rather than photons, it is REALLY interesting to hear how much more gravity affects an atomic beam vs the traditional photon beam.

    http://cua.mit.edu/ketterle_group/projects_1997/atomlaser_97/atomlaser_comm.html

    I think one of the neatest things is that, in order to create a BEC regular photon lasers are used. The photon wave bursts help to slow the atoms down in the condensate.
     
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  2. stopharian

    stopharian Newbie

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    When I was in college, my desk in my architectural studio looked directly across a courtyard and onto the tower in the physics building where they created the first Bose Einstein Condensate. I always took a little pleasure in knowing that I was probably sitting there when they cranked that mother up and created what was at the time the coldest place in the world and perhaps even in the universe.

    Man did they have fantastic dumpster diving. They had a machine shop right there that built all the pieces for those machines and all the architecture students would be down in the dumpster at night pulling out fascinating custom made pieces from these one of a kind machines. We probably all have cancer now.
     
  3. OP
    NeverAmI

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    Wow that is so cool!
     
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  4. whytiger

    whytiger Community Member

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    I'm writing a book about vortex filaments. Some of it is on rotating BECs. Essentially, unlike in ordinary fluids where vortices can rotate at any speed, a vortex in a BEC can only rotate at speeds that are multiples of Plank's constant. So we have, in fact, quantum behavior that is visible to the naked eye (or at least a good microscope :)). Here's a nice picture of quantized vortices in a rotating BEC:

    [​IMG]

    And one with views from the top and sides:

    [​IMG]
     
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    #4 whytiger, Aug 30, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
    Ecton and NeverAmI like this.
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    NeverAmI

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    WOW that is really fascinating!

    What type of atom was that observed with, rubidium? Do you know if it has been observed with any other type of atom?
     
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  6. whytiger

    whytiger Community Member

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    These are sodium atoms I think. This is a useful link.
     
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