Gases of Confined Atoms at Ultralow Temperatures: Observing Quantum Mechanics on a Macroscopic Scale
Abstract: The remarkable progress on atom trapping and cooling of the
past decades has allowed experimentalists to create gases of confined
atoms at such low temperatures that their quantum nature shows up. Under such
conditions, quantum mechanical (i.e., microscopic and often counter-intuitive)
effects show up on a macroscopic scale, giving rise to fascinating phenomena,
including coherence, quantum phase transitions, superfluidity, quantized
vortex states, non-linear solitary waves, collective effects, etc.
Remarkably, these systems can be manipulated in many different ways
allowing us to perform experiments which we have not been able to do
in other physical systems.
In this talk I will give a brief and general overview of some of
the most important experiments on this field. Also, I will explain how
these observations can be understood based upon some rather basic physics.