New research shows that the unique properties of atomic Bose-Einstein condensates extend to the internal spin states of the atoms from which the condensates are formed. Bose-Einstein condensates are an unusual form of matter in which all atoms exist in the same quantum state.
Graphic represents how the population of rubidium atoms changed over time. Lower row shows the starting state, which contained only atoms with 0 and -1 spin states.
Beyond fundamental physics interest, the work could provide a foundation for future research with potential implications for quantum information systems.
Bose-Einstein condensates are formed by cooling gas atoms to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. At that temperature, the atoms all drop into the same quantum state. That makes them coherent, all possessing the same quantum wave function, a state comparable to that of photons in laser systems.
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