Our alumni, Sofia Botsi, comes to give us a seminar on the dipole trap for the International Space Station that she is working on (Wednesday 28 February 2024, 12:00 – 13:00, in the lab).
An Optical Dipole Trap for NASA’s Cold Atom Lab
When atoms are cooled down to temperatures within a millionth of a degree of absolute zero, they form exotic quantum states, such as Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs). While BECs have been routinely produced in terrestrial laboratories, there are increasing efforts in creating and utilizing these macroscopic quantum phenomena in the microgravity environment for fundamental physics investigations. NASA’s Cold Atom Lab (CAL) instrument is a multiuser ultracold atomic physics facility operating onboard the International Space Station that has enabled such space studies of interacting quantum gases since its launch in 2018. In addition to the toolbox of capabilities originally built into CAL, here the compatibility tests for an optical dipole trap development as a potential addition to a future science module resupply are presented. Such an implementation can further enhance the association of weakly-bound diatomic molecules from Rb and K atomic mixtures enabling for ultracold molecule studies.
And a link to the preprint of their related Nature Paper