NASA Home Page JPL Home Page Caltech Home Page
NASA - Jet Propulstion Laboratory + View the NASA Portal  
JPL Home JPL - Earth JPL - Solar System JPL - Stars and Galaxies JPL - Technology
Shell image/ Home button Fundamental Physics in Space
Technical Details
Shell image / home button
The Story of our Search
Adventures in Science
Technical Details
Experiments
Gravitational Relativistic Physics (GRP)
LCAP
LTCMP
BP
Library
News


Laser Cooling and Atomic Physics

    PAST:   None
    PRESENT: Ongoing Research
    FUTURE: BECEDM-X PARCS RACE SALSMW-G
Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC) title

Launch Date: Late 2004 or 2005
Mission Duration: One year
Principle Investigator: Dr. William Phillips, NIST Gaithersburg

 

BEC image

Key Questions We Want to Answer:

  • How do interactions between atoms alter the transition to BEC?
  • What excitation modes are observed in the condensate?
  • How cold can the BEC become in microgravity?
  • Can two condensates be prepared in the same volume?
What We Already Know:

Rubidium, sodium, and lithium atoms have already been cooled into the BEC state. Some experiments have been performed on the excitations, generally confirming the quantum nature of the condensate, but the excitations were studied only at higher densities where interactions dominate the energy spectrum.

How We'll Conduct Our Experiment:

The BEC experiment will use a different sort of trap that will permit expansion through the BEC transition to study the nature of the transition under novel conditions. Also, study of two different gases or of two different excitation states of a gas will not suffer from the stratification seen on Earth.



Last Updated:

link to First Gov NASA logo