Questions We Want to Answer:
What We Already Know:
- 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?
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
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.