MIT Laser Cooling Group Reports Evidence for Atomic Laser Action in BEC Cloud

Wolfgang Ketterle's group at MIT has recently published the paper Amplification of Light and Atoms in a Bose-Einstein Condensate (Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 4225-4228 (2000)), authored by S. Inouye, R.F.Loew, S. Gupta, T. Pfau, A. Goerlitz, T. L. Gustavson, D. E. Pritchard and W. Ketterle:

A Bose-Einstein condensate illuminated by a single off-resonant laser beam ("dressed condensate") shows a high gain for matter waves and light. The Ketterle group has characterized the optical and atom-optical properties of the dressed condensate by injecting light or atoms, illuminating the key role of long-lived matter wave gratings produced by the condensate at rest and recoiling atoms. The narrow bandwidth for optical gain gave rise to an extremely slow group velocity of an amplified light pulse (1 m/s), much slower than previously reported.

The MIT group also made invited presentations at two meetings:

  1. Collective Enhancement and Suppression in Bose-Einstein condensates.
    2000 Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Research Meeting, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Warrenton, Virginia (talk by Wolfgang Ketterle);
  2. Probing and manipulating Bose-Einstein condensates with laser light.
    16th Interdisciplinary Laser Science Conference (ILS-XVI), Providence, RI. (talk by Axel Görlitz)