BEC on Chip: Toward Josephson Tunneling

Hai Nguyen, Thorsten Schrum, Jean-Baptiste Trebbia, Jerome Esteve, Isabelle Bouchoule, Dominique Mailly, Chris Westbrook, Alain Aspect
(Laboratoire Charles Fabry de l’Institut d’Optique, UMR CNRS 8501, Centre scientifique d’Orsay, Bâtiment 503, 91403 ORSAY cedex, France.),

Josephson Effect is a direct manifestation of the phase coherence in a macroscopic quantum system. Direct observation of oscillating atomic current in an array, which was created by a laser standing waves with a BEC trapped in the valleys, has been demonstrated. Because micro-fabricated current carrying wires deposited on surfaces, atom chip, have been proven to be a powerful tool in atom optics and BEC experiments , this offered new tool for studying the behavior of BEC in double well potentials. The advantages are three-folds. First, the micro-wires allow extremely tight magnetic potential confinement. Second, many geometrical patterns of micro-wires are possible to allow diverse and open geometries limited only by the present lithographic techniques. Third, because atom chip is inherently small and compact, atom optics and interferences measurements are not strongly dependent on field fluctuations and inhomogeneities. We present an experimental setup, using atom chip technologies, to investigate Josephson Effect in two weakly linked BECs confined in magnetic potential created by current carrying micro-wires.

This work was supported by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division,
Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy.

Submitted to DAMOP, May 2004 in Tucson, AZ.

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