Three-body recombination of cold helium atoms

H. Suno, B. D. Esry
(Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506)

Chris H. Greene
(Department of Physics and JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309)

J. P. Burke
(National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899)

Three-body recombination is an important loss mechanism for Bose-Einstein condensates. Previous investigations [1] have been limited to the ultracold limit where only the J=0 symmetry needed to be considered. This work [2] extends these studies and treats not only J=0 but also J>0 states, so that the recombination rate K3 at finite collision energies can be calculated. In addition, the rates for the time-reversed process, namely collision-induced dissociation, are also obtained. In particular we study the case of ground-state helium atoms, including collisions of both 4He and 3He.


1) B.D. Esry, C.H. Greene, and J.P. Burke, Jr., Phys. Rev. Lett. 83), 1751 (1999);
E. Nielsen and J.H. Macek, ibid. 83, 1566 (1999);
P.F. Bedaque, E. Braaten, and H.-W. Hammer, ibid. 85, 908 (2000)
2) H. Suno, B.D. Esry, C.H. Greene, and J.P. Burke, Jr., accepted in Phys. Rev. A

Supported by the National Science Foundation.

Submitted to DAMOP 2002, May 2002 in Williamsburg, VA.

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