Most weeks during the semester, we host a scholar for a one-day visit. The visit culminates with a public talk on a topic of contemporary physics or astronomy. Students are welcome to these talks, and seniors are required to attend at least nine over the course of a year. Near the end of each semester, honors thesis students give public lectures on their work. We gather before the talks for tea, coffee, and cookies at 3:45, Ground Lobby of Science Center followed by the talk at 4:00 pm in A011.
Our Astronomy program is part of the Five College Astronomy Department, which hosts its own colloquium series Thursdays at 3:45 pm at UMass in LGRT 1033.
Tue, Sep 24, 2019
Thomas Langin, Yale: “Ultracold Molecules: A New Tool for Studying Strongly Interacting Quantum Systems”
Thomas Langin from Yale University will be speaking on Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs).
BECs, in which the material is cold and dense enough that the wavefunctions of the particles overlap (e.g., when the DeBroglie wavelength (λ∝1/√T) equals the interparticle spacing (a∝n^(- 1/3))), are typically created by cooling N≥1000 atoms to T≤100 nK. These systems have many interesting properties, such as superfluidity, easily tunable interactions and phase coherence. However, in most atoms, interactions are limited to short-range van der Waals interactions.
At Yale, we are attempting to create BECs of SrF, a polar molecule which has strong, tunable, long-range dipole-dipole interactions. Molecules also have many easily accessible long-lived rotational states, which make them attractive for quantum information studies. In this talk, I will discuss the techniques we have implemented thus far to cool thousands of SrF molecules to T∼10μK. I will conclude by discussing our progress toward reaching lower temperatures and achieving a BEC of SrF.