Bose-Einstein Condensation of Molecules

Simultaneous success in the group of D. Jin at JILA (preprint) !!!

Institut für Experimentalphysik,
University of Innsbruck, and
Austrian Academy of Sciences,
Innsbruck, Austria

BEC of Li2 molecules

Our team at the Institute for Experimental Physics at Innsbruck University has achieved Bose-Einstein Condensation of more than 105 Li2 molecules. Starting point is a spin mixture of fermionic lithium 6 atoms in an optical dipole trap. The molecules are formed by three-body recombination during forced evaporative cooling near a Feshbach resonance. By further evaporative cooling the molecules finally condense into a thermal equilibrium state with a long lifetime of about 20 seconds. We measure the characteristic frequency of a collective excitation mode and demonstrate the magnetic-field dependent mean field. Our results are published on November 13th 2003 in Science Express.

Science 302, 2101 (2003); published online 13 Nov 2003 (10.1126/science.1093280)

Picture of the vacuum chamber.

References and further reading

Related general press reports

  • Gase am Rande des Temperaturnullpunktes (in German)
    Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Artikel vom 5. Nov. 2003
  • Ultracold Fermionic Atoms Team up as Molecules: Can They Form Cooper Pairs as Well?
    Barbara Goss Levi
    Physics Today, October 2003
  • Ultracold Atoms Spark a Hot Race
    Adrian Cho
    Science 301, 750 (2003)

The Team

The team at the Institut für Experimentalphysik, Innsbruck University, Austria:

standing from left to right:

  • Johannes Hecker Denschlag (staff scientist)
  • Alexander Altmeyer (graduate student)
  • Rudi Grimm (group leader)
  • Cheng Chin (Lise-Meitner fellow of the FWF)

kneeing from left to right:

  • Stefan Riedl (undergraduate student)
  • Gerhard Hendl (undergraduate student)
  • Markus Bartenstein (graduate student)
  • Selim Jochim (graduate student)

Special thanks to ELS for quick delivery of a VersaDisk laser


We are supported by the Austrian Science Fund (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, FWF) in the frame of the Spezialforschungsbereich F15 "Control and Measurement of Coherent Quantum Systems" and by the European Union in the frame of the Cold Molecules TMR Network.


last change: 05-12-15 by JH