Bose-Einstein condensation of lithium
Hulet, Randy G.
Bradley, Curtis C.
Sackett, C. A.
Bose-Einstein condensation of 7Li has been studied in a magnetically trapped gas. Because of the effectively attractive interactions between 7Li atoms, many-body quantum theory predicts that the occupation number of the condensate is limited to about 1400 atoms. We observe the condensate number to be limited to a maximum value between 650 and 1300 atoms. The measurements were made using a versatile phase-contrast imaging technique. We discuss our measurements, the current theoretical understanding of BEC in a gas with attractive interactions, and future experiments we hope to perform.
Bose-Einstein condensation; negative scattering length; lithium; phase contrast imaging