In June 10th 1999, the Rubidium BEC1 apparatus produced the first italian Bose-Einstein condensate. We soon focused our activity on the study of a quantum gas of 87Rb bosons in optical lattices, investigating static and dynamic properties and enlightening the role of different kinds of instabilities. The last part of the activity was concentrated on the study of the superfluid to Mott insulator transition (also adding disorder and “quasi-disorder”) and on the physics of low-dimensional bosonic gases, characterized by measuring the excitation spectrum of these systems through inelastic light scattering. The BEC1 experiment retired in 2014 after 15 years of activity. We would like to thank all the people – students, technicians, and researchers – who have contributed to these exciting fifteen years of activity.

A Bose-Einstein condensate in a random potential

We have performed pioneering investigations of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a random potential, produced by shining an optical speckle pattern onto the atoms. We have investigated both static and dynamic properties of the BEC in the presence of disorder. With small levels of disorder, stripes are observed in the expanded density profile and strong damping of dipole and quadrupole oscillations is seen. By studying the propagation of the BEC in a disordered waveguide, we have evidenced a strong suppression of mass transport as the speckle potential is increased. The experimental results are in good agreement with numerical calculations based on the Gross-Pitaevskii equation.

J. E. Lye et al.
Bose-Einstein Condensate in a Random Potential
Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 070401 (2005)

C. Fort et al.
Effect of Optical Disorder and Single Defects on the Expansion of a Bose-Einstein Condensate in a One-Dimensional Waveguide
Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 170410 (2005)

Rb people

Former members:
Alain Bernard
Sven Burger
Francesco S. Cataliotti
Jacopo Catani
David Clément
Luigi De Sarlo
Nicole Fabbri
Leonardo Fallani
Marco Fattori
Francesca Ferlaino
Chiara Fort
Vera Guarrera
Massimo Inguscio
Jessica E. Lye
Pasquale Maddaloni
Francesco Marin
Francesco Minardi
Marco Prevedelli
Leonardo Ricci
Sara Rosi
Robert Saers
Guglielmo M. Tino
Richard. van der Stam
Michael Zawada
Collaborations:
Veronica Ahufinger
Ehud Altman
Arturo Bambini
Rodolfo Bonifacio
Tommaso Calarco
Filippo Caruso
Jean-Sebastien Caux
Maria Luisa Chiofalo
Mary Manuela Cola
Ramon Corbalán
Eric A. Cornell
Marcus Cramer
Franco Dalfovo
Jason Ensher
Sebastian D. Huber
Michele Modugno
Simone Montangero
Milosz Panfil
Paolo Pedri
Nicola Piovella
Lev Pitaevskii
Martin B. Plenio
Augusto Smerzi
Sandro Stringari
Mario P. Tosi
Andrea Trombettoni
Diederik S. Wiersma

Rb contacts

For further information and request of material, please contact:

Chiara Fort
(fort@lens.unifi.it)