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.

Observation of dynamical instability for a BEC in a moving lattice

We have experimentally studied the unstable dynamics of a harmonically trapped Bose-Einstein condensate loaded into a 1D moving optical lattice. The lifetime of the condensate in such a potential exhibits a dramatic dependence on the quasimomentum state. This is unambiguously attributed to the onset of dynamical instability, after a comparison with the predictions of the Gross-Pitaevskii theory. Deeply in the unstable region we observe the rapid appearance of complex structures in the atomic density profile, as a consequence of the condensate phase uniformity breakdown.

L. Fallani et al.
Observation of Dynamical Instability for a Bose-Einstein Condensate in a Moving 1D Optical Lattice
Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 140406 (2004)

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)