Progress towards the realization of a quantum degenerate dipolar gas of dysprosium atoms

Year: 2014

Authors: Fioretti A., Catani J., del Bino L., Gabbanini C., Gozzini S., Inguscio M., Lucioni E., Modugno G.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, C.N.R., UOS Pisa, via Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy,
LENS and Dip. di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Firenze, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy,
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica,CNR, UOS Sesto Fiorentino, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy,
INRIM, 10135 Torino, Italy


More Information: With the present project we plan to realize a quantum gas of dysprosium atoms to perform quantum simulations of strongly-correlated dipolar systems. Contrary to alkali atoms, usually employed in cold atoms experiments, dysprosium has a huge magnetic dipole moment, 10 Bohr magnetons, the largest among all elements. For this reason, besides interacting via van der Waals interaction, which has substantially a contact nature, Dy atoms also interact via dipole-dipole magnetic interaction, which is both long-range and anisotropic. The combination of these two ingredients leads to the appearance of peculiar quantum phenomena so far only barely explored[1]. Moreover, Dy isotopes, with both fermionic and bosonic nature, can be brought to quantum degeneracy[2,3], allowing statistics-dependent studies.
At present, a blue laser source (421nm) for the Zeeman slowing of the Dy beam has been realized, together with part of the control electronics. Test of the vacuum apparatus is in progress. The first results of magneto-optical trapping (MOT) of dysprosium are expected at the beginning of 2015, as soon as a 626nm narrowline laser source, necessary for MOT operation, is acquired.

This experiment is a joint effort of teams from both the Pisa and the Sesto Fiorentino sections of the INO-CNR.

KeyWords: laser cooling; cold atoms; quantum degenerate gases; dipolar gases;