N.J. van Druten
- Collective excitations of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a magnetic trap
- Physical Review Letters
- Volume | Issue number
- 77 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
Collective excitations of a dilute Bose condensate have been observed. These excitations are analogous to phonons in superfluid helium. Bose condensates were created by evaporatively cooling magnetically trapped sodium atoms. Excitations were induced by a modulation of the trapping potential, and detected as shape oscillations in the freely expanding condensates. The frequencies of the lowest modes agreed well with theoretical predictions based on mean-field theory. Before the onset of Bose-Einstein condensation, we observed sound waves in a dense ultracold gas.
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