Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) can be regarded as matter made from matter waves. It is formed when a gas composed of a certain kind of particles, referred to as “bosonic” particles, is cooled very close to absolute zero. At this temperature, the matter wavelength becomes so large that the wavelike atoms overlap and start to oscillate in concert, forming BEC.
This condensate consists of a macroscopic number of particles, all of which are in a single quantum state (i.e., the ground state of the system). Bose-Einstein condensate is a phase transition governed by the wave nature of the particles, as opposed to interactions between them.
Princeton Instruments CCD and EMCCD cameras are routinely used to capture luminescence from BEC at high speed. Kinetics (or “shoot and shift”) readout mode for the PI cameras recommended below enables microsecond time resolution. Complete control of all camera hardware features via our innovative LightField software, as well as support for real-time frame access and Linux operating systems, are also key advantages.
Our popular ProEM and ProEM-HS EMCCD camera series deliver high sensitivity and greater-than-video frame rates for BEC imaging. Some of these advanced instruments’ sensors employ a frame-transfer architecture for 100% duty cycle imaging at low light levels and feature PI’s proprietary eXcelon3 back-illuminated EMCCD technology to provide high NIR and UV quantum efficiency while reducing etaloning (fringing). The custom ProEM:512BK has an on-chip mask that allows the camera to capture >1 million frames per second when operated in kinetics mode.
Many of our state-of-the-art PIXIS CCD cameras, meanwhile, utilize special eXcelon back-illuminated, deep-depletion CCD technology to achieve the highest quantum efficiency in both the NIR and UV regions while eliminating etaloning altogether.
Pseudocolor images showing quantum vortices in a rotating condensate of sodium atoms. A condensate 60 μm in diameter and 250 μm in length was set in rotation by rotating laser beams. The condensate formed a regular lattice of vortices and was then allowed to expand ballistically, resulting in 20x magnification. The images represent two-dimensional cuts through the density distribution and display the density minima due to the vortex cores. The examples shown contain 0, 16, 70, and 130 vortices. The cloud diameter was about 1 mm. Images courtesy of Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle, MIT.
Examples of experimental setups for imaging Bose-Einstein condensate:
|Experimental setups at the lab of Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle, MIT, showing PIXIS:1024F (front-illuminated) and 1024BR (back-illuminated, deep-depletion) CCD cameras.|
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