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Three-body decay of a rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate

By J. Söding, D. Guéry-odelin, P. Desbiolles, F. Chevy, H. Inamori and J. Dalibard


We have measured the three-body decay of a Bose-Einstein condensate of rubidium ( 87 Rb) atoms prepared in the doubly polarized ground state F = mF = 2. Our data are taken for a peak atomic density in the condensate varying between 2 × 10 14 cm −3 at initial time and 7 × 10 13 cm −3, 16 seconds later. Taking into account the influence of the uncondensed atoms onto the decay of the condensate, we deduce a rate constant for condensed atoms L = 1.8 ( ± 0.5) × 10 −29 cm 6 s −1. For these densities we did not find a significant contribution of two-body processes such as spin dipole relaxation. PACS numbers: 03.75.Fi, 34.50.Pi, 32.80.Pj ∗ Unité de recherche de l’ENS et de l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie, associée au CNRS. 1 The remarkable achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in alkali vapours opens the way to many spectacular applications of ultra-cold atomic gases [1, 2, 3]. For most if not all of these applications, it is important to estimate the stability of the condensat

Year: 1999
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