Atom Optics


Principal Investigator

Craig Savage

Department of Physics and Theoretical Physics,

Faculty of Science

These projects are providing the theoretical groundwork for current and future experiments in
atom optics. We worked towards three major goals during 1997:
1) Modelling the ANU atom diffraction experiment,

2) Understanding the theory of the atom laser,

3) Modelling dilute gas Bose-Einstein condensates.



r62,u57 - VPP, PC



What are the results to date and the future of this work?

Our modelling of atom diffraction is ongoing and has attracted condiderable attention from experimenters.

We have made major progress towards understanding the atom laser. This is a device analogous to the optical laser, but which produces a coherent beam of atoms, rather than of light. The atom laser is much more complicated than the optical laser, and hence computational methods are essential for solving the atom laser equations.

In 1997 we started modelling the next generation of ANU atom optics experiment: the production of dilute gas Bose-Einstein Condensates. These are a new phase of matter that exists only at nano-Kelvin temperatures. We are focussing on the properties of double condensates.

What computational techniques are used?

We use a wide variety of computational techniques. Our atom diffraction and quantum trajectory codes are home made. However much of our work involves, as the central computation, the solution of large systems of ordinary differential equations.


G. Moy, J. Hope, C. Savage, The Breakdown of the Born and Markov approximations for atom lasers, Physical Review A, in press (1998).

G. Moy, C. Savage, Output coupling for an atom laser by state change, Physical Review A, 56, 1087-1090 (1997).

- Appendix A