I have been one of the main responsible for building a new laboratory for Bose-Einstein condensation with 87Rb. In particular, the experimental setup has been designed for performing experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates load into optical lattices of variable geometries.
All parts essential for Bose-Einstein condensation are in place. Atoms are collected in a magneto-optical trap, transferred to another vacuum chamber, with better vacuum, and trapped in another magneto-optical trap. Atoms are successfully transferred to a dark magnetic trap, and system for diagnostics with absorption imaging has been realized. We have not yet been able to form a Bose-Einstein condensate, due to a range of technical difficulties.
Equipment for alignment of optical lattices with flexible geometry has been designed, built, and tested. This tool has been proven to work as desired, and there is a great potential for a range of unique experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates in optical lattices of various geometries, including superlattices and quasi-periodic lattices.
Numerical studies have been made on anisotropic optical lattices, and the existence of a transition between a 2D superfluid phase and a 1D Mott-insulating phase has been confirmed. We have shown that the transition is of Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless type. In another numerical study it has been shown that using stimulated Raman transitions is a practical method for transferring atoms between states in a double optical lattice. Thus, it will be possible to transfer populations between the lattices, with further applications in qubit read/write operations.