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Sensitive Detection of Radiation Trapping in a Cold Dilute Gas – Samir Bali

Date: Mon. February 14th, 2005, 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

Radiation trapping in an illuminated gas of atoms refers to the reabsorption of spontaneously emitted photons. This reabsorption prevents the formation of colder denser atomic samples for quantum degenerate studies in ultracold trapped gases. Furthermore, the decoherence induced by this reabsorption significantly affects a vast variety of important experiments that rely on the preparation of macroscopic coherent atomic samples, for example, experiments that propose a practical implementation of a quantum computer. Clearly, it is of interest to devise experimental techniques that detect extremely small amounts of radiation trapping in dilute gases. We will show that the photon statistics of the light scattered from a trapped sample of cold dilute gas is a highly sensitive non-invasive probe of radiation trapping in the sample.

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