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Dynamics of cold bosons in microtraps

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Atom chips provide means to cool and trap atoms at distances from microns to millimetres from surfaces. Different applications of various manipulation techniques become possible at different lengthscales. In this talk, we will cover a few examples within the range of possibilities. At relatively large distance scales integrated conductor assemblies based on mm-cm sized wires in combination with micron scale conductor patterns on a chip facilitate robust and efficient laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensate production at surface distances that are sufficiently large to provide optical access for interferometery and to render any harmful surface effects unimportant. The resulting reliable and robust cold atom sources form a basis for quantum sensors with a scope for practical use in the laboratory and in the field. At the other end of the scale, we are working towards more intimate, but controlled atom-surface coupling at single micron (and below) distances, where the atoms can be used as a sensitive microscopic surface probe and where in turn micro- and nanoscale structuring of the chip surface can be utilised to tailor a quantum gas’s environment on length scales on the order of the healing length and the thermal wavelength of a degenerate gas of bosons. Examples of arising possibilities will be given and the experimental route to this regime will be discussed.

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