Open Questions: Condensed Matter Physics

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See also: Quantum effects technology - Superconductivity

Introduction

Bose-Einstein and Fermionic condensates

Superfluids and supersolids

Quantum Hall effect

Topological insulators

High-pressure physics


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books

Introduction



Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes


Sites with general resources

The Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC) Homepage at Georgia Southern University (GSU)
"The GSU BEC Homepage is devoted to tracking developments in the field of cold-atom gaseous Bose-Einstein Condensation and related subjects." Information includes links to online technical papers, links to articles for a general audience, information on professional conferences, and links to other BEC-related Web pages.
BEC News and Reviews
Lists of news articles on Bose-Einstein condensates, along with more detailed summaries of recent research results.
Bose-Einstein Condensate Home Page
Educational/pedagogical material from the Physics 2000 site. Contains Java applets illustrating various aspects of the physics.
BEC Matters!
Central collection of technical articles about Bose-Einstein condensates published in various Institute of Physics journals.
Alkali Quantum Gases @ MIT
Home page of the BEC research group of Wolfgang Ketterle and Daivd Pritchard. Contains infromation on the group's work, external links, news, graphics, an Introduction to BEC, and online versions of popular papers on the subject.
JILA BEC Homepage
Contains a variety of resources related to BEC research.
Jin Group
Home page of Deborah Jin's research group at JILA. Their work invoves cooling fermionic atoms to produce a quantum degenerate state.
BEC Munich
Web pages of the BEC team of Immanuel Block in Ted Hänsch's group at the LMU Munich and the MPQ in Garching. Contains descriptions of research in the group frequently asked questions, and a list of publications.
Schwab Group
Research group of Keith Schwab, which studies quantum effects in nanomechanical and nanoelectronic devices. "Primarily interested in the quantum behavior that is possible with nanomechanical and single-electron devices. We are especially focused on exploring coherent quantum behavior in these systems for applications to quantum computing devices and extending the frontiers of quantum mechanics to ever increasing length scales."
Sargent Group
Description of the research conducted by the group led by Ted Sargent at the University of Toronto. Primary focus is on quantum dots that are semiconductor particles a few nanometers in diameter.
Ultracold atoms and quantum gases
Concerns research at the Instutite for Experimental Physics at Innsbruck University (Austria). The site includes research announcements, a list of publications, some external links, and a list of Research groups working with atom traps.


Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Bose-Einstein condensate
Article from Wikipedia.
Bose-Einstein Condensation
A ScienceWeek "symposium" consisting of excerpts and summaries of articles from various sources.
Fermi gases go with the superfluid flow
Summary of June 2007 article from Physics World, by Wolfgang Ketterle and Yong-il Shin. "The study of superfluidity in "imbalanced" ultracold fermionic gases is helping researchers unearth the mechanisms behind superfluids and superconductors."
Ten of the best for BEC
June 2005 article from Physics World, by Peter Rodgers. "The rate of progress in the field of ultracold atomic gases over the past decade has been remarkable. Ever since the first Bose-Einstein condensate was produced in rubidium-87 exactly 10 years ago this month, a string of ground-breaking results has flowed from laboratories around the world. ... In recent years attention has switched to degenerate Fermi gases, which are shaping up to be just as exciting."
The quantum solid that defies expectation
May 2007 article from Physics World, by Matthew Chalmers. "In 2004 researchers reported the first clear evidence for superfluidity in solid helium-4. However, Matthew Chalmers describes recent experimental and theoretical work that has brought the very existence of such a "supersolid" into question."
The revolution that has not stopped
June 2005 article from Physics World, by Peter Rodgers. "A decade after the creation of the first Bose-Einstein condensate, research into the properties of ultracold atoms is about to enter a new era."
Quantum gases in optical lattices
April 2004 article from Physics World, by Immanuel Bloch. "Arrays of ultracold atoms trapped by artificial crystals of light can be used in a wide variety of experiments in quantum physics."
Fermionic first for condensates
March 2004 article from Physics World, by Krzysztof Góral and Keith Burnett. "The creation of the first fermionic condensate will herald a new generation of research into the properties of superfluids and superconductors."
Quantum gases come of age
Summary of September 2003 article from Physics World, by Mark Edwards. "The field of ultracold quantum gases is no longer in its infancy. Since the first gaseous Bose–Einstein condensate was formed in 1995, physicists have made an exhaustive study of the many amazing properties of this new state of matter. Similar progress has been made with degenerate Fermi gases - the quantummechanical cousins of Bose condensates. In addition to being fascinating in their own right, experiments on quantum gases are relevant to many different areas of physics - from atomic clocks and quantum computing to superfluidity and quantum phase transitions.."
Waves and turbulence cause a stir in superfluids
August 2003 article from Physics World, by Carlo F Barenghi. "Two recent experiments have highlighted the links between low-temperature physics and fluid dynamics."
Bosons help to beat the Fermi pressure
Summary of November 2002 article from Physics World, by Ed Hinds. "In a gas of identical atoms, each atom is described by a localized de Broglie wave packet. If the gas is trapped and cooled, the atoms move closer together and their de Broglie wavelengths get longer. As the gas is cooled further, the wave packets become larger and eventually start to overlap and interfere with each other. What happens next in these so-called quantum-degenerate gases depends on whether the atoms are bosons or fermions."
Condensates on crest of a wave
July 2002 article from Physics World, by Murray Holland. "The ability to tune the interactions between atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate has led to atomic wave packets that can propagate without dispersion and other novel quantum states."
A Fermi gas of atoms
April 2002 article from Physics World, by Deborah Jin. "Cooling atoms to ultra-low temperatures reveals the striking differences between fermions and bosons at the quantum level."
Taming light with cold atoms
September 2001 article from Physics World, by Lene Vestergaard Hau. "The ability to stop light in its tracks by passing it through a cloud of ultracold atoms could lead to new techniques for optical storage."
Magnetic chips and quantum circuits for atoms
Summary of July 2001 article from Physics World, by Ed Hinds. "Over the last few years, physicists have developed various techniques for cooling clouds of atoms to temperatures below 1 microkelvin. The atoms in these clouds are so cold that they can no longer be considered as classical particles that obey Newton's laws of motion. Rather, they are diffuse waves that spread out, diffract and interfere with each other as described by the rules of quantum mechanics."
Triple first for Bose condensates
May 2001 article from Physics World, by Christopher Foot. "Research into the exotic quantum phenomenon of Bose-Einstein condensation shows no sign of slowing as researchers in the US and France make advances in different directions."
Ultracold plasmas come of age
May 2001 article from Physics World, by Phillip Gould and Edward Eyler. "Recent experiments performed on ultralow-temperature plasmas created from laser-cooled atoms are unleashing a flood of new ideas in atomic physics.."
Quantum mechanics with single atoms and photons
December 2000 article from Physics World, by Gerhard Rempe. "Some 100 years after the birth of quantum mechanics, physicists are still learning more about the interactions between light and matter."
Liquid hydrogen turns superfluid
November 2000 article from Physics World, by Peter McClintock. "Recent work at Göttingen has revealed convincing evidence for superfluidity in liquid hydrogen, the only liquid other than helium to exhibit this quantum behaviour."
Double first for superfluids
March 2000 news article from Physics World about the observation of a double-quantum vortex in superfluid helium-3.
Quantum fluids create a stir in the lab
Summary of January 2000 article from Physics World, by Charles Adams and Jim McCann, about experiments that may improve our understanding of the fundamental nature of superfluidity.
Atom lasers
August 1999 article from Physics World, by Kristian Helmerson. "The exotic quantum phenomenon of Bose-Einstein condensation is the key ingredient in a new type of laser that emits atoms rather than photons, and that promises to revolutionize atom optics."
Bose condensates make quantum leaps and bounds
Summary of August 1999 article from Physics World, by Yvan Castin, Ralph Dum and Alice Sinatra. "Since the first observation in 1995 of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute atomic gases, atomic physicists have made extraordinary progress in understanding this unusual quantum state of matter."
Ultracold fermion race is on
Summary of August 1999 article from Physics World, by Randall Hulet, about the latest advances in the race to create a quantum degenerate gas of fermions.
Hydrogen: a quantum gas at last
February 1999 article from Physics World, by Tom Hijmans. "The experimental observation of Bose-Einstein condensation in a gas of rubidium atoms in 1995 had a huge impact on the physics community, with reports of 'a new state of matter' making newspaper headlines all over the world. By comparison, it was in relative obscurity that Simo Jaakkola and his group ... recently observed the two-dimensional analogue of the effect."
Trapping breakthrough for molecules
September 1998 news article from Physics World about a new technique to trap ultracold molecules.
Bose-Einstein condensation
March 1997 article from Physics World, by Christopher Townsend, Wolfgang Ketterle and Sandro Stringari. "Bose-Einstein condensation is an exotic quantum phenomenon that was observed in dilute atomic gases for the first time in 1995, and is now the subject of intense theoretical and experimental study."
A Glimpse of Supersolid
January 2005 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Solid helium can behave like a superfluid."
Superhot among the Ultracool
September 2004 Scientific American Insights article, subtitled "With atoms near absolute zero, Deborah S. Jin created a Fermi condensate--opening a new realm in physics that might lead to room-temperature superconductivity."
The Next Big Chill
October 2003 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Physicists close in on a new state of matter."
Trapped over a Chip
Brief March 2001 artcile from Scientific American that discusses microchip-based devices to trap atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate, with possible applications to quantum computing.
Quantum entanglement spreads to Bose condensates
June 2000 news article from Physics Web about quantum entanglement in a Bose-Einstein condensate.
Looking inside quantum dots
June 2000 news article from Physics World about light emission by quantum dots.
Quantum dots detect single photons
May 2000 news article from Physics World about a single-photon detector based on quantum dots.
Double first for superfluids
March 2000 news article from Physics Web about double quantum vortices in superfluid helium-3.
Molecules made in a Bose-Einstein Condensate
February 2000 news article from Physics World about making molecules in a Bose-Einstein condensate from a cloud of ultracold atoms for the first time.
Solitons formed in Bose-Einstein Condensate
January 2000 news article from Physics Web about soliton waves in Bose-Einstein condensates.
Condensates in a whirl
October 1999 news article from Physics Web about vortices in superfluids such as liquid helium-4.
Fermions go degenerate
September 1999 news article from Physics World about quantum degenerate behaviour in a gas of fermionic atoms.
Fermion first for quantum interference
January 1998 news article from Physics World about the first measurement of interference patterns produced by fermion collisions.
Hydrogen hoops give superfluid clues
September 2000 news article in Science News, about the possible observation of superfluid liquid hydrogen.
Attractive atoms pick up repulsive habits
August 2000 news article in Science News, about Bose-Einstein condensates of rubidium atoms.
Ultracold molecules form inside superatom
February 2000 news article in Science News, about Bose-Einstein condensates of rubidium molecules.
Bose-Einstein Condensation and Atomic Lasing
Brief overview of research at the Ultracold Atomic Physics Group at the University of Texas.
A New Form of Matter: Bose-Einstein Condensation and the Atom Laser
Slides and audio from a March 1998 lecture by Wolfgang Ketterle.


Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Physics on the Edge
Alexandra Witze
Science News, May 22, 2010
Electrons get moving along the surfaces of a new class of materials.
Physicists Hot for Ultracold
Laura Sanders
Science News, December 20, 2008
A laser's light tickle tricks molecules into sitting still.
The Coolest Gas in the Universe
Graham P. Collins
Scientific American, December 2000, pp. 92-99
The study of Bose-Einstein condensates is a very active area of experimental physics now. There may be a number of applications, both theoretical and practical.
Experimental Studies of Bose-Einstein Condensation
Wolfgang Ketterle
The creation of Bose-Einstein condensates was achieved only in 1995. These condensates enable exploration of new phenomena in atomic, quantum, and many-body physics. Physics Today, December 1999, pp. 30-35
The Theory of Bose-einstein Condensation of Dilute Gases
Keith Burnett; Mark Edwards; Charles W. Clark
Physics Today, December 1999, pp. 37-42
Bose-Einstein condensates provide a means to test quantum field theory. They enable the observation and testing of the theory of coherent matter waves.
The Bose-Einstein Condensate
Eric A. Cornell; Carl E. Wieman
Scientific American, March 1998, pp. 40-45
At extremely low temperatures of less than 100 billionths of a degree above absolute zero atoms lose their individual identities and form a "Bose-Einstein condensate". This theoretical concept has now actually been realized in the laboratory.


Recommended references: Books


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