Precise Measurements of Few-Body Physics in Ultracold 39K Bose Gas

Ultracold atomic gases with tunable interactions offer an ideal platform for studying interacting quantum matter. While the few- and many-body physics are generally complex and intractable, the problem can be greatly simplified in an atomic gas by a controlled separation of relevant length and energy scales. Precise control of experimental parameters, via Feshbach resonances, optical potentials and radio-frequency radiation, enables deterministic measurements of few-body physics, including universal physics and the Efimov effect. This thesis presents our recent studies on precisely measuring two- and three-body physics in an ultracold Bose gas. I begin by describing our new apparatus used for generating and studying ultracold 39K gas samples. Then, I focus on our precision spectroscopy of Feshbach dimer binding energies, spanning three orders of magnitude and with sub-kilohertz resolution. These measurements enable us to locate a Feshbach resonance and determine scattering length values with unprecedented accuracy. Finally, I present our precise measurements locating an exotic three-body state, specifically the Efimov ground state. We find that the trimer state location significantly deviates from the value predicted by van der Waals universality. Due to small experimental and systematic uncertainties, our measurement is the strongest evidence of departure from the universal value and is the first observed deviation near a Feshbach resonance of intermediate strength.
Year of Publication
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Department of Physics
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University of Colorado Boulder
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