New Twists in Bose-Einstein Condensation

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a coherent atom field made up of very cold localized atoms. Although we usually think of atoms as interacting by collisions, these collisional interactions are mediated by electromagnetic fields. Thus nonlinear interactions in a BEC - the coupling of the atom field with itself via electromagnetically mediated atomic interactions - is the exact complement to nonlinear optics. For this reason it has been possible to demonstrate the counterpart to such classic non-linear optics experiments as four-wave mixing with the matter waves of BEC.

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