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Collisional properties of a dipolar gas of ultracold chromium atoms

By: Werner, J.; Schmidt, P.; Hensler, S.; Pfau, T.; Gorlitz, A.; Griesmaier, A.;

2003 / IEEE / 0-7803-7733-8


This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Collisional properties of a dipolar gas of ultracold chromium atoms ' Temperature dependence of the cross-section for elastic ground-state collisions of /sup 52/Cr- and /sup 50/Cr-atoms using the method of cross-dimensional relaxation, respectively is determined. The corresponding absolute values of the scattering length are on the order of 100a/sub 0/ for /sup 52/Cr and /sup 50/a/sub 0/ for /sup 50/Cr, respectively. However, to use evaporative cooling to increase the phase space density and achieve Bose-Einstein condensation with chromium atoms, have been limited to values below 10/sup -2/. Unusuually high inelastic collisio rates due to dipolar relaxation cause atom loss and heating of the sample. These losses are investigated and found similar magnetic-field-dependent rate coefficients (/spl ap/10/sup -11/ cm/sup 3//s @ 50 G offset field) for the two isotopes /sup 50/Cr and /sup 52/Cr indicating that the strongly enhanced dipolar relaxation is a generic feature of the dipole-dipole interaction. This conclusion is supported by theoretical calculations. To circumvent these losses, an optical dipole trap is currently being set up. Here, chromium can be trapped in the energetically lowest state where dipolar relaxation is absent.