Cold atoms: A field enabled by light
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy & LENS, University of Florence - Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
2 Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée UMR 7336 Parc Valrose, 06100 Nice, France
Received: 22 May 2015
Accepted: 3 June 2015
Besides being a source of energy, light can also cool gases of atoms down to the lowest temperatures ever measured, where atomic motion almost stops. The research field of cold atoms has emerged as a multidisciplinary one, highly relevant, e.g., for precision measurements, quantum gases, simulations of many-body physics, and atom optics. In this focus article, we present the field as seen in 2015, and emphasise the fundamental role in its development that has been played by mastering light.
PACS: 37.10.-x – Atom, molecule, and ion cooling methods / 67.85.-d – Ultracold gases, trapped gases / 03.75.-b – Matter waves
© EPLA, 2015