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Comparative Study
, 78 (1), 013102

Large Atom Number Bose-Einstein Condensate of Sodium

Comparative Study

Large Atom Number Bose-Einstein Condensate of Sodium

K M R van der Stam et al. Rev Sci Instrum.


We describe the setup to create a large Bose-Einstein condensate containing more than 120 x 10(6) atoms. In the experiment a thermal beam is slowed by a Zeeman slower and captured in a dark-spot magneto-optical trap (MOT). A typical dark-spot MOT in our experiments contains 2.0 x 10(10) atoms with a temperature of 320 microK and a density of about 1.0 x 10(11) atoms/cm(3). The sample is spin polarized in a high magnetic field before the atoms are loaded in the magnetic trap. Spin polarizing in a high magnetic field results in an increase in the transfer efficiency by a factor of 2 compared to experiments without spin polarizing. In the magnetic trap the cloud is cooled to degeneracy in 50 s by evaporative cooling. To suppress the three-body losses at the end of the evaporation, the magnetic trap is decompressed in the axial direction.

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