Editor's Summary

18 March 2010

A Bose–Einstein trap

Until now, quantum atomic gases and single trapped ions have been treated separately in experiments. Now a team from the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge has combined the two, in the form of a hybrid quantum system composed of a Bose–Einstein condensate of neutral atoms and a trapped atomic ion. They achieve independent control over the two systems, study the fundamental interaction processes and observe sympathetic cooling of the single ion by the condensate. Possible avenues of research that this could lead to include the continuous cooling of quantum computers, and explorations of entanglement in hybrid quantum systems.

LetterA trapped single ion inside a Bose–Einstein condensate

Christoph Zipkes, Stefan Palzer, Carlo Sias & Michael Köhl