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De la condensation de Bose-Einstein à l'effet Hanbury Brown & Twiss atomique de l'hélium métastable

Rodolphe Hoppeler 1
1 laboratoire Charles Fabry de l'Institut d'Optique / Optique atomique
LCFIO - Laboratoire Charles Fabry de l'Institut d'Optique
Abstract : This thesis addresses the quantitative verification of a quantum effect. The measure is proposed for a gas of metastable atoms in the temperature range of one microkelvin.

One knows that atoms of bosonic nature obey a quantum statistic which is similar to photons' one. Hence, when arriving on a detector, bosons tend to group, which is the bosonic bunching effect. To show it, one can measure the probability to detect a boson during a time set which is delayed compared to the arrival of a first boson. This gives the correlation function of the particle flux. This signal has been observed with photons. It should be possible to observe it as well with atoms : this is precisely what this work demonstrates.

We thus focus on the experimental realization of a measure of boson bunching. The measure is carried on metastable helium atoms near the transition temperature (towards Bose-Einstein condensation). To do so, we start from an experimental set-up which proved to condense metastable helium. We investigate theoretically how much the effect shows up in this experimental configuration. In particular we argue that the signal can be observed after time of flight of the atoms, and we predict its shape in the case of condensed and uncondensed atoms : the correlation function flattens when atoms condense. We then present the detector : this delay line-based system counts atoms, it is position sensitive and it has a very good temporal resolution. We finally describe the experimental work on the set-up; in the end this led to the measure of the bunching effect.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - 11:16:26 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00011813, version 1

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Rodolphe Hoppeler. De la condensation de Bose-Einstein à l'effet Hanbury Brown & Twiss atomique de l'hélium métastable. Physique Atomique [physics.atom-ph]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2005. Français. ⟨tel-00011813⟩

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