First Dipolar Quantum Mixtures!

We have created for the first time a dipolar quantum mixture by combining two highly magnetic atomic species, Erbium and Dysprosium. The experiment has been conducted in the RARE Lab and we observe simultaneous quantum degeneracy of 5 Bose-Bose mixture and a Bose-Fermi one.

Since both elements offer several stable isotopes, we are able to produce five different mixtures of double-dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates and also a degenerate Bose-Fermi mixture. This achievement is an important step towards realization of complex many-body quantum states goverened by inter- and intraspecies interaction both of contact and long-range nature.

In a new paper now published in the journal Physical Review Letters, our team makes a new leap in the field of dipolar matter. We have mixed Erbium and Dysprosium, and for the first time produced a dipolar quantum mixture. “We studied very carefully the atomic spectra of these two species and made plans on how to combine them and reach simultaneous quantum degeneracy”, says Philipp Ilzhöfer, one of the two leading authors of the paper, “and our scheme worked out even better than expected allowing us to create a system in which Bose-Einstein condensates of Erbium and Dysprosium coexist and interact with each other”, adds Arno Trautmann, the other leading author. This advance promises to open novel research frontiers in the field of dipolar quantum matter because of the long-range interaction among the two species.

The research has been conducted in our new laboratory at the IQOQI and has been supported by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and an ERC Consolidator Grant. The work has been recommended by the editors of the journal as particularly important, interesting, and well written and is featured in the online magazine Physics.