Spatially inhomogeneous phase evolution of a two-component Bose-Einstein condensate

Russell Anderson, C Ticknor, Andrei Sidorov, B Hall

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We investigate the spatially dependent relative phase evolution of an elongated two-component Bose-Einstein condensate. The pseudospin-1/2 system is comprised of the F = 1, m(F) = - 1 > and F = 2, m(F) = +1 > hyperfine ground states of (87)Rb, which we magnetically trap and interrogate with radio-frequency and microwave fields. We probe the relative phase evolution with Ramsey interferometry and observe a temporal decay of the interferometric contrast well described by a mean-field formalism. Inhomogeneity of the collective relative phase dominates the loss of interferometric contrast, rather than decoherence or phase diffusion. We demonstrate a technique to simultaneously image each state, yielding subpercent variations in the measured relative number while preserving the spatial mode of each component. In addition, we propose a spatially sensitive interferometric technique to image the relative phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)023603-1 - 0235603-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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