ESR 2 – Marius

 Marius Gaudesius, CNRS, Nice 

Radiation pressure force induced instabilities in cold atomic clouds

Layman’s Title: Self-oscillating cold atomic clouds: probing and examining an unstable regime in magneto-optical cold atom trap

Brief summary of my research
My research at the physics institute INPHYNI in Nice lies within the field of ultracold atoms. I study the behavior of extremely cold atomic clouds in a regime where these start self-oscillating in many different patterns. The atoms are prepared in a magneto-optical atom trap, being a kind of trap that exposes the atoms to magnetic and light forces so in order to confine them. By tuning the confinement forces in particular ways it is possible for the atoms to enter the self-oscillatory regime.
Details surrounding the research
I am first and foremost involved in the experiments that produce the self-oscillatory cold atomic clouds. The evolution of the clouds is monitored by a fast-frame camera, and the still frame images are later on data processed. I am also actively involved in the data processing part. Search for suitable theoretical models for characterization of the clouds is running in parallel, in close collaboration with academic colleagues abroad.
Impact and outcome
The mechanism describing the self-oscillatory regime is not yet understood, but, nevertheless, analogies between the dynamics of cold atomic clouds, astrophysical systems as well as systems in plasma physics have been suggested. Therefore, by studying this regime one has a potential of contributing to a better understanding of phenomena that are being dealt with in the aforementioned other fields of physics.