Examples of AMO research at Rice:
A false-color rendering of a two-dimensional image of a phase separated cloud of lithium-6 atoms. The tall, semi-transparent central region consists of fully paired atoms, one spin-up atom for every spin-down. This core region is believed to be a superfluid. The opaque peaks on either side, as well as the faint ring around the bottom, are the excess unpaired spin-up atoms that have been expelled from the central core. The light in the background is a representation of the probe laser beam used to capture this image.
The blue fluorescence is light scattered from one billion strontium atoms that are trapped with lasers and cooled to 1 millikelvin. Laser-cooled strontium is used to produce ultracold neutral plasmas and to study fundamental atom-photon and atom-atom interactions.