Meeting Information

Studying Superfluidity with Ultracold Atoms

June 21, 2017
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Date: June 21, 2017

Speaker: Gretchen Campbell, Joint Quantum Institute, NIST & UMD

Topic: Studying Superfluidity with Ultracold Atoms

Time and Location: 1:00 p.m., with Q&A to follow in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics (, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD-- off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: The study of superfluidity has a long and rich history. In Bose-Einstein condensates, superfluidity gives rise to a number of interesting effects, including quantized vortices and persistent currents. Persistent currents are a hallmark of both superfluidity and superconductivity. Just as a current in a superconducting circuit will flow forever, if a current is created in a superfluid Bose-Einstein concentrate, the flow will also not decay. In this talk, I will give an introduction to superfluidity in ultracold atoms, including a discussion of the critical velocity and discuss some of the recent experiments with our superfluid “atom circuit”. In these experiment, we are currently studying the behavior of persistent currents in a ring- shaped Bose Einstein condensate in the presence of a “weak link” barrier. Our weak link is created using a laser beam that acts as a barrier across one side of the ring condensate. By rotating the weak link we can control the current around the ring.  

Biography: Gretchen Campbell is the co-director of the Joint Quantum Institute, a joint institute between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland. Dr. Campbell received a B.A in Physics from Wellesley College in 2001, and received her Ph.D from MIT in 2007. From 2006-2009 she was a NRC post-doctoral fellow at JILA in Boulder. Dr. Campbell joined NIST and the JQI in 2009.  She is a fellow of the American Physical society, and among other awards received a PECASE in 2012 and the APS Maria Goeppert Mayer Award in 2015.