Rydberg Electrons in a Bose-Einstein Condensate

Jia Wang, Marko Gacesa, R. Côté

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31 Scopus citations


We investigate a hybrid system composed of ultracold Rydberg atoms immersed in an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). The coupling between Rydberg electrons and BEC atoms leads to excitations of phonons, the exchange of which induces a Yukawa interaction between Rydberg atoms. Because of the small electron mass, the effective charge associated with this quasiparticle-mediated interaction can be large. Its range, equal to the BEC healing length, is tunable using Feshbach resonances to adjust the scattering length between BEC atoms. We find that for small healing lengths, the distortion of the BEC can "image" the Rydberg electron wave function, while for large healing lengths the induced attractive Yukawa potentials between Rydberg atoms are strong enough to bind them.

Original languageBritish English
Article number243003
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - 18 Jun 2015


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