Number statistics of molecules formed from ultracold atoms

D. Meiser, Pierre Meystre

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Abstract

We calculate the number statistics of a single-mode molecular field excited by photo-association or via a Feshbach resonance from an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), a normal atomic Fermi gas, and a Fermi system with pair correlations (BCS state). We find that the molecule formation from a BEC leads for short times to a coherent molecular state in the quantum optical sense. Atoms in a normal Fermi gas, on the other hand, result for short times in a molecular field analog of a classical chaotic light source. The BCS situation is intermediate between the two and goes from producing an incoherent to a coherent molecular field with an increasing gap parameter. This distinct signature of the initial atomic state in the resulting molecular field makes single molecule counting into a powerful diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number093001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume94
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2005

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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