Bose Einstein Condensates for Analogue Cosmology Experiments
Dissertation Committee Chair: James Williams, Chair
Gretchen Campbell, Co-Chair/Advisor
Ronald Walsworth, Dean's Representative
This thesis presents the construction and characterization of an experimental apparatus to produce sodium Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) in arbitrary potentials.
Particular attention is devoted to the study of toroidal BECs as platforms for analogue cosmology models.
We also report the first results from this apparatus in which we we studied the red-shifting and attenuation of azimuthal phonons in expanding toroidal BECs as well as blue-shifting and amplification of azimuthal phonons in contracting toroidal BECs.
The amplification and attenuation of the azimuthal phonons is the result of a fictitious friction term that arises from the changing metric dictated by the background BEC, this fictitious friction is analogous to the Hubble friction term present in models of the inflaton in cosmology.