Molecules in a Bose-Einstein Condensate

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Science  11 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5455, pp. 1016-1019
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5455.1016

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State-selected rubidium-87 molecules were created at rest in a dilute Bose-Einstein condensate of rubidium-87 atoms with coherent free-bound stimulated Raman transitions. The transition rate exhibited a resonance line shape with an extremely narrow width as small as 1.5 kilohertz. The precise shape and position of the resonance are sensitive to the mean-field interactions between the molecules and the atomic condensate. As a result, we were able to measure the molecule-condensate interactions. This method allows molecular binding energies to be determined with unprecedented accuracy and is of interest as a mechanism for the generation of a molecular Bose-Einstein condensate.

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