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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Jul 29;95(5):050401. Epub 2005 Jul 26.

Direct nondestructive imaging of magnetization in a spin-1 Bose-Einstein gas.

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Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Polarization-dependent phase-contrast imaging is used to resolve the spatial magnetization profile of an optically trapped ultracold gas. This probe is applied to Larmor precession of degenerate and nondegenerate spin-1 87Rb gases. Transverse magnetization of the Bose-Einstein condensate persists for the condensate lifetime, with a spatial response to magnetic field inhomogeneities consistent with a mean-field model of interactions. In comparison, the magnetization of the non-condensed gas decoheres rapidly. Rotational symmetry implies that the Larmor frequency of a spinor condensate be density independent, and thus suitable for precise magnetometry with high spatial resolution.

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