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Publication Date


First Advisor

Courtney Lannert

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Bose-Einstein condensates, Cold atoms & matter waves, Theromodynamics, Cooling and trapping


In a Bose-Einstein condensate, bosons are cooled to a temperature extremely close to absolute zero, allowing them to all drop to the lowest energy state, making them indistinguishable and able to act as a single quantum entity on a larger scale than usually seen in quantum systems. Some Bose-Einstein condensate experiments that are not possible in gravity are currently being conducted on the Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) on the International Space Station. In this work, hollow shell-shaped systems being made on CAL are considered, that may or may not be condensates. A method is created to help distinguish whether such a system is a Bose-Einstein condensate or a non-condensed thermal gas. Using the geometry determined by the initial trap, the time it would take for the trapped atoms to reach the center after release from the trap is determined, both for the condensate case and the thermal case. We then find the times that would indicate that the system includes a condensate.


©2021 Quincy Webb. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




47 pages : color illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (pages 46-47)