Direct study of quantum statistics in a degenerate Bose gas
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This dissertation describes the experimental setup for obtaining low dimensional Bose-Einstein condensate in a single optical box trap. This novel optical trap type can provide strong confinement in two directions comparable to that which is possible in an optical lattice, but allows single-site control and addressibility. The trap consists of a crossed pair of elongated Hermite-Gaussian TEM01 mode beams supplemented by Gaussian beam end-caps producing a “particle-in-a-box” type geometry. Single atom detection with nearly unit quantum efficiency has been demonstrated and is fully integrated with the new trap. Using this system, we have directly observed sub-Poissonian atom number vii statistics for a degenerate Bose gas with numbers as small as 20 atoms. The observed reduction of number fluctuations is nearly a factor of two below the Poissonian (shot noise) limit. Current limit to Fock state creation for even smaller atom number is also discussed.