We present the design and construction of a novel apparatus to rapidly and simply generate a 23Na Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) in hybrid magnetic and optical traps. Sodium atoms are collected in a magnetic-optical trap, captured in a magnetic quadrupole trap, and then cooled through forced radio-frequency evaporation. To avoid Majorana spin-flip losses at the center of the magnetic quadrupole trap, the cold dense atomic cloud is transferred to a crossed red-detuned optical dipole trap. By reducing the optical trap depth, sodium spinor BECs are generated from forced evaporation and re-thermalization in the crossed optical trap. This hybrid approach combines the advantages of both magnetic quadrupole and optical traps. The key benefit of spinor BECs is the additional spin degree of freedom. A large collection of atoms could be entangled at once in spinor BECs. We propose three new approaches to achieve spin-squeezing and entanglement with sodium spinor BECs in optical lattices.
Yingmei Liu has been an assistant professor of physics at Oklahoma State University since August 2009. She was a leading researcher from 2004 to 2009 in two Nobel-prize winning groups, one with Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT and the other with Bill Phillips at NIST. She received her Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in August 2004. The main research interest of her group is to investigate spin-squeezing with sodium Bose-Einstein Condensates near absolute zero temperature, and its immediate applications to quantum information science.