Molecule formation as a diagnostic tool for second-order correlations of ultracold gases

D. Meiser, P. Meystre, C. P. Search

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5 Scopus citations


We calculate the momentum distribution and the second-order correlation function in momentum space, g (2)(p, p′, t) for molecular dimers that are coherently formed from an ultracold atomic gas by photoassociation or a Feshbach resonance. We investigate using perturbation theory how the quantum statistics of the molecules depend on the initial state of the atoms by considering three different initial states: a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), a normal Fermi gas of ultracold atoms, and a BCS-type superfluid Fermi gas. The cases of strong and weak coupling to the molecular field are discussed. It is found that BEC and BCS states give rise to an essentially coherent molecular field with a momentum distribution determined by the zero-point motion in the confining potential. On the other hand, a normal Fermi gas and the unpaired atoms in the BCS state give rise to a molecular field with a broad momentum distribution and thermal number statistics. It is shown that the first-order correlations of the molecules can be used to measure second-order correlations of the initial atomic state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033621
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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