Ultraslow light in BECs

We slow and even stop pulses of light in sodium Bose-Einstein condensates.
Our light travels at speeds tens of millions of times slower than the speed of light in vacuum.

To learn more about ultraslow and stopped light, click here.

Read on below to read about our recent results.


We have demonstrated stopping light in one BEC and reviving the light pulse from another!

Click here to read about it.


By using a special "light roadblock" to ultracompress and stop a light pulse, we can collide superfluid shockwaves inside a BEC, and watch what happens!

Click here to read more.

Click here to read the paper.

Other selected publications:

More publications...

Rui Zhang, Sean R. Garner, and Lene Vestergaard Hau. Creation of Long-Term Coherent Optical Memory via Controlled Nonlinear Interactions in Bose-Einstein Condensates. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 233602 (2009).

Christopher Slowe, Naomi S. Ginsberg, Trygve Ristroph, Anne Goodsell, and Lene Vestergaard Hau Ultraslow Light & Bose-Einstein Condensates: Two-way Control with Coherent Light & Atom Fields Optics & Photonics News . 16 , p.30-34 (May 2005) .

Naomi S. Ginsberg, Joachim Brand, Lene Vestergaard Hau Observation of Hybrid Soliton Vortex-Ring Structures in Bose-Einstein Condensates Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 , 040403 (2005) .Preprint cond-mat/0408464

Zachary Dutton, Lene Vestergaard Hau Storing and processing optical information with ultra-slow light in Bose-Einstein condensates Phys. Rev. A 70 , 053831 (2004). Preprint quant-ph/0404018

Zachary Dutton, Naomi Ginsberg, Christopher Slowe, Lene Vestergaard Hau The Art of Taming Light: Ultra-slow and Stopped Light Europhysics News March/April Issue, 33-38 (2004) Online version

Lene Vestergaard Hau Frozen Light Scientific American 285 , 52-59 (July 2001) and Special Scientific American Issue entitled "The Edge of Physics" (2003).

Lene Vestergaard Hau Taming Light with Cold Atoms Physics World 14 , 35-40 (September 2001) Invited feature article. Published by Institute for Physics, UK.

Zachary Dutton, Michael Budde, Christopher Slowe, Lene Vestergaard Hau Observation of quantum shock waves created with ultra-compressed slow light pulses in a Bose-Einstein Condensate Science 293 , 663-668 (27 July 2001) and Science Express, June 28 2001 (<zdoi;10.1126/science.1062527>).

Chien Liu, Zachary Dutton, Cyrus H. Behroozi, Lene Vestergaard Hau Observation of coherent optical information storage in an atomic medium using halted light pulses Nature 409, 490-493 (25 January 2001) (Reprinted by permission from Nature , 409 , 490-493, copyright (2001) Macmillan Magazines Ltd.)

Lene Vestergaard Hau, S. E. Harris, Zachary Dutton, Cyrus H. Behroozi Light speed reduction to 17 metres per second in an ultracold atomic gas Nature 397 , 594-598  (18 February 1999) (Reprinted by permission from Nature , 397 , 594-598, copyright (1999) Macmillan Magazines Ltd.)