Physical Review A
A magnetically trapped 87Rb Bose-Einstein condensate is used as a sensitive probe of short-range electrical forces. In particular, the electric polarization of, and the subsequent electric field generated by, 87Rb adsorbates on conducting and insulating surfaces is measured by characterizing perturbations to the magnetic trapping potential using high quality factor condensate excitations. The nature of the alterations to the electrical properties of Rb adsorbates is studied on titanium (metal) and silicon (semiconductor) surfaces, which exhibit nearly identical properties, and on glass (insulator), which displays a smaller transitory electrical effect. The limits of this technique in detecting electrical fields and ramifications for measurements of short-range forces near surfaces are discussed.
McGuirk, J. M.; Harber, D. M.; Obrecht, John M.; and Cornell, Eric A., "Alkali Adsorbate Polarization on Conducting and Insulating Surfaces Probed with Bose-Einstein Condensates" (2004). Physics Faculty Contributions. 25.