Randy Hulet

Fayez Sarofim Professor

Department: Physics and Astronomy

Office Phone: (713) 348-6087

Website: http://atomcool.rice.edu/

Research Areas

Research Description

Randall Hulet investigates atoms at temperatures as low as a few nano-Kelvin. At these low temperatures the quantum mechanical wavelengths of the atoms can be as large as 1 micron, greatly altering normal atomic behavior. Hulet and his group have used laser cooling and atom trapping techniques to explore this exotic regime of matter, investigating ultracold atom collisions and quantum statistical effects, such as Bose-Einstein condensation. Collisions between ultracold atoms can reveal the subtle nature of their mutual interaction. Hulet and group use laser spectroscopy to probe these interactions. By this technique they discovered that two 7Li atoms weakly attract each other at very low temperature. Theorists believed that this fact would prevent lithium from undergoing a Bose-Einstein condensation, the paradigm of all quantum statistical phase transitions. In 1995, however, Hulet and his group succeeded in coaxing a gas of magnetically confined 7Li atoms to Bose condense. Subsequent investigation of this novel system has lead to the direct observation of condensate growth and collapse.

Hulet and group later produced the first quantum degenerate Bose/Fermi (7Li / 6Li) mixture of ultracold gases. The size of the fermion atom cloud was stabilized by Fermi pressure, in analogy to a white dwarf or neutron star. More recent investigations have focused on superfluidity of atomic Fermi gases, using Cooper paired 6Li atoms. These pairs are a close analogy to those resulting in superconductivity of some solids. This goal of this work is to better understand the nature of high-temperature superconductors and other strongly correlated materials.

biography

Randall G. Hulet earned a BS degree at Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Physics at MIT.  He was a National Research Council Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he worked on laser cooling of trapped atomic ions. He joined the faculty of Rice University in 1987 and he currently holds the Fayez Sarofim Chair in Natural Sciences. He has received many awards, including the I.I. Rabi Prize of the American Physical Society, the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigators Award, a NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and the Willis E. Lamb Medal for Laser Science and Quantum Optics.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hulet is well known for his many important contributions to atomic physics.  He played a leading role in the development of laser cooling and laser trapping of atoms. His most important achievements are the first realization of Bose-Einstein condensation in an atomic gas with attractive interactions, the creation of a degenerate Bose-Fermi mixture, and the observation of antiferromagnetic order in the Fermi-Hubbard model using ultracold atoms.

 

Selected Publications

  Refereed articles
 

J. Cuevas, P. G. Kevrekidis, B. A. Malomed, P. Dyke, and R. G. Hulet "Interactions of solitons with a Gaussian barrier: Splitting and recombination in quasi-1D and 3D." New Journal of Physics, 15: 063006.

 
 

P. Dyke, S. E. Pollack, and R. G. Hulet, “Finite range corrections near a Feshbach resonance and their role in the Efimov effect”, Physical Review A 88, 023625 (2013).

 
 

C. J. M. Mathy, D. A. Huse, and R. G. Hulet, “Enlarging and cooling the Néel state in an optical lattice”, Physical Review A 86 023606 (2012).

 
 

P. M. Duarte, R. A. Hart, J. M. Hitchcock, T. A. Corcovilos, T.-L. Yang, A. Reed, and R. G. Hulet "All-Optical Production of a Lithium Quantum Gas Using Narrow-Line Laser Cooling." Physical Review A, 84 (2011) : 061406.

 
 

Y. A. Liao, M. Revelle, T. Paprotta, A. S. C. Rittner, Wenhui Li, G. B. Partridge, and R. G. Hulet "Metastability in Spin-Polarized Fermi Gases." Physical Review Letters, 107 (2011) : 145305.

 
 

D. Dries, S. E. Pollack, J. M. Hitchcock, and R. G. Hulet "Dissipative Transport of a Bose-Einstein Condensate." Physical Review A, 82 (2010) : 033603.

 
 

S. E. Pollack, D. Dries, R. G. Hulet, K. M. F. Magalhães, E. A. L. Henn, E. R. F. Ramos, M. A. Caracanhas, and V. S. Bagnato "Collective excitation of a Bose-Einstein condensate by modulation of the atomic scattering length." Physical Review A, 81 (2010) : 053627.

 
 

Yean-an Liao, Ann Sophie C. Rittner, Tobias Paprotta, Wenhui Li, Guthrie B. Partridge, Randall G. Hulet, Stefan Baur, and Erich J. Mueller "Spin-Imbalance in a One-Dimensional Fermi Gas." Nature, 467 (2010) : 567.

 
 

S. E. Pollack, D. Dries, M. Junker, Y. P. Chen, T. A. Corcovilos, and R. G. Hulet "Extreme tunability of interactions in a 7Li Bose-Einstein condensate." Physical Review Letters, 102 (2009) : 090402.

 
 

S. E. Pollack, D. Dries, and R. G. Hulet "Universality in Three- and Four-Body Bound States of Ultracold Atoms." Science, 326 (2009) : 1683-6.

 
 

T. A. Corcovilos, S. K. Baur, J. M. Hitchcock, E. J. Mueller, and R. G. Hulet "Detecting antiferromagnetism of atoms in an optical lattice via optical Bragg scattering." Physical Review A, 81 (2010) : 013415.

 
 

Wenhui Li, G. B. Partridge, Y. A. Liao and R. G. Hulet "Polarized Atomic Fermi Gases." International Journal of Modern Physics B, 23 (2009) : 3195-3204.

 
 

Yean-an Liao, Ann Sophie C. Rittner, Tobias Paprotta, Wenhui Li, Guthrie B. Partridge, Randall G. Hulet, Stefan Baur, and Erich J. Mueller "Spin-Imbalance in a One-Dimensional Fermi Gas." Nature (2010) Submitted

 
 

Yong P. Chen, J. Hitchcock, D. Dries, M. Junker, C. Welford, S. E. Pollack, T. A. Corcovilos, and R. G. Hulet "Experimental Studies of Bose-Einstein Condensates in Disorder." Physica D, 238 (2009) : 1321.

 
 

M. Junker, D. Dries, C. Welford, J. Hitchcock, Y. P. Chen, and R. G. Hulet "Photoassociation of a Bose-Einstein Condensate near a Feshbach Resonance." Physical Review Letters, 101 (2008) : 060406.

 
 

Yong P. Chen, J. Hitchcock, D. Dries, M. Junker, C. Welford, and R. G. Hulet "Phase coherence and superfluid-insulator transition in a disordered Bose-Einstein condensate." Physical Review A, 77 (2008) : 033632.

 
 

Hiroki Saito, Randall G. Hulet, and Masahito Ueda "Stabilization of a Bose-Einstein droplet by hyperfine Rabi oscillations." Physical Review A, 76 (2007) : 053619.

 
 

G. B. Partridge, W. Li, R. I. Kamar, Y. A. Liao and R. G. Hulet, "Pairing and Phase Separation in a Polarized Fermi Gas." Science, 311 (2006) : 503.

 
 

G. B. Partridge, Wenhui Li, Y. A. Liao, and R. G. Hulet, "Pairing, Phase Separation and Deformation in the BEC-BCS Crossover." Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 148 (2007) : 323-330.

 
 

G. B. Partridge, Wenhui Li, Yean-an Liao, Randall G. Hulet, Masudul Haque, and H. T. C. Stoof, "Deformation of a Trapped Fermi Gas with Unequal Spin Populations." Physical Review Letters, 97 (2006) : 190407.

 
 

Wenhui Li, G. B. Partridge, Y. A. Liao and R. G. Hulet, "Pairing of a trapped Fermi gas with unequal spin populations." Nuclear Physics A, 790 (2007) : 88c-95c.

 
  Book chapters
 

K. Levin and Randall G. Hulet, “The Fermi Gases and Superfluids:  Short Review of Experiment and Theory for Condensed Matter Physicists”, chapter in Contemporary Concepts of Condensed Matter Science, P. B. Allen, E. Burstein, D. L. Mills, P.J. Stiles, series eds; K. Levin, A. L. Fetter, and D. M. Stamper-Kurn, vol. eds, pgs. 69-94 (Elsevier, Oxford, 2012).

 
  Refereed conference papers
 

R.G. Hulet "Photoassociation of Ultracold Atoms." Proceedings of the Dalgarno Celebratory Symposium (2010)

 
 

R. G. Hulet, D. Dries, M. Junker, S. E. Pollack, J. Hitchcock, Y. P. Chen, T. Corcovilos, and C. Welford "Tunable Interactions in a Bose-Einstein Condensate of Lithium: Photoassociation and Disorder-Induced Localization." Proceedings of the XXI International Conference on Atomic Physics (2009) : 150-159.

 
 

R. G. Hulet "Photoassociation of Ultracold Atoms." Proceedings of the Alex Dalgarno Celebratory Symposium (2009) In Press

 
 

R. G. Hulet, D. Dries, M. Junker, S. E. Pollack, J. Hitchcock, Y. P. Chen, T. Corcovilos, and C. Welford "Tunable Interactions in a Bose-Einstein Condensate of Lithium: Photoassociation and Disorder-Induced Localization." Pushing the Frontiers of Atomic Physics: Proceedings of the XXI International Conference on Atomic Physics (2009) In Press

 
 

Randall G. Hulet, Guthrie B. Partridge, Wenhui Li, and Y. A. Liao "Fermion Pairing with Unequal Spin Populations." Coherence and Quantum Optics IX (2008) : 110-115.

Recent Publications