We observe counterintuitive spin segregation in an inhomogeneous sample of ultracold, noncondensed rubidium atoms in a magnetic trap. We use spatially selective microwave spectroscopy to verify a model that accounts for the differential forces on two internal spin states. In any simple understanding of the cloud dynamics, the forces are far too small to account for the dramatic transient spin polarizations observed. The underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated.
© 2002 American Physical Society
"Observation of Anomalous Spin-State Segregation in a Trapped Ultracold Vapor," H. J. Lewandowski, D. M. Harber, D. L. Whitaker, and E. A. Cornell, Phys. Rev. Lett., 88, 070403, (2002). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.070403.