.. Istituto Nazionale di Ottica
Bose-Einstein Condensation
Trento, Italy


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The start

The BEC Center was established by the Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia in Trento in June 2002, following a selection made by an international panel. In 2006, INFM became part of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), which in turn was reorganized in new institutes. As a result of such a reorganization, since February 2010 the BEC Center has been finally incorporated into the Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO) of the Department of Materials and Devices. The Center is hosted by the Department of Physics of the University of Trento on the basis of an official agreement with CNR. Scientists belonging to the BEC Center include CNR researchers as well as personnel from the University, together with a large number of PhD students and post-doctoral fellows, who are partly funded by CNR and partly by the University. The budget of the BEC Center is provided by CNR and by the Provincia Autonoma di Trento (PAT) on the basis of official agreements. The research activity of the Center is also supported by the Italian Ministry of Research and by other funding agencies on specific projects. The Trento BEC Center is expected to contribute to the the worldwide development of research activities in the field of ultracold gases through a series of scientific publications, the reinforcement and the creation of international collaborations, the organization of workshops and conferences, as well as through the training of young scientists.
An inauguration meeting was organized on 14th and 15th March 2003.

Opening a new experimental laboratory

The opening of a laboratory for ultracold atoms in Trento represents the novelty of the recent years. The motivations behind this choice are manifold. An impressive number of experimental groups worldwide are actively working in the field of ultracold atomic gases, but only a few of them are operating in Italy, namely at LENS-Florence and in Pisa. This field of research is still growing and there is no sign of saturation; indeed ultracold atoms have proven to be a versatile tool for exploring new physics in an interdisciplinary context, from atomic physics to quantum optics, statistical mechanics and condensed matter physics. Hence there is still plenty of space for novel experimental projects. This is also an opportunity for increasing the visibility and the attractiveness of the area of Trento, by properly combining the already existing theoretical activities with new experimental programs, thus opening new directions of research and a wider network of collaborations. With these motivations and with the support of INO-CNR, the Department of Physics of the University and the Provincia Autonoma di Trento, in 2010 the project has finally started.

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