Its large magnetic moment in the ground state makes chromium a good candidate for the study of dipolar interactions in a degenerate gas. We have built an experimental setup for trapping and cooling atoms of 52Cr down to Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC). Evaporative cooling takes place in a purely optical trap, which is loaded from the magneto-optical trap using a novel process of continuous accumulation of metastable states. We produce a condensate of typically 15 000 atoms in a time of 15 s.
We studied the possibility to bring all the Zeeman substates of a chromium BEC to degeneracy in a non-zero static magnetic ﬁeld, using a radiofrequency (rf ) magnetic ﬁeld, and demonstrated a new process of rf-assisted dipolar relaxation.
We also studied a narrow Feshbach resonance induced by dipolar interaction, which implies a d-wave collisional chanel. We analyzed this resonance in the presence of a rf magnetic ﬁeld and we reinterpreted rf association of molecules as a mere Feshbach resonance between rf dressed states.
Finally, we have set up an optical lattice in the perspective of studying the eﬀects of dipole-dipole interactions in reduced dimension.