Abstract:
Soil water repellency causes at least temporal changes in the hydrological properties of a soil which result in, among other things, suboptimal growing conditions and increased irrigation requirements. Water repellency in soil is more widespread than previously thought and has been identified in many soil types under a wide array of climatic conditions worldwide. Consequences of soil water repellency include loss of wettability, increased runoff and preferential flow, reduced access to water for plants, reduced irrigation efficiency, increased requirement for water and other inputs, and increased potential for non-point source pollution. Research indicates that certain soil surfactants can be used to manage soil water repellency by modifying the flow dynamics of water and restoring soil wettability. This results in improved hydrological behavior of those soils. Consequently, the plant growth environment is also improved and significant water conservation is possible through more efficient functioning of the soil.

Abstract:
Exposure therapy is a widely used treatment for patients with post-traumatic stress dis-order. It involves reduction of fear through progressive exposure to frightening stimuli in a therapeutic environment. Here we propose a new method designed to improve the effectiveness of exposure therapy. We hypothesized that device-guided breathing during exposure therapy can increase the capability of the patient to undergo effective exposure. The successful application of the method is described for a single patient. Using a device to slow and regularize breathing, the patient was calmed and experienced a greater sense of control and a profound effect of the exposure. The use of the breathing-guiding device is believed to reduce arousal level and excitability of sympathetic “fight-flight” behaviors. The present study suggests that device-guided breathing integrated with exposure therapy may provide a practically feasible and potentially promising non-pharmacological treatment after trauma.

Abstract:
We study, by means of a variational method, the stability of a condensate in a magnetically trapped atomic Bose gas with a negative scattering length and find that the condensate is unstable in general. However, for temperatures sufficiently close to the critical temperature the condensate turns out to be metastable. For that case we determine in the usual WKB approximation the decay rate of the condensate due to macroscopic quantum fluctuations. When appropriate, we also calculate the decay rate due to thermal fluctuations. An important feature of our approach is that (nonsingular) phase fluctuations of the condensate are taken into account exactly.

Abstract:
We present the quantum theory for the nucleation of Bose-Einstein condensation in a dilute atomic Bose gas. This quantum theory comfirms the results of the semiclassical treatment, but has the important advantage that both the kinetic and coherent stages of the nucleation process can now be described in a unified way by a single Fokker-Planck equation.

Abstract:
We derive the equation of state of a dilute atomic Bose gas with an interatomic interaction that has a negative scattering length and argue that two continuous phase transitions, occuring in the gas due to quantum degeneracy effects, are preempted by a first-order gas-liquid or gas-solid transition depending on the details of the interaction potential. We also discuss the consequences of this result for future experiments with magnetically trapped spin-polarized atomic gasses such as lithium and cesium.

Abstract:
Using magnetically trapped atomic hydrogen as an example, we investigate the prospects of achieving Bose-Einstein condensation in a dilute Bose gas. We show that, if the gas is quenched sufficiently far into the critical region of the phase transition, the typical time scale for the nucleation of the condensate density is short and of $O(\hbar/k_{B}T_{c})$. As a result we find that thermalizing elastic collisions act as a bottleneck for the formation of the condensate. In the case of doubly-polarized atomic hydrogen these occur much more frequently than the inelastic collisions leading to decay and we are lead to the conclusion that Bose-Einstein condensation can indeed be achieved within the lifetime of the gas.

Abstract:
We present a general framework in which we can accurately describe the non-equilibrium dynamics of trapped atomic gases. This is achieved by deriving a single Fokker-Planck equation for the gas. In this way we are able to discuss not only the dynamics of an interacting gas above and below the critical temperature at which the gas becomes superfluid, but also during the phase transition itself. The last topic cannot be studied on the basis of the usual mean-field theory and was the main motivation for our work. To show, however, that the Fokker-Planck equation is not only of interest for recent experiments on the dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensation, we also indicate how it can, for instance, be applied to the study of the collective modes of a condensed Bose gas.

Abstract:
In this course we give a selfcontained introduction to the quantum field theory for trapped atomic gases, using functional methods throughout. We consider both equilibrium and nonequilibrium phenomena. In the equilibrium case, we first derive the appropriate Hartree-Fock theory for the properties of the gas in the normal phase. We then turn our attention to the properties of the gas in the superfluid phase, and present a microscopic derivation of the Bogoliubov and Popov theories of Bose-Einstein condensation and the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory of superconductivity. The former are applicable to trapped bosonic gases such as rubidium, lithium, sodium and hydrogen, and the latter in particular to the fermionic isotope of atomic lithium. In the nonequilibrium case, we discuss various topics for which a field-theoretical approach is especially suited, because they involve physics that is not contained in the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. Examples are quantum kinetic theory, the growth and collapse of a Bose condensate, the phase dynamics of bosonic and fermionic superfluids, and the collisionless collective modes of a Bose gas below the critical temperature.

Abstract:
We show that spinor Bose-Einstein condensates not only have line-like vortex excitations, but in general also allow for point-like topological excitations, i.e., skyrmions. We discuss the static and dynamic properties of these skyrmions for spin-1/2 and ferromagnetic spin-1 Bose gases.

Abstract:
We review and extend the theory of the dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensation in weakly interacting atomic gases. We present in a unified way both the semiclassical theory as well as the full quantum theory. This is achieved by deriving a Fokker-Planck equation that incorporates both the coherent and incoherent effects of the interactions in a dilute Bose gas. In first instance we focus our attention on the nonequilibrium dynamics of a homogeneous Bose gas with a positive interatomic scattering length. After that we discuss how our results can be generalized to the inhomogeneous situation that exists in the present experiments with magnetically trapped alkali gases, and how we can deal with a negative interatomic scattering length in that case as well. We also show how to arrive at a discription of the collective modes of the gas that obeys the Kohn theorem at all temperatures. The theory is based on the many-body T-matrix approximation throughout, since this approximation has the correct physical behavior near the critical temperature and also treats the coherent and incoherent processes taking place in the gas on an equal footing.