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ID: 17411.0, MPI für Quantenoptik / Laser Spectroscopy
Quantum phase transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator in a gas of ultracold atoms
Authors:Greiner, M.; Mandel, O.; Esslinger, T.; Hänsch, T. W.; Bloch, I.
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2002-01-01
Title of Journal:Nature
Journal Abbrev.:Nature
Volume:415
Issue / Number:6867
Start Page:39
End Page:44
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:For a system at a temperature of absolute zero, all thermal fluctuations are frozen out, while quantum fluctuations prevail. These microscopic quantum fluctuations can induce a macroscopic phase transition in the ground state of a many-body system when the relative strength of two competing energy terms is varied across a critical value. Here we observe such a quantum phase transition in a Bose-Einstein condensate with repulsive interactions, held in a three-dimensional optical lattice potential. As the potential depth of the lattice is increased, a transition is observed from a superfluid to a Mott insulator phase. In the superfluid phase, each atom is spread out over the entire lattice, with long-range phase coherence. But in the insulating phase, exact numbers of atoms are localized at individual lattice sites, with no phase coherence across the lattice; this phase is characterized by a gap in the excitation spectrum. We can induce reversible changes between the two ground states of the system.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:T. W. Hänsch
Affiliations:MPI für Quantenoptik/Laser Spectroscopy
External Affiliations:Univ Munich, Sekt Phys, Schellingstr 4-III, D-80799 Munich,; Germany; ETH Zurich, Quantenelektron, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Identifiers:ISI:000173028800033
ISSN:0028-0836
URL:http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/n...
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