Slow mass transport and statistical evolution of an atomic gas across the superfluid-mott-insulator transition

Chen Lung Hung, Xibo Zhang, Nathan Gemelke, Cheng Chin

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87 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study transport dynamics of ultracold cesium atoms in a two-dimensional optical lattice across the superfluid-Mott-insulator transition based on in situ imaging. Inducing the phase transition with a lattice ramping routine expected to be locally adiabatic, we observe a global mass redistribution which requires a very long time to equilibrate, more than 100 times longer than the microscopic time scales for on-site interaction and tunneling. When the sample enters the Mott-insulator regime, mass transport significantly slows down. By employing fast recombination loss pulses to analyze the occupancy distribution, we observe similarly slow-evolving dynamics, and a lower effective temperature at the center of the sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160403
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume104
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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