Probing the superfluid-to-Mott insulator transition at the single-atom level

W. S. Bakr, A. Peng, M. E. Tai, R. Ma, J. Simon, J. I. Gillen, S. Fölling, L. Pollet, M. Greiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

532 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quantum gases in optical lattices offer an opportunity to experimentally realize and explore condensed matter models in a clean, tunable system. We used single atom-single lattice site imaging to investigate the Bose-Hubbard model on a microscopic level. Our technique enables space- and time-resolved characterization of the number statistics across the superfluid-Mott insulator quantum phase transition. Site-resolved probing of fluctuations provides us with a sensitive local thermometer, allows us to identify microscopic heterostructures of low-entropy Mott domains, and enables us to measure local quantum dynamics, revealing surprisingly fast transition time scales. Our results may serve as a benchmark for theoretical studies of quantum dynamics, and may guide the engineering of low-entropy phases in a lattice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-550
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume329
Issue number5991
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 30 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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    Bakr, W. S., Peng, A., Tai, M. E., Ma, R., Simon, J., Gillen, J. I., Fölling, S., Pollet, L., & Greiner, M. (2010). Probing the superfluid-to-Mott insulator transition at the single-atom level. Science, 329(5991), 547-550. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1192368